How to Make Your SME Brand Distinctive

Last Updated: 

July 25, 2023

If you are an entrepreneur with a growing small to medium-sized business, then you will not need reminding of how difficult it is to make a success of your venture. While this sounds counterintuitive to mention (after all, who wants to wallow in despair about the challenges they face?), it is helpful to at least bring the inevitable problems you face in growing an SME into focus.

The reason for this analysis is simple. It is only hard to build a profitable small to medium-sized enterprise because of the challenges posed by a series of smaller individual issues.

This includes working out how to build a strong product without decimating your profit margins, hiring a team who are talented and trustworthy, as well as working out how to overcome financial challenges associated with paying your workforce, paying taxes, and investing in your business. However, arguably the steepest challenge you face when growing an SME is standing out in the marketplace. 

Key Takeaways on Branding for SMEs

  1. Craft a Distinctive Logo: Start building your brand with a unique and eye-catching logo, setting yourself apart from competitors and creating a memorable identity for your SME.
  2. Reflect on Business Principles: Define the key principles your business upholds to develop a strong brand image. Weave these principles into your marketing to resonate with your target audience.
  3. Show Personality: Connect with your audience on a personal level by infusing your brand with your own personality. Customers are drawn to brands that show character, honesty, and authenticity.
  4. Be Different: Stand out from the crowd by doing the opposite of what your competitors are doing. Forge your own path and find unique ways to attract customers who may be neglected by your rivals.
  5. Focus on Distinction: Once your brand stands out, you'll be better equipped to overcome various challenges faced by SMEs and increase your chances of success in the marketplace.
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Why focus on distinction? 

Once you crack being able to stand out from others, you are well on your way to solving the problems listed above. There are countless businesses in your sector, and when times are as uncertain as they are at the moment, getting customers through the door on a consistent basis isn’t guaranteed. This is why building a rock-solid brand is the most vital change you can make in order to increase the chances of your SME succeeding.

Here are some tips to help you make your SME brand more distinctive:

Spend time crafting your logo

When you are building something as vague and difficult to pinpoint as a brand, it is useful to start with the stuff you can control. After all, a great deal of what makes a great brand is the reaction of customers and their role in developing the mystique of your company. When you are just starting out, this is impossible to trigger or harness in any meaningful way, so make life simple for yourself by improving the quantifiable aspects of your brand.

A great example of this is your logo or sign design. There are several rules of sign design to follow, but there is nothing stopping you from creating a distinctive logo that stands head and shoulders above those of your competitors.

Reflect on your business principles

Another helpful way to craft your brand image is to reflect on the key principles that your business wants to uphold. This might sound overly deep, but it will give you a strong indication of whether your SME has legs. If your company has no goal it wants to accomplish and no approach to business, then you will stand no chance of elevating yourself above your competitors. Once you know what these principles are, you can weave them into your marketing and create a deeper resonation with your audience.

Does your brand reflect your personality?

On a similar note to the previous point, you need to try and enable your audience to connect with your brand on a personal level. The vast majority of businesses are cold and corporate, saying the same boring sound bites because they are scared of showing weakness.

In truth, this is totally the wrong way to build a brand. The secret to building a truly powerful brand is to market your business as you would a human being. People don’t like or fall in love with other people because of their blandness, their professionalism, or their mediocrity. They build relationships off of quirks, memorable experiences, shared passion, and, yes, weaknesses.  

Therefore, don’t be afraid to show some character. Nowadays, customers aren’t so bothered about relaxed, personal tones of voice from businesses. They are being sold products constantly, so they are crying out for a brand that cuts through the corporate noise and connects with them on a deeper level. This means using your own personality to inject some life into your brand. Don’t be afraid to be edgy, speak your mind, and, above all, be honest.

People can sense honesty and will often reward you with their custom when it happens.

Look at what everyone else is doing and do the opposite

You now know about injecting some distinctive personality traits into your SMEs brand identity, but now you need to work on standing out from the crowd by just being different.

You can do this easily by assessing your competitors and simply doing exactly the opposite as them. Whatever their message or brand positioning is, don’t copy it. You will only ever be a pale imitation of their business. Instead, forge your own path and find the customers who are being neglected by your rivals.

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