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Ciao,
we
are
Sublimio.
We create impactful copy solid strategies stunning identities surprising names powerful logos wow experiences fascinating voices novel concepts slick visuals gorgeous videos strong brands
for meaningful brands. ambitious brands. unique brands. memorable brands. bold brands. outstanding brands. confident brands. daring brands. demanding brands. inspired brands. a tough world.
Andrea Ciulu Matteo Modica Strategist and Copywriter of Sublimio by Andrea Ciulu 4 MIN. READ 16.03.2022
Andrea Ciulu Matteo Modica Strategist and Copywriter of Sublimio by Andrea Ciulu 4 MIN. READ

Can branding help you expand a small business?

You might have not considered it, but it actually is a decisive factor for the success of your plan.

How do you expand a small business? How do your personal training program, your pastry shop, and your pet care boutique become something bigger and more impactful?

Many small business owners ask themselves this question every day and suggestions abound: most of them are – correctly – business-minded. Communication is not usually seen as part of the equation and yet, its absence might hinder your efforts. The health of your brand – no matter how small – really makes a difference when it comes to expanding.

How branding can help you expand a small business

While branding in itself will not expand your small business, having a solid, articulated brand is a vital precondition for many expansion strategies. See it as securing your vessel before moving from calm waters to the open sea.

Here are some ways branding can help expand a small business.

Case 1  Expand a Small Business Through Franchising

Once your small business is running just fine, you might be tempted to expand it by creating a franchising, and having other people… well, adopt your brand. Yes, exactly: franchising is all about branding. But not just in the sense that you should quickly cook up a brand so all of the franchisees will look the same.

You actually need to start branding way before your commercial approach and make your brand grow, so that it will be recognized as valuable by aspiring franchisees. Would you rather open a BurgerKing or a BurgerPrince?

A strong brand will reflect better negotiating conditions and franchisee retention. A weak brand might just be a complete turn-off.

sublimio yellow blue expand a small business perspective
Photo by Tamanna Rumee

Case 2 — Expand a Small Business Through Strategic Partnerships

A big journey is easier in a good company: in order to expand a small business, you want to have the right partners. They might share their customers with you, set up a discount program, or decide to associate their products with yours.

strong brand is key in convincing your potential partners that this is the right thing to do and that your business is healthy.

Not just that: your brand will also help your partners understand the values your business is associated with. This is important because they are going to be associated with those values, too. A rock festival might want to be associated with Red Bull, but a violin school might not (or they could, in case they are looking to attract young students!).

Case 3 — Expand a Small Business With a Loyal Customer Base

Having a loyal customer base to rely on is a great advantage, especially when you are starting small. While bigger brands might just go full speed ahead on market penetration, a smaller one wants to raise a community before it expands. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your customers will love you. Simply, they will remember you.

People tend to go for brands that come to mind more easily, and this also holds true for small businesses. That cleaning company that’s stuck in your mind will be more likely to have repeat customers than the other one that just blends into the background.

how to expand a small business with branding bar and customer experience
Photo by Lee Campbell

Case 4 — Expand a Small Business by Targeting New Markets

Maybe you got a foothold in a certain sector and you are tempted to target an entirely new market. Say you have been selling pet clothes for a while and now you would like to sell kids’ clothes, too.

While this is not an easy feat, a good brand can help you pull it off. This is because the brand is about more than just “what you sell”. It is about values that can potentially be extended from one area to another.

Think about Virgin or Caterpillar: these incredibly strong brands easily expanded their business to new markets because people knew what to expect from them, respectively irreverence and sturdiness. In the same fashion, you can expand a small business by making sure the brand is as big as its ambitions.

Case 5 — Expand a Small Business Through e-Commerce

If you have some kind of shop, you might be tempted to go online and start your own e-commerce website. This can help you expand your small business quickly, but it’s not exempt from risks. What if you just get ignored?

Direct-to-consumer brands have been all the rage for a few years now, but in this context, branding is more important than ever.

Unfortunately, many brands fall victim to what has been called “blanding”: they ultimately look all the same. In a digital context (the Instagram feed, for example) this is deadly: there is no shopkeeper there, no doormat, no cue to differentiate you from other sellers. It’s all down to the brand and how well it communicates.

Fix your brand before you expand

It should go without saying but it’s worth stressing the concept that branding takes time. Your branding efforts will start paying off in months, maybe in a year.

This means that before thinking about expanding your business you should focus on your brand and prepare it for the road ahead. It will take some patience, but you will be glad you did it.

AUTHOR Andrea Ciulu Copywriter & Strategist Andrea Ciulu Matteo Modica Strategist and Copywriter of Sublimio
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