Do you run a small business either as your main job or a side hustle? How do your customers identify you or what you sell? Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, many across the world have found themselves in the world of entrepreneurship and are learning most things on the job. And that is quite challenging. One of the things that will give you leverage over your competition is business branding.
What is branding?
In simple terms, a brand is an identity.
Let’s say you sell home-made yoghurt. You tell your friends and your connections on and off social media about your new venture. Some of them make an order to try it out, and a few like it and decide to promote you and your business. Now, imagine these friends want to tell others about your yoghurt. That is the tricky part.
X: Hey, I have this friend who sells home-made yoghurt. It is nice, more affordable and comes in bigger bottles.
Y: Oh, that’s nice. What’s it called I check it out?
X: Ehm, it is just homemade so I don’t think it has a name.
Y: Oh, well. How can I get it?
X: I can give you his number.
Well, this conversation usually ends awkwardly because chances are Y is not going to purchase your yoghurt even if s/he wanted to. Even though the selling points are strong, Y just doesn’t know what they are buying. People love associating with things they can identify.
Best ways to brand your business or product
Chances are you are struggling to explain to people what your business is all about and how they can benefit from it. Yes, the customer only buys where they believe they are benefiting. You need to remove that doubt by making your business or product identifiable. Here are some suggestions:
- Get a business name – it is easy to register a business name on eCitizen and that will cost you no more than KES 1500. People remember business names, not the CEO’s or proprietor’s name.
- Give your product or service a name – find a name for your yoghurt. There are many home-made yoghurts out there, and people will remember your product’s name easier than they would your name. In the conversation above, it would be easier for X to say “Have you tried Beaver home-made yoghurt? …” And Y would remember Beaver as the brand.
- Use proper eye-catching branding designs – giving your business and product or service a name is one thing. Making people identify it among many is another thing. There are many branding companies in Kenya that will help you design a logo, name, and appropriate promotional materials for different spaces as well as containers for your yoghurt.
Advantages of branding your business or product
Most have already been captured above. In a nutshell, your branding strategies will help you to:
- Make the customer easily identify (with) your product, service or business.
- Make your product or service appear professional.
- Make it easier to promote your business or side hustle on online platforms. Designed posters appear attractive and stand out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or even online selling spaces such as The Market Place.
- Make the work of people who do referrals easier.
- Grow your business to be a ‘brand’ in households.
Do not ignore branding. Many small and medium entreprises fail because no one has ever heard about them or their products. Once you have done the basics, you will do the rest as the business progresses.