Brand is important for any business — that's why large companies defend theirs so aggressively at any cost, like Unilever suing the smaller company Just Mayo for using the word "Mayo" in their name. That lawsuit brought Unilever some seriously bad press, but they obviously thought it was worth it just to protect the Hellmann's mayonnaise brand.
So, clearly, business branding is important for large businesses. But why should small businesses or startups care even more? Small business branding is not a case of small companies mimicking bigger companies: it's critical that small businesses create a strong, memorable brand identity.
To put it simply: small companies need to differentiate themselves from their competitors, especially their larger competitors who have more resources and more advantages. Larger businesses can never beyou, and your business' identity and reputation is the most important aspect.
But when it comes to branding, small companies and startups can have a few advantages, like:
- Connecting with Customers
In most industries — if not all — the majority of consumers are wired to prefer small companies. The smaller the company, the more likely customers are to feel like they are receiving personalized attention — and more likely to actually get it, too. Customers like feeling like they are dealing with a small businesses, which is why many large companies try to emulate that feel.
- More Freedom
Small businesses aren't tied down by executives disagreeing with what voice the company should take on — there just aren't that many cooks in the kitchen, so to speak. So, it's easier to establish an individualized brand without top-level executives worrying about playing it safe or sticking to a bland corporate brand... and this takes us to our next point.
- Small Business Brands Stick Out
Branding is all about customer engagement, when it really boils down to it, even if that engagement isn't immediately measurable. But small businesses tend to have more memorable brands than large corporations, who are often stuck with boring corporate branding. Small businesses aren't stuck being boring. Startups are particularly known for having quirky, fun brands — and that's what people remember. Your brand should be memorable so people remember it and keep coming back.
It's also easier for small businesses to move quickly and establish their brand the way they want it to be. It's also easier to keep their voice consistent throughout the company, since there aren't thousands of employees to train in the company "voice."
Need help branding your small business or startup? Please contact us.