By Barry Moltz – Small Business Speaker, Author and Guest writer for Dex Media
Many small business owners ask me this same question. Whether they are a plumber, lawyer or landscape architect, they want to know why they need a brand. To them, it seems like a waste of time and money. They are too busy finding customers to focus on building a brand!
In this increasingly crowded business world, it is very difficult to stand out from other companies. Access to the Internet coupled with next-day shipping has removed most distribution barriers and many products have become commodities. To the consumer, many companies provide similar products or services, so they just search for the lowest price.
A company’s brand ensures their value can stand out from their competitors. It also helps that company “get found” when a customer is shopping. It makes them memorable to the consumer.
In any economy, people buy when they are “in pain” and have the money to solve that problem. If the company can’t be found by the customer, they have no chance of being chosen. Most successful companies get chosen 33% of the time they are considered by a customer. My experience has shown that the key to growing a business is to be considered by more shopping customers.
Some small-businesses confuse a brand with a logo. A brand separates a company from their competitor. It is an emotional experience. What will the customer see and feel when interacting with a company? The brand is what the company is known for, the “pain” it solves and its values. Alternately, a logo is just a graphical representation of the company’s name. While the logo can be recognizable, it’s not the brand.
Consumers will pay more for company’s brand if it adds value. For example, what comes to mind when a consumer thinks of Apple? The company is known for innovative, hip, easy-to-use and expensive technology. This is evident in all of Apple’s products, stores and communications. For consumers, their brand clearly adds more value, which is apparent since Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world. Similarly, Starbucks’ brand is not just about selling coffee. It is seen as a warm and friendly atmosphere where customers can stay awhile.
Branding helps companies connect with the consumer’s “pain points.” Remember, a valuable service is what a customer seeks, not what the company wants to provide.
Developing a brand is an investment process. Consumers stay loyal to brands they enjoy buying from and remember easily. It makes it harder for them to switch to a competitor. In this highly connected world, eventually satisfied customers will promote the company’s brand to others, making it even more powerful.
Barry Moltz gets business owners growing again by unlocking their long forgotten potential. With decades of entrepreneurial experience in his own business ventures as well as consulting countless other entrepreneurs, Barry has discovered the formula to get stuck business owners out of their funk and marching forward. Barry applies simple, strategic steps to facilitate change for entrepreneurs.