Small businesses are a huge and essential part of our economy. In fact, there are 30.2 million small businesses in the United States alone. According to the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA), 99.9% of all businesses in the United States are considered small businesses. Even more surprisingly, these small businesses employ nearly half (47.3%) of the country’s private workforce. Small businesses are a powerful and influential part of the economy. Unfortunately, they have also been one of the hardest hit sectors of the economy amid the pandemic and its aftermath.

Throughout the pandemic, around 9.4 million small and medium-sized businesses have been forced to close. Some of these closures were temporary. However, some were unfortunately permanent.

Now we see many small and medium-sized businesses returning to work. On top of that, many new businesses are opening their doors. One of the first things new businesses and new business owners need to consider when opening their doors is to effectively brand or rename their business.

Fortunately, we know from our own experience how best to get out of this kind of crisis. Apart from financial reforms, branding and rebranding are important for the success of any business, especially small businesses. We have seen time and time again that rebranding has helped companies improve their situation after facing a crisis. For example, immediately after rebranding in 2008 and 2009, Walmart’s net sales increased by 15.8%. Another example is in 2014, when AirBnB decided to undergo a complete rebranding. This resulted in an astonishing 80% revenue growth for the company over the next 2 years.

Oksana Hoiuk: why rebranding might be what your business needs post-pandemic

We have also witnessed the benefits of rebranding at our own creative agency UMBRA. It all started when LaPufic suggested changing their name. Immediately after, the company’s profits increased by 20%. In addition to this, it is expected that by the end of 2022, this amount will increase to 75%. The Post-Rebranding Growth Theory was even recognized by Danielle Luliani and acknowledged in an article on the Boston University website.

Oksana Hoiuk: why rebranding might be what your business needs post-pandemic

What is a brand?

Before you jump into rebranding your business, it’s important to understand what a brand is and how to find the right one for your small business. A brand is something intangible that you identify with your business. In most cases, a brand is designed to make your business stand out from your competition. Aspects of a brand include your business name, a logo, a sign, and your corporate identity or how you and your employees interact with customers. Branding is one of the most essential aspects of successful marketing.

Here is an analogy to further illustrate all the components that go into building a strong brand:

Imagine that you are on a trip and you see a building appear on the horizon. When you approach it, you see it as a beautiful solid architectural structure that is yellow in color and built in the Art Nouveau style. This striking building stands out among the rest. As you get closer, you begin to notice its distinct elements: the bricks it is made of, the ornamentation, the individual shapes and intricate lines. These symbolize the elements of the brand image: brand values, mission and philosophy, identity, communication style and promotional or marketing strategies.

Why is a brand important?

There are many benefits to creating a strong brand that stands out from your competition.

First, a brand creates an attractive image that the company can identify with. Having a consistent image will help your customers become familiar with your brand and, in turn, add value to your products and services. Additionally, since a brand is considered an intangible asset, successful brand identities can add value to your business as a whole.

Another benefit of branding is that it can help you strengthen your market position and set yourself apart from your competition. As your brand and product visibility increases, you can scale your business accordingly. Additionally, your employee satisfaction will increase as your brand visibility increases. Indeed, people tend to be more satisfied with their work when they know it has an impact. As your brand gains awareness, your employees will see the difference they make in your business and in the lives of your customers.

Branding makes it easier for you to attract new customers. Indeed, your image is more consistent and will stand out in the memory of your customers. With consistent images and ads, your business reach will grow, making it easier for you to reach your target audience and attract new customers.

As your audience grows, your business will eventually become recognizable and well-known as a leading provider in your industry. Familiarizing your brand with your audience is important because well-known brands are trustworthy. Plus, as your identity becomes established, your customers will be more likely to forgive the small mistakes that come with growing a small business.

First steps towards creating a brand

Building a brand means increasing the recognition of your product and keeping a place in the memory of your customers. When you have a positive image and stand out from the competition, you are more likely to experience success as a brand.

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen brands go through stress tests. Some of the weaker brands couldn’t withstand this test, leaving them doomed to rejection in the absence of demand. At the same time, well-deserved consumer brands have remained afloat throughout the period of widespread crisis, even with declining sales. This is partly because of their striking brand identities and impeccable customer service. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the decisions of business leaders or the approval of journalists that determine the success of a brand, but rather its appreciation by consumers. To identify what their customers want, companies should conduct consumer surveys, asking them questions about how they feel about purchasing certain products from their company and the experiences they have with their company. . On top of that, it’s important to ask your customers what sets your business apart from your competitors. This will help you have a solid starting point as you build your brand.

If goods bring pleasure and joy to consumers, they are considered brands. On the other hand, if goods are bought at random simply because consumers have encountered them on the road or because of their low prices, they are just goods. If the products have been chosen because of some of their particular quality characteristics and their prices are not excessively expensive, they are brands.

In sum, the pandemic has caused many entrepreneurs to rethink their offerings and business models. Therefore, rebranding has become an essential step for business owners in various industries to continue to find success and stand out from their competitors. Through this article, we’ve explained what a brand is, why it’s important to establish a brand identity, and a starting point to help you think about your small business brand identity. .

By Oksana Hoiuk

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