Is “branding” a niche business really worth the effort?
I say YES!
Branding enables the business owner to break through the barrier of buyer indifference.
In fact, it’s my opinion that small tightly niched businesses have a lot to gain and very little to lose by creating and promoting their brand from the get-go. Here’s why:
1. Setting up a brand is inexpensive and an invaluable exercise for the owner. It forces the business owner to focus on creating and refining his business message, advantages, positioning, and USP (unique selling proposition). The brand, over time, becomes the owner’s focus and his standard or banner which helps him to never lose sight of what his business should be about. Many who don’t establish a brand never really create a clear vision of what they want their business to be.
2. Branding improves recognition of your business in the niche marketplace. If you have no brand, prospects will have no incentive to choose your business over any other alternative. But if prospects recognize your business name in the niche because they’ve been exposed to your brand and logo before (hopefully many times), they will begin to associate your business as a “known” commodity, maybe even the default “go to” place. Without a brand, prospects will have a hard time remembering who you are.
3. Branding reinforces your unique business advantages. If you’ve chosen your branding message well, prospects will begin to remember that message. If you have no brand, you have nothing memorable for prospects to recognize – no hook or angle that attracts customers.
4. Branding can bring your business added, bankable value. Many businesses are able to bank on their brand – it adds tangible value to their hard assets. Look at the value of the Coke brand, or the McDonald’s brand, or Honda, Google, Kraft, Amazon or any other household name. Now I’m not saying your brand will ever reach the status of these giants . . . but within a niche marketplace and among targeted prospects, a trusted brand can bring your business new prospects (traffic), credibility, trust, and even a sellable asset if you decide to leave business.
5. Typically, branded businesses are more enticing to support advertising. If your business derives income from outside advertising, having a recognized brand will help you over businesses and web sites that have no distinction or name recognition in the niche.
6. Branding creates trust and credibility in the niche. Prospects know that serious business owners will go to the effort to create a long-term brand. Here-today-gone-tomorrow businesses have no interest in creating a brand. If people really do buy from those they know, like, and trust, having a recognized brand should help you to cement your credibility and staying power.
7. Branding generates new customers. The repetition of your message and the repeated presence of your brand in your niche marketplace will attract potential prospects over your competitors that are forgotten or are unknown to prospects. Other things being equal, we all tend to look for businesses that are familiar to us as we review the alternatives when making a selection. Unbranded choices are hardly familiar to anyone.
8. Branded businesses can be most attractive to affiliates and sponsors. If your business has a brand, chances are good that others will support it and want to promote it over businesses that are not known in the niche.
9. Branding should assure a consistent message, a level of quality, and a business that cares about taking care of its customers. Most branded businesses work hard to keep their reputation un-spotted. They thrive on positive word of mouth and positive media portrayal. Owners of branded businesses put forth effort to protect and enhance their brand.
10. If done well, branding positions you as a leader in your niche. Your target market will “get it” and respond to your marketing. Tightly niched brands have a built in positioning that sets them up to be leaders because they work hard to be recognized and trusted over their competitors.
Anyone can brand a business regardless of the niche, the budget, or the experience of the owner. Wouldn’t it be in your business interest to establish your brand . . . starting today?
To your online business success,