Picking the right branding strategy can be confusing for businesses, especially if they are starting out. In this article, we take a look at different types of branding strategies that small and midsized enterprises (SMEs) can implement based on their current needs and future goals.

Brand building can help SMEs generate leads

The Internet users in India are rapidly growing with over 50% of Indians being active Internet users in 2022 and projected to rise to 900 million by 2025, according to a report by IAMAI and Kantar. In such an online landscape, businesses may also be looking to attract the eyeballs of people by creating a brand identity so that customers are not just able to recall the brand, but also want to associate themselves with that brand in some way or the other. 

Hence, in times of fierce competition and fleeting attention spans, creating a branding strategy that connects with the audience may be essential. If you are a startup that is in the process of discovering how you should position your brand or a veteran brand looking to re-imagine your brand messaging, this article will take you through the different types of branding strategies you can use within your business to better manage your brand.

Why do businesses need a branding strategy?

Businesses employ branding methods to forge a distinctive and memorable brand image in the minds of their target customers. A comprehensive branding strategy can aid organisations in standing out from rivals by giving them a distinctive character that people can easily recall, separating them from the competition. 

Moreover, a branding strategy possibly encourages consumer loyalty due to satisfied customers who actively spread the word about the company to others. Loyal clients are more inclined to support a brand and tell their network about the same. This can also lead people to form an emotional connection with the brand and people are more likely to continue using a product or service when they have a strong emotional connection to it. Now that we know how important is branding for small businesses, let us look at the five types of branding strategies for SMEs

5 branding strategies for small businesses

Different types of branding strategies concentrate on specific facets of brand positioning, brand building, and growth. The following are some prevalent forms of branding strategies:

1. Personal branding

Building a brand around a specific person—often a celebrity or influencer—is called personal branding. In this type of branding, a person's abilities, knowledge, beliefs, traits, and how they show themselves to others are all part of their personal brand. It may be important for you to establish your identity in a way you want to be perceived by your target audience. 

Your internet presence and personal branding may be intricately related. Your personal brand should possibly be consistent throughout all of your digital channels, including social media profiles, websites, blogs, etc. Moreover, there are increased prospects for influencers to secure more fruitful brand collaborations as they continue to gain the audience's confidence on social media and other online channels. In essence, personal branding is about creating a brand around your name with an aim to create a positive impact and showcase authenticity both for yourself and the brand you’re trying to build.

2. Product branding

Product branding is a combination of product messaging, brand development, brand positioning, product design and features that make a product stand out from the competition so that it can draw customers in and motivate them to buy again. By creating a strong and favourable image of the product in consumers' minds, product branding aims to improve loyalty and brand awareness. The management of a product's lifecycle—from the introduction stage to growth, maturity, and retirement stage—are all steps involved in creating a brand around a product.

The branding of a product can be greatly influenced by the product name, which should be catchy and relevant, as well as the logo, which should be recognisable and relate to the brand name. Consumers can also better understand a product's value proposition with clear and consistent communications. Therefore, marketing collateral, commercials, and product descriptions should all utilise language consistent with the brand's personality as a part of marketing planning. Product branding can be crucial because it potentially aids buyers in identifying and distinguishing one product from others available on the market.

3. Cultural branding

Creating a connection between a brand and cultural aspects of the region or set of values is known as cultural branding. By drawing on their cultural identities, this type of branding seeks to establish a stronger emotional connection with the target audience, thereby trying to connect with the audience on a more intimate level. Instead of targeting the masses, cultural branding potentially targets niche populations who connect with the cultural messaging of the brand.

This approach recognises that, in addition to the rational qualities of a good or service, buyers also base their purchase decisions on emotional and cultural considerations. This approach recognises that, in addition to the buyable features of a good or service, buyers also base their purchase decisions on emotional and cultural considerations, which can be further analysed using buyer intent software.

4. Corporate branding

Corporate branding is the practice of creating a brand identity for a business in its entirety rather than promoting its particular goods or services. As opposed to product branding, which concentrates on specific items or products, corporate branding is focused on creating a comprehensive and cohesive brand image that includes the company's principles, culture, goal, and overarching identity of the firm.

Corporate branding affects the perception of the organisation as a whole among customers, clients, staff, stakeholders, and investors. Corporate branding is an ongoing and long-term strategy and it must be adaptable enough to take into account changes in the commercial environment without losing its essential character. Moreover, the likelihood of employees being inspired and devoted to a firm increases when they can relate to and believe in the brand as a result of positive corporate branding and brand development.

5. Co-branding

Co-branding, also known as brand collaboration or partnership branding, entails working together with two or more brands to develop a new and unique product or service. This type makes use of each brand's high selling points to reach a larger audience and spark greater interest. Co-branding may take many different shapes and forms and serve a variety of functions, such as expanding into new markets, boosting brand recognition, establishing credibility, and improving product attractiveness. 

Co-branding can be used to create unique and innovative goods or services that aren't possible for brands to create on their own. Moreover, co-branding can also help with media attention, increasing brand visibility as a result of the increased exposure. A good co-branding initiative should eventually try to provide value to both businesses and produce a situation where everyone wins. Therefore, when thinking about co-branding, it's crucial to make sure that the alliance adheres to the goals, target market, and core values of both businesses.

In conclusion

An effective branding can distinguish a company from its rivals in a crowded marketplace. A distinct and clearly defined brand strategy can also aid in making a lasting impact on customers. Businesses can take the help of various software to assist them in drafting a comprehensive branding strategy. Essentially, investing in a company's brand is an investment in its long-term viability and success. It's not only about the look and feel of a brand; it's also about developing connections with clients, spurring growth, and leaving a deep imprint on their minds and emotions.

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