As an SME entrepreneur, you face several challenges on your way ahead. The most pressing challenge is not having a brand the market knows and talks about. This restricts your ability to seize new business opportunities and scale up the demand for your products and services in new markets. Small enterprises are often carried away in branding myths that hinder them from sourcing, capitalising and monetising the value of their most important asset – The Brand. Dispelling three popular myths about branding is key to starting that process and transforming your business.
Myth #1: “A down economy is not the time to address my brand.”
While it is understandable that business owners are fearful in investing in their companies in today’s climate, it is actually more important to have a strong brand in a soft economy. When money is tight, consumers are more selective of which products they choose to buy. A strong brand message can make all the difference in choosing to purchase your product over competitors if benefits and price are comparable.
Slower periods can also be the best time for companies to focus and re-tool in preparation for the inevitable upswing. If cost is a concern, search for agencies that can tailor their process or teams to fit your budget. If the creative team is clever, there are many other ways to save money in areas such as printing and production while not compromising integrity of the brand expression.
Myth #2: “Branding is only for large corporations.”
There are many different creative agencies out there in all shapes and sizes-the key is finding the agency that works best with your company, regardless of scale. Smaller companies should not be intimidated by approaching a larger branding agency as they may be open to gaining experience in a new industry or building on a specific part of their portfolio. On the flip side, larger companies should not rule out smaller agencies as adding manpower to accommodate a larger workload may be a possibility. The most important thing is that the agency does quality work and the business owner is confident in their abilities.
Myth #3: “Branding is expensive.”
Branding is actually not expensive, it is rather valuable. Like all good assets, it gives you positive returns year after year. Rather, marketing is expensive; you have to pay more to convince the customer to buy your product or service. Branding is the opposite of chaos. Managing chaos is expensive, as it increases costs. Non-performance can be really expensive, as you lose the customer forever. Managing reputation loss is extremely expensive as it can bring the brand value to almost zero in no time.
By Vanessa Teo