In the market that is filled with a myriad of players, the term branding is generally associated with the larger companies and corporations. The impression they throw around is that of arrogance and intimidation. Although this may not be the case, many small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) feel throttled by their larger counterparts. They feel that there is no room left for any sort of maneuver in their target markets.
Why branding for SMEs
SME branding involves just about people like you and me. Despite the fact that many SMEs do not have a branding department and often give branding the go by, for such companies, the solution lies in branding itself. Thus, they can rely on other aspects such as creativity and resourcefulness. This helps the branding strategy they generate to be viable and implementable, so that their products or services can be promoted in the market of their choice.
Why SMEs feel disadvantaged
At the outset, it must be pointed out that several Indian conglomerates today were SMEs in their infancy. A quick recall of these companies brings to mind names and brands such as Vimal, Nirma, Adani, Kirloskar, and several others, which are now blue chip companies. These companies have been really lucky, but not many SMEs have access to branding departments, neither do they have access to the services of an advertising agency. Despite their best intentions, these agencies cannot focus on branding or developing a brand image for their products or services.
The scope for SME branding
Therefore, the scope for branding for SMEs really lies here. Many of these SME entities are really in need of promoting their products and services in the market. With the help of branding, these SMEs get the image and appeal they have always been looking for in the market.
SME branding helps the concerned entities by equipping them with the branding strategies they require and giving them the identity they deserve and desire. A properly executed branding strategy for an SME leads to better relationship with their targeted customers.
The role of branding strategists
Yet another way through which branding can benefit SMEs is by hiring branding strategists. A branding strategist provides you with several ideas, which you can approve or disapprove. They, with the help of their collaborative research and collaborative skills provide the necessary inputs about improving your identity in the market. Therefore, you can obtain an insight in to where your branding plans are leading you, while the branding strategists provide the necessary inputs on the kind of voice your brand will have and the noise that your branding campaign will make.
Besides training and sensitizing your staff on the impact that your branding campaign will make, you will also learn that in order to survive in the market, it is essential to be consistent in order to gather more and more long-term clients. Thus, in the beginning, you will come across several hurdles and hit several roadblocks, but one day you will realize that branding indeed works for SMEs as well.
SME branding - How an agency can help
Many SMEs are under the impression that branding is not for them. However, many marketing gurus are convinced that SMEs are actually the turf where branding comes in handy. One of the strategies that many branding agencies generally advise SMEs is to go for targeted advertising rather than carpet-bombing techniques adopted by other SMEs. Nonetheless, in today's world, where becoming competitive is more the necessity and the norm, branding agencies can help SMEs adopt innovative branding techniques right from logo designing to print media & digital ads, punch lines, and even signature tunes.
To put a final touch to the story, it's certainly possible for SMEs to deploy branding for their business. At the same time, care should be taken to maintain service quality levels and utilization of effective branding strategies in the target market. This is because you don't want to end up wasting precious financial resources or ending up damaging your hard earned reputation.