How Important Is Small Business Brand Identity?

small business brand identity

If you’re wondering how brand identity can set you apart, imagine two thrift stores sitting side by side.

The first has folding tables piled high with other people’s discarded junk. The floors are dusty, the proprietor is missing, and if the shop does have a name, they’re keeping it close to the chest.

The second is open and airy, looking more like an antique shop than a rummage sale. Its quaint, cutesy name and logo are on everything, from the front door to the shopping bags. Items are separated by category and tastefully displayed. And the proprietor treats you like a long-lost grandchild while she helps you find exactly what you came for.

All other things being equal, why is the second shop more appealing than the first? Because the latter created a fantastic brand identity. The former never even made an attempt.

Brand identity is how you present your small business to the world. It’s not just your logo, the colors you use in your marketing materials or the way you package your products – it’s all of that, plus who you are, what you stand for and why you do what you do.

Here are some benefits to building a strong brand identity.

It Differentiates You From the Competition

Your brand identity sets your small business apart. You’re probably not the only hardware store/donut shop/self-serve car wash in town. So why should customers choose you over your neighbor?

Think back to our thrift shop example. Both shops sell the exact same dime novels and used Corningware, but the next time you’re in the market for a secondhand Levi jacket or a watercolor painting of a sailboat, odds are the second shop is going to get your business.

It Increases Your Perceived Value

Think fast: What does your Gucci wallet hold that a $30 Target knockoff can’t? What channels does your Samsung flatscreen get that aren’t available on a Westinghouse? Why is your teenage daughter spending $35 on one tube of mascara at Sephora when she could spend $7 at Walmart and look just as beautiful?

The answer? Gucci, Samsung and Sephora have created brand identities that lead people to believe they have “better” products. Their brands are perceived to be more valuable based on their names alone because their marketing teams have put in the work to make their brand identity stand out in the crowd.

Pretty cool, right?

It Helps You Draw the Right Audience

Your brand identity may be amazing, but the truth is that you’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. So why spend time, money and energy trying to attract people who aren’t a good fit for your business?

If you’re a free-thinking, spirited therapist who believes that crystals have healing properties and anti-depressants are a last resort, you’re not going to make a good connection with the strait-laced, middle-aged businessman. If you deal in artisanal goat cheese, don’t expect any traction in the vegan market.

Proper brand identity can show potential customers exactly who you are and help you weed out the no-gos, allowing you to concentrate your efforts where they’ll be more effective.

So … How Important is Brand Identity?

It’s hard to narrow down the single most important thing you can do for your small business. But building a solid brand identity is definitely in the running. It’s do or die. Ask Gucci, Samsung or Sephora. They’ll tell you.

Is your small business having a (brand) identity crisis? Let Mischa Communications help you put your personality on display. It’s time to talk.