Branding on a Budget

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In my previous article, I asked if you know what your brand is as a product, service, organization or personality and promised to follow it up with an article on

how to build your brand cheaply as a small or medium-sized business.

Like I said previously, a huge misconception is that branding is only for big organizations and companies. Naturally, such companies brand themselves or the products and services they sell on a huge scale, thus creating the perception that branding is their exclusive preserve.

However, nothing could be farther from the truth: all organizations and businesses, no matter how big or small, can create a brand for themselves. It does not matter if you are a neighborhood store or a large supermarket; a garri seller in the market or a huge grocery chain – you can create for yourself a brand.

So how do you go about doing that?

First, you have to find for yourself a point of distinction from your competition, something that sets you apart.

Then, be different consistently.

For example, let us say you are a garri seller in the market and you want to create for yourself a brand. You could easily set yourself apart in the way you package the garri. Rather than keeping it in open basins, you could have the garri in clear polythene bags sealed and labeled. A seller can come and find same measures of garri, labeled with say white garri, yellow garri, etc. Compared to your competition, yours is neater, well-packaged and labeled, giving the buyers a clear idea of what they are buying and allowing them to be able to transport it over long distances safely.

When you do this consistently, you will ingrain into your target customers your difference from the others, and this becomes your brand.

It could be that as a neighborhood store, you choose to be extra-friendly to customers that walk in or offer them a bottle of water each time, setting yourself apart by superior customer service.

Building your brand owes more to the consistency of what you do differently, rather than just what your difference is. This difference does not have to cost plenty money, and it is something that is easily achieved by being creative especially relative to your competition.

You have to take note that your point of difference can be easily copied by your competition, thus blurring the distinction between you and them. As such, you should not relax on your oars but continually ensure you stand out from them in your own way.

Keep in mind that when you create your point or points of distinction, you are also creating your own niche in the market. For example, Mercedes Benz and Volvo are both carmakers but their difference exist in the fact that the former places emphasis on supreme engineering and prestige while the latter differentiates itself from the market by focusing on safety of its cars.

As such, Volvo will not necessarily always go in Mercedes’ direction, especially if it will blur the difference between them.

If you fail at creating and ensuring your difference from your competition, you become a follow-follow brand.

So do you still think you need loads of money to create a brand for yourself? Evidently not. 

Looking forward to seeing you create your brand.

Read 767 times Last modified on Friday, 27 November 2015 08:20
Mark Amaza

Mark Amaza is the Team Leader of MINDcapital, an Abuja-based branding and strategy firm. He is a brand strategist, copywriter and plays around with graphics when he can. He spends his spare time reading, listening to music and hanging around smart guys pretending to be one of them

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