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Brand identity is what you want the market to identify your company or your products with. Brand identity consists of colors, logo, name, symbol, tagline, packaging and so on. More importantly, it conveys your company’s values, promises and personality. A strong brand identity can set your brand apart from the competition, which has become more and more brutal. Brand identity isn’t just for big corporations with gigantic marketing budget like Google, Gucci or Nike. It is also for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to not only stay in the game, but also thrive. This post is to point out three reasons why SMEs should invest in brand identity.

1. It helps you stand out from the crowd

Business is not just a transaction; it’s an experience. People do more business with people and companies that engage them in the purchasing experience. When you attach meaning to the act of doing business with you, you stand out from the crowd.(David Tyreman, 2009)

As Yuval Noah Harari stated in his book “21 lessons for 21st century”, we are now living in a world “deluged by irrelevant information”. No matter how great your product is, if it isn’t attached to certain image that is relevant to customers, it is easily buried under layers and layers of information. The competition for attention is undoubtedly fierce as consumers are constantly bombarded with tons of messages from millions of brands.  A strong brand identity gives you the power to be on the ground and get to be seen and recognized by customers. In other words, it enhances your brand recognition. More importantly, it represents how different your brand is among other names and why it is worth your customers’ money. Therefore, investing in building a strong brand identity is an essential step for SMEs to get their names on the map.

2. It helps you become “the obvious choice”

People want to find something with minimum effort. That’s why they look for relevant products and then go with a product that they consider the obvious choice. Customer may have a lot of product options in mind but what makes a product or a brand become their obvious choice? It is the emotional connection between customers and this brand. It explains why customers keep choosing a product over others that offer the same function or quality.  

Overwhelmed with choices, people are in search of a brand experience they can identify with, a brand that fits into the story of their lives (David Tyreman, 2009)

Having a great product is not enough. You have to put meaning to it and give customers the reason why they should buy your product. That’s why brand identity is important because it defines your differences and conveys the consistency in values that your product can bring to the customers. Having a strong brand identity helps you connect with your customers and eventually become their obvious choice, meaning they are loyal to you.

3. It adds value to your business

A strong brand identity is no doubt an asset to any businesses.  First, it creates trust among customers as it shows that your brand is well-established and customers often find well-established brands more trustworthy. And when people trust you, they are going to buy more from you. Second, it helps you cut down marketing budget in the long run. When your brand is trusted by the customers, it is easier for you to spread your story without spending too much money on marketing whether to strengthen the image of your current product or to promote a new product line. In other words, being trusted by customers means less work and money on persuading them to purchase your product. Last but not least, it increases the worth of your business.  It is clear that a business that has a strong brand is far worthier than a same-size business that has weak or no brand. That means it yields better return when you invest in building a strong brand.

To SMEs with limited marketing budget, it seems to be expensive to invest in brand identity. However, given all the benefits that a strong brand identity can bring to the table in the long run, it is worth the investment.