When It Comes to Brand Management, Small Businesses Have an Edge

One of the biggest challenges (or perceived challenges) for small or new businesses is competing with the big, established industry players. Whether it’s gaining leverage with vendors, attracting top talent, navigating a complex legal and regulatory climate, or achieving economies of scale, small and new businesses often feel outmatched by the big guys. However, when it comes to branding, the tables are often turned.

Small businesses and, especially, new businesses are actually in an excellent position to effectively manage their brands. For one, big corporations are often perceived as cold, profit-driven, bureaucratic organizations. Small businesses have an opportunity to seem more warm and personal. As Francisco Rosales writes in an article for SocialMouths, “When it comes to small business, it’s easy for an individual to become the voice of the company, a personal brand that builds trust around a product or service with a human touch.”

Furthermore, bigger isn’t always better. Brand management is an extremely complex and time-consuming process—the bigger the organization, the more challenging that process becomes. Why? Because you must get your arms around a wide range of constantly changing business processes that impact how you are perceived.

The value of a strong brand is that it serves to differentiate a product, service or organization (PSO) from other products, services or organizations. The brand is the sum total of all interactions that a target audience has with your PSO; their perception of you is your brand. Contrary to what many believe, businesses don’t create their brands; they do, however, manage them. That generally involves a process that includes these key steps:

1) Determining, specifically how you would like your PSO to be perceived

2) Evaluating (through some form of research) how you are currently perceived

3) Identifying gaps between desired perceptions and actual perceptions

4) Instituting a plan to close those gaps

For small businesses, this task can be much less cumbersome. New businesses are in the enviable position of being able to determine, up front, how they wish to be perceived and then being able to take action to impact consumer perceptions.

Certainly, there are real advantages of being the biggest and best-established company on the block. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t benefits to being the new guy or the small and nimble market player. Brand management is one area where new and small can win the day.

How about you? How are you leveraging your small business brand to achieve big impact?

Recommended Reading:

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

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