According to the US Small Business Administration, there are more than 30 million small businesses in the United States, and that doesn’t even include mid- to large-size businesses. Without a doubt, each small business is competing with at least thousands of other businesses trying to reach the exact same audience with relatively similar products. For a business to get noticed among this mass of competition, it needs a recognizable brand to stand apart.
Brand name influences 77% of consumer purchases, according to a report from the Integer Group. And that’s conscious brand recognition – experts claim 90% of all purchasing decisions are made subconsciously.
“A major part of our brain is busy with automatic processes, not conscious thinking,” said George Loewenstein, a behavioral economist. “A lot of emotions and less cognitive activities happen.”
But doesn’t mean small businesses can’t stand out from the crowd and compete with the big dogs.
A Harvard Business Review study found the key to building a brand starts with values. Of consumers surveyed, 64% cited shared values as the primary reason for having a relationship with a brand, while only 13% attributed repeated interactions with the brand as a reason.
This is fantastic news for small businesses because it means they don’t necessarily need a competitive multi-touch campaign to build brand loyalty—they simply need strong values. How about honesty, humility, or authenticity? Around 91% of consumers reported they’re more likely to buy from an “authentic brand” than from a “dishonest brand.”
Small businesses don’t need to launch a large-scale marketing campaign to begin building a memorable brand. Branding starts with something as simple as a logo or slogan. A signature color can increase brand recognition by as much as 80%, and it’s likely not a coincidence 33% of the top 100 brands have the color blue in their logo.
Building a brand takes time and intentional effort, but branding is essential for small businesses to stand out from the crowd. Small businesses might not be able to stand apart with the most aggressive marketing tactics or competitive pricing models, but they can build a loyal customer base with an authentic, recognizable brand.