A strong brand differentiates your company from competitors and stimulates growth. Every company, no matter the size, would benefit from a brand marketing strategy. Sonja Hartgring, who joined the Main Capital team this month as Manager Marketing & Communications, explains why it’s important and how you can start. A pragmatic approach.
A strong brand differentiates your company from competitors. When done right, brand marketing can make people know, trust and even love your brand. We all know powerful brands like Apple, Nike or Tesla, and most likely have purchased from them before – or at least thought about it. Needless to say, branding can be a tremendous accelerator for growth.
Why branding is important for business-to-business
Branding is not solely reserved for the big consumer brands mentioned above. Also business-to-business companies benefit from a strong brand, even if the branding can be challenging. Especially in SaaS, differentiating yourself as a provider of abstract software services, takes time and effort. However, as some of our portfolio companies prove, it is very well possible to establish beautiful brands within the SaaS landscape. You can read all about these successful branding examples in this newsletter.
Potential blockers for branding
For many SME’s though, the threshold to start brand marketing is quite high. Understandable, since developing a brand story and design are time-consuming processes. You need to rethink – and realign internally on – who you are, what you stand for, and how you want to be perceived. Operational issues often take priority over these deep, existential corporate questions.
Another potential blocker for branding is the required budget. Developing your brand fundamentals is costly, and to create waves with your new logo and brand story you need targeted campaigns – and even bigger budgets. Creative development, video production, media spend and channel preparations are expensive and require in-house marketing specialists, even if agencies are doing most of the legwork.
This is most likely why many companies don’t venture into brand marketing until they are of a considerable size. This is a shame, because sometimes a rebranding process is a dire necessity. For example, as a result of a buy-and-build strategy. Accumulated add-ons can strengthen a company’s position in the market, but may confuse the clarity of its brand proposition.
Use branding as a strategic facilitator
Branding should therefore not be considered as purely a marketing activity, but as a foundation for your business, which will facilitate many aspects of your operations. A well-defined brand story gives direction to your team; it helps people explain why you do what you do, the way you do it. I have seen examples where a rebranding gave a great boost to company morale. A clear (societal) purpose sharpens your strategy, improves your sales pitch and facilitates recruitment. It will also create focus in your marketing and communications calendar. Especially for growing companies without large budgets for content creation, this can be very helpful.
Think big, but start small
The complexity of the process or the vast choice of marketing and communications channels can be overwhelming. The key is to think big, but start small: the branding process starts well before any large-scale marketing or communications campaign is even needed. Define the ultimate goal for your brand, then break it down into (yearly) targets, and take it from there. Focus on the essentials first: a clear brand story and visual style.
We realize all beginnings are hard. In the coming months, Main Capital Partners will start its own branding journey. I am very honored to join the Main team as a guide in this process. Fortunately, we can count on our wide network of successful companies and share in their insights and experiences. Do you want to take part in this knowledge? Please don’t hesitate to connect with us, we will do the same.
Sonja Hartgring joined the Main team as Manager Marketing & Communications in July. She has 10+ years of experience in marketing, communications and PR, and building specialized teams. Before coming to Main, she worked as Digital Communications and Media Manager at Shell, where she was responsible for campaign strategy and leading the digital marketing team. Before, she helped recruitment company YoungCapital during several branding processes and campaigns, leading the Communications team.
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