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Power of Branding & Positioning for Small / Micro Businesses

1. What is a Brand?

2. What is Branding? What is Brand Identity?

3. What is Positioning?

4. How are Branding and Positioning different / related?

5. Why does my small business need Branding?

6. What is Brand Personality?

7. When should I start thinking about Branding in my small business?

8. How can I achieve Branding for my small business?

9. What is Brand Recall?

10. Is Branding expensive?

11. Should I prioritize Branding in Business?

Natasha started her journey as a homepreneur, years back. Fabulous cook that she was, constantly pestered by friends and family for her secret ingredients and recipes. It all started with Natasha presenting neatly labelled bottles of spice mixes to a friend. Soon, word-of-mouth spread and she was constantly requested for homemade spice mixes. As friends and family wanted more and more of her magic cooking formulas, they started offering her money for the freshly ground, carefully curated spice combinations for different recipes. However, she could never take it beyond the side-lines, a little jig for her otherwise monotonous homemaker routine, and Natasha never thought anything beyond it.

However, off-late she noticed some weird things happening around her. Demand for her spice mix bottles became more sporadic than regular; she saw some new spice bottles on the shelf in the local grocery stores, these were amusingly relatable names as NAT-Asha’s , Nat’s Kitchen etc. Interestingly, most of the time she realised that these bottles were being marketed by some friends of friends, relatives of friends, and friends of relatives who had come across the food cooked by her spice mixes at some point.

Should Natasha be upset about this?

Could this be called an infringement of intellectual property or any other kind of malpractice in trade and commerce?

Did she actually lose any dues (tangible or intangible) in this story?

If yes, why did this happen to her and does she have any legal recourse?

The answer to all these questions lies in Branding.
Yes, Natasha has every reason to be upset. She did not realise that all these years she was actually curating a new market. At least in her microenvironment, she created a demand for locally sourced, freshly ground, and carefully curated spice mixes that had a distinct flavour over the run-of-the-mill branded ones. She created a concept of personal touch to food with secret ingredients which was proving to be a game-changer in the emerging society where gender as well as kitchen dynamics were shifting constantly.
Just that she did not get any credit for this work that she did gradually but effectively over the years! Also, she was never able to take the business beyond a side gig, while people who copied her concept and captured a share of her customers have bottles of their brand names over the shop shelves!
Adding insult to injury, she cannot claim any infringement of intellectual property or malpractice and cannot seek legal recourse as she had not established any brand identity for herself!

Power of Branding and Positioning for Small Businesses / Micro Businesses
Power of Branding and Positioning for Small Businesses / Micro Businesses

What is a Brand?

A brand is a concept that helps people identify your business as a distinct identity. Tools like a logo, tagline, brand colours, advert jingles etc. help create that distinct identity that is instantly recognizable.

What is Branding? What is Brand Identity?

Harnessing the branding tools like logo, tagline, colours etc. by placing them repeatedly on your products or services to provide them with a tangible identity is called branding. In the above case, Natasha could have developed a business name, logo for herself. She could have gotten some labels printed with a specific colour scheme and graphics and pasted these labels on every bottle that she gifted or sold. Over the years, these labels of a specific design, carrying a specific logo and tagline, would have become her brand identity.

Why does my small business / micro business need Branding?

· Branding helps in retaining old customers as customers when happy with a product or service, form a mental association with the tangible aspects of the brand. Don’t you inadvertently look for a bottle of a certain label in your kitchen cupboard when cooking your favourite recipe? How soon do you want to replace it with a new one from the same brand as soon as it gets over?

· Branding adds credibility to your business. Any formal business would be happy to liaison and take chances with a new product or service that has a professional identity. In the above case, an unlabelled bottle of spice mix doesn’t stand a chance at a local grocery store shelf; howsoever good quality and cost-effective it would be.

· Branding helps in winning new customers and therefore expanding your business. How do I talk about your product or service to anyone if it does not have a name and identity? Branding helps in measuring customer satisfaction, word-of-mouth publicity, referring, and everything that contributes to organic growth of a business.

. Branding helps in Reputation Management of your Business as it grows outside your known or referred circle of people