SMEs face a lot of competition. Right from Funds, to getting the right product / service to quality manpower, the list of worries never ends. But in an era with increased competition, there are certain things that SMEs should do and avoid to cut through the competition and create a brand for themselves.
1. A Perfect Logo
Irrespective of the size of your business, an eye catching logo is essential for your long term success. Most SMEs choose to save on cost by choosing simplistic logos (i.e. their business name written in simple fonts) but if you want
to differentiate from competition, this just won’t help.
Choose a professional service that understands your vision and objectives and is able to create something meaningful.
Good Logos are a great catalyst for Marketing and Branding and should be considered vital.
2. Create a Tagline
The biggest brands use carefully crafted taglines to define their brand personality. As a SME, it is equally important to create a tagline that signifies your brand in the best possible way. Your tagline should leave some memory of your brand with the end user.
3. Be Consistent with your Visual Identity
One of the biggest things SMEs are guilty of is the lack of consistent Visual Identity. If you take a look at any big brand, you will realize that they use the same colour scheme, logo, fonts across all their marketing activities.
As a SME you should strive to do the same. You should use the same colours, fonts, placement of images in a consistent way in all your activities. These are the small but vital points in creating a difference between a one-of-the-many and a Brand.
4. Create Relevant and Rich Content
SMEs focus on core products and services that they offer. But, a good content strategy goes a long way in pushing sales for them. SMEs should invest in developing content that not only speaks about their product / service but also helps the end user in some way or the other.
E.g: Macmerise, a brand selling Apple Products created content that spoke about Steve Jobs, Apple Products and infused their products in a subtle way through such content. It was observed that their brand recall was much higher with this and they were also able to generate better sales.
SMEs are largely focused on their core offering that at times they do not pay heed to Innovation and Creativity. Remove some time to think differently and try to innovate even if miniscule. Innovation is the need of the hour in a highly competitive market.
Example: Waterpipe, a molasses manufacturing company had products names similar to everyone else like Grape, Mint, Double Apple . They created a new packaging design and came up with names that did not give any indication of flavours. They ended up raising their sales by 40 percent in the first quarter.
1. Don’t Copy Famous Brands
Most common mistakes SMEs do when they try to mimic the look and feel of large brands.
Doing this makes your brand sub-standard, cheap and very unprofessional. It also has a negative impact on your Target Audience as they remember the brand you just ripped off and not you. No one likes copies. So be an original.
2. Treat Branding as a Cost
Though Advertising may be like a Stock Market, Branding is like Fixed Deposit. It pays off with great returns. Creating a Good Logo, Website, Brochure etc. resonates your vision of a valuable brand.
Most SMEs commit the mistake on not concentrating on Branding and Marketing thinking of it as a cost but a good strategy and a positive vision goes a long way in giving returns that are healthy and long lasting
3. Copy Competition
It’s good to monitor competition but what works for A might not work for you. Create your own identity, brand message and trust your instincts. If your competitor is doing things badly, you might end up in a hard battle while copying them.
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