Small but mighty – use your size to build a powerful brand

by | Jan 5, 2023 | Fun, General, Insights | 0 comments

Creating a strong and powerful brand is no longer the exclusive domain of big companies. Even a small company can create a powerful brand with the right steps.

The brand name is the first contact with the consumer

A brand’s name is often its first contact with the consumer. The name inevitably evokes some perceptions of the product or service in the listener and says something about the company behind it. A weak and merely descriptive name gives a bland impression and is easily forgettable. 

The brand name is also an important aspect of how the product or service is to be positioned on the market. Consider for example MailChimp. It sounds playful and fun. International Business Machines (IBM) is much more serious. The same applies to logos. Twitter’s logo is playful, while Tesla’s and Uber’s logos are more polished and serious.

When choosing a name, you should think about what kind of images you want the name to evoke. Often, good names are those that indirectly hint at something about the quality or feature of the product or service without directly describing them. An example of such a name is Mayochup (a mixture of mayonnaise and ketchup).

You should not choose a completely descriptive name. It does not leave a strong and lasting impression and it cannot be protected by a trademark. Purely generic or descriptive names are available to everyone to use, so you cannot get exclusive rights to them. 

Brand gives you power

The advantage of a strong brand, whether big or small, is that well-branded products can be priced higher and get higher customer loyalty. A strong brand gives pricing flexibility. That’s why Apple can get 75% of smartphone profits while having a market share of “only” less than 15%. 

On the other hand, a higher price is not always a guarantee of superiority. For example, in several tests, consumers have preferred coffee from cheap fast food chains to much more expensive Starbucks coffee. Likewise, it is often said that the difference between a Casio watch and a Rolex is that Casio keeps time better. 

Of course, even the most valuable brand can be deliberately positioned as affordable, such as, for example, Sweden’s two most valuable brands, Ikea and H&M. However, it is challenging for a small company to position itself as a cheap brand because it requires volume, highly effective logistics, and supply chains, larger marketing budgets, etc. In other words, these are areas where big companies excel and have an advantage over small companies. It is easier for a small company to position itself as a premium brand.

It’s human to root for the small guy

The good news for a small business is that the power of the brand does not depend on the size of the company. Big companies have also noticed this and use this to their advantage. For example, large breweries often introduce product lines that are deliberately made to look as if they were made by craft breweries. 

Can you imagine watching the TV show Shark Tank if they only had pitches from companies like Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and Microsoft? It would probably be quite boring and clinical. Small companies intuitively feel more genuine, relatable, and interesting. 


Four tips for a small business to build a strong brand:

  1. Choose a name that is compatible with the desired brand image. Often a good choice is the so-called suggestive name. A good example is Shopify. A fully descriptive name is bad.
  1. Make sure that the name is registrable and does not infringe on the rights of others. This can be done by conducting a trademark search. Changing the name afterward is always expensive, so you should make proper searches before committing to a brand name.
  1. Use visual elements to reinforce the desired brand image. Humans tend to remember the visual appearance of a brand better than its name. That’s why logos are very powerful, and big companies use a lot of time and money in them. But remember that having a memorable logo does not necessarily have to be expensive. Twitter’s first logo cost only 15 USD. 
  1. Use smallness to your advantage in brand building. Few people can get excited about a new product innovation from a global giant. It is different if the innovation comes from a small company. Use that as part of your branding and marketing. 

Finally, remember that an essential piece in building a brand is trademark registration. If the brand is strong and protected with a registered trademark, it is on a solid foundation. If it is not backed by trademark registration, someone else can register a similar name and force you to change your brand name.

Related Posts