Is Branding a Niche Business Really Worth the Effort?

12 replies
I say YES!

Branding enables the business owner to break through the barrier of buyer indifference.

In fact, it's my opinion that small tightly niched businesses have a lot to gain and very little to lose by creating and promoting their brand from the get-go. Here's why:

1. Setting up a brand is inexpensive and an invaluable exercise for the owner. It forces the business owner to focus on creating and refining his business message, advantages, positioning, and USP (unique selling proposition). The brand, over time, becomes the owner's focus and his standard or banner which helps him to never lose sight of what his business should be about. Many who don't establish a brand never really create a clear vision of what they want their business to be.

2. Branding improves recognition of your business in the niche marketplace. If you have no brand, prospects will have no incentive to choose your business over any other alternative. But if prospects recognize your business name in the niche because they've been exposed to your brand and logo before (hopefully many times), they will begin to associate your business as a "known" commodity, maybe even the default "go to" place. Without a brand, prospects will have a hard time remembering who you are.

3. Branding reinforces your unique business advantages. If you've chosen your branding message well, prospects will begin to remember that message. If you have no brand, you have nothing memorable for prospects to recognize - no hook or angle that attracts customers.

4. Branding can bring your business added, bankable value. Many businesses are able to bank on their brand - it adds tangible value to their hard assets. Look at the value of the Coke brand, or the McDonald's brand, or Honda, Google, Kraft, Amazon or any other household name. Now I'm not saying your brand will ever be the same as these giants . . . but within a niche marketplace and among targeted prospects, a trusted brand can bring your business new prospects (traffic), credibility, trust, and even a sellable asset if you decide to leave business.

5. Typically, branded businesses are more enticing to support advertising. If your business derives income from outside advertising, having a recognized brand will help you over businesses and web sites that have no distinction or name recognition in the niche.

6. Branding creates trust and credibility in the niche. Prospects know that serious business owners will go to the effort to create a long-term brand. Here-today-gone-tomorrow businesses have no interest in creating a brand. If people really do buy from those they know, like, and trust, having a recognized brand should help you to cement your credibility and staying power.

7. Branding generates new customers. The repetition of your message and the repeated presence of your brand in your niche marketplace will attract potential prospects over your competitors that are forgotten or are unknown to prospects. Other things being equal, we all tend to look for businesses that are familiar to us as we review the alternatives when making a selection. Unbranded choices are hardly familiar to anyone.

8. Branded businesses can be most attractive to affiliates and sponsors. If your business has a brand, chances are good that others will support it and want to promote it over businesses that are not known in the niche.

9. Branding should assure a consistent message, a level of quality, and a business that cares about taking care of its customers. Most branded businesses work hard to keep their reputation un-spotted. They thrive on positive word of mouth and positive media portrayal. Owners of branded businesses put forth effort to protect and enhance their brand.

10. If done well, branding positions you as a leader in your niche. Your target market will "get it" and respond to your marketing. Tightly niched brands have a built in positioning that sets them up to be leaders because they work to be recognized and trusted over their competitors.

Anyone can brand a business regardless of the niche, the budget, or the experience of the owner. Wouldn't it be in your business interest to establish your brand . . . starting today?

The very best to all of you.

Steve
#branding #business #effort #niche #worth
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

    I say YES!
    I say DEPENDS!

    I'm not arguing with any of the points you make in support of branding. If you're concentrating on one business in a particular niche, having a brand can be a great advantage. And if you start a business with an exit strategy in mind (as you probably should), owning a tangible asset with sell-on potential is hugely valuable.

    But, not everyone wants to start a branded business. Some might value the freedom that, for example, operating under several different pen names confers, in that it allows them to create and sell whatever they choose - even multiple products on the same topic to the same market if they want. And some might not want to have to deal with the reputation management that maintaining a brand entails.

    Again, I agree it's important to consider the branding option when planning a business. I'm just saying that one size doesn't fit all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Frank, your point is well taken - as usual.

    Let me suggest, in response to Frank's post, that a business owner at least consider the alternatives of branding vs. not branding your business and then do what you feel will be best for your own situation.

    Personally, I feel that branding is a positive strategy for most small businesses; however, I very much concur that "one size doesn't fit all" in Internet marketing.

    Thanks for the dialogue.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author shmol
      Steve,

      I totally agree with you.

      The trouble with this, is,

      Most people who come on line "to make it rich" could care less about branding--they just want the money.

      You said it best by using the term "business owners" most people who come in line do not consider it a business--again, they just want to make money.

      I make the same mistake back-in-the-day, I came online with no plan, no clue, and as a result no chance to make it--until I figured out that, as with anything, you need to treat what you do, "like a business."

      When, you do this, then things start to change.


      Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

      Frank, your point is well taken - as usual.

      Let me suggest, in response to Frank's post, that a business owner at least consider the alternatives of branding vs. not branding your business and then do what you feel will be best for your own situation.

      Personally, I feel that branding is a positive strategy for most small businesses; however, I very much concur that "one size doesn't fit all" in Internet marketing.

      Thanks for the dialogue.

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Marsha sarv
    100%, after becoming a brand don't need to introduce your business people well-known about your business and services. It makes business smoother.
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonTheFreeman
    I think branding is for business people who have a great deal of conviction towards their niche. I just wonder about brand competition and how difficult it is for new brands to compete against more famous and well-established brands. So it's still better to weigh your options.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      The competition in the niche you enter does not change depending on whether you're branding yourself or not.

      Originally Posted by JasonTheFreeman View Post

      I think branding is for business people who have a great deal of conviction towards their niche. I just wonder about brand competition and how difficult it is for new brands to compete against more famous and well-established brands. So it's still better to weigh your options.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Held off on posting in this thread for awhile...I needed to figure out what I felt about the issue, and what I wanted to say.

    First of all, you're branding yourself whether you know it or not. Even if you do the "multiple books under multiple pen names" thing, those pen names are still being perceived in some light...and that perception is branding. Passive branding, if you will.

    Second, when you stick some specific niche on the end of your product or service--

    --sales training FOR REALTORS--

    --dog training FOR BUSY SINGLE MOMS--

    --the proven fact is that those buyers will pay a premium for it. Despite the inside being exactly the same.

    Think about it...

    ...if you worked for a bank, would you rather buy a "Purchasing process for businesses"...or a "Purchasing process for banks"?

    This is part of branding, too.

    The first step in branding, and its big mama, Marketing, is to STAND OUT.

    If you don't stand out, you blend into the background and nobody buys.

    Even if the business is you, just you, branding is either something you broadcast deliberately or it's something that happens to you.

    I'm reminded of a quote by Trotsky...You may not be interested in strategy, but strategy is interested in you.

    I extend this to branding. You may not be interested in branding, but branding is interested in you.
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      First of all, you're branding yourself whether you know it or not. Even if you do the "multiple books under multiple pen names" thing, those pen names are still being perceived in some light...and that perception is branding. Passive branding, if you will.
      This is the notion that struck me right off when I was going through this Thread.
      And I agree with it !!

      I think some of you are defining "brand" in a very narrow and distinct manner and it's really not intended to be that way at least in in marketing and business, imo.

      To a certain degree each one of us ,even "Internet Trillionaire" god bless him, are Branding ourselves every time we have to say something here in the Forum.


      You guys are looking in to this term "branding" to deeply


      Heck, in some respects you "brand" yourself right when you step outside your house in the morning; let alone starting a online niche business
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  • Profile picture of the author TheTrafficOutlet
    I would also say YES !

    Branding is important for everything we do no matter how little because when you are successful you will have that stamp that everyone will visualise you to remember.

    Ofcourse you will need to have the right image for that certain niche.

    Mr S.Ahmed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Well, I'm all keyed up about going up to the river tomorrow and can't sleep, so Y'all get the dubious honor of my ramblings.

    When I build niche sites, they brand themselves in a way.

    I'll use my "Blue Widgets For Grandma's" example:

    If you're selling Blue Widgets For Grandma's then it would make sense that you'd register bluewidgetsforgrandmas.com.

    The way I build them there will be a logo: Blue Widgets For Grandma's. And a favicon and maybe a tagline. There will be a contact page. On that page, it will say, "Contact Blue Widgets For Grandma's. The newsletter or follow-up series will come from Blue Widgets For Grandma's. The social media pages will be...you guessed it...Blue Widgets For Grandma's.

    I suppose you could purposely not do that, but it wouldn't make sense to me.

    Gone Fishin'...

    Brent
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    • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
      Precisely...
      Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

      If you're selling Blue Widgets For Grandma's then it would make sense that you'd register bluewidgetsforgrandmas.com.

      The way I build them there will be a logo: Blue Widgets For Grandma's. And a favicon and maybe a tagline. There will be a contact page. On that page, it will say, "Contact Blue Widgets For Grandma's. The newsletter or follow-up series will come from Blue Widgets For Grandma's. The social media pages will be...you guessed it...Blue Widgets For Grandma's.
      wait a minute...
      Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

      Gone Fishin'...
      Didn't John McCabe trademark that?
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      • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
        Originally Posted by Sid Hale View Post

        Precisely...


        wait a minute...


        Didn't John McCabe trademark that?
        Shhh...He might be around!

        Brent
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        Get Off The Warrior Forum Now & Don't Come Back If You Want To Succeed!
        All The Real Marketers Are Gone. There's Nothing Left But Weak, Sniveling Wanna-Bees!
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