How can small businesses utilise the power of brand knowledge?
Knowledge is Power. That’s a phrase we have many times over but how does it connect to you as a small business in an ocean of competition fighting for the same space in the minds of your target audience? Through harnessing the power of brand knowledge, this blog answers that exact question.
This post answers it above by providing a pyramid which consists of four brand developmental building blocks that helps to positively establish your brand in the minds of your clients.
Why is this helpful you ask?
Each stage of this pyramid has its own rewards and merits as it helps you to build aspects of your brand which are covered below. This culminates in gaining active, loyal, and recurring clients, who also share the benefits of partnering with you to those around them.
Step 1 – Identity
Firstly, we start with salience, the fundamental foundation for all the other brand building blocks. Salience is the ability for a small business to build a detailed firm awareness of our business in their heads. Knowledge from the perspective of a small business is in how you convey who you are to your clients. Who you are is dependent on how clients recognise you when you come to their minds.
The biggest businesses and brands in the world all had to start with being recognisable. When we think of some of the largest B2B brands such as IBM or Adobe, the performance of their products would mean absolutely nothing if you didn’t initially recognise them!
Once you reach the point of salience, you become a part of the mental conversation of a client that gives you the potential to gain opportunities to business growth and awareness!
Step 2 – Meaning
Simply being recognised isn’t enough though, once you achieve the base of brand knowledge in salience, clients then search for the meaning of your brand and consider is it matches their needs and wants.
This can be surmised by the next question that forms in the minds of potential clients; ‘what are you?’
What your business is, is dependent on how you meet the needs of your clients in terms of product or service performance, as well as socially and psychologically.
One fantastic example that allows you to express the meaning of your small business is through providing case studies and testimonials. This covers both the performance and provides positive imagery of what it means to do business with you.
Step 3 – Response
Following this, clients will make judgements about your business and construct feelings towards your brand:
- They will assess the quality of the product or service; the actual quality, as well as the perceived quality based on your marketing message
- They will also consider the level of credibility your business has through three key criteria: the level of expertise, the amount of trustworthiness and through the extent of likeability
- Consequently, clients will weigh up the level of relevancy your product or service has towards their needs and wants
- Finally, clients will measure you against potential competitors and consider what competitive advantages you have that makes you the superior choice to select
Clients will have formed these judgements based on the quality and likeability factors you have provided in your marketing messaging or through referrals.
You will know you have reached this stage because clients will be making enquiries, as well as increase their levels of engagement on platforms such as social media or by click-throughs on email newsletters.
Step 4 – Relationships
Once you show this level of knowledge through your marketing communications, you reach the pinnacle of the pyramid, brand resonance.
This is the place all small businesses will want to reach because once you reach this stage; it activates four crucial factors:
- A fierce loyalty which results in recurring clients and purchases
- It evokes a strong attachment and trust in which they consider it a ‘special’ engagement
- You develop a powerful sense of community amongst your clients who feel like they are part of a business ‘family’ who share similar values and understanding
- Clients remain actively engaged which is the strongest form of resonance as they carry the business values and vision as an ambassador into their personal conversations and engagements, this is one of the strongest forms of word-of-mouth marketing and is viewed as sincere and authentic by those that hear of your business
Similar to stage 3, as a small business, it will become evident you have reached resonance through seeing increased engagement from clients, but on top of this, they will carry your brand strengths and values in conversations, both online and offline if the occasion occurs where your brand is recalled or relevant to the discussion.
What does all this mean?
Once you have achieved all 4 stages, the relationship your clients have with you, and your brand, will both increase the frequency they refer you within their network. Furthermore, they remain a loyal client for a long time to come.
Transmitting knowledge is a key cornerstone in building a healthy flourishing business, and at SME Needs we have the rights tool, connections and listening skills to share your vision with your potential customers.