In 2013, American Express Canada’s Small Business Services conducted a marketing survey that involves around 529 small business owners in Canada. The research team found that 36 percent of the participants wanted to expand their brand but are clueless as to where to begin. Interestingly, 84 percent of the small businesses understand how important branding is to the success of their companies and yet 86 percent do not want to get expert help.
“It is surprising to see that the majority of small business owners aren’t investing in the necessary third-party resources to help them develop and refine their brand. Branding plays a significant role in the overall success of their business and shouldn’t be taken lightly by business owners,” said Athena Varmazis, American Express Canada’s Small Business Services Vice President and General Manager.
Across the border, Washington-based research firm Clutch’s 2015 Small Business Digital Marketing Survey revealed that most small business owners think a mobile app is something exclusive for the big brands. Cost could be an issue, however, the survey, which covered 350 small businesses found only 15 percent have mobile apps while 18 percent plan to create one in the future. One-third of those who have mobile apps only financed the app technology in 2014.
“Most businesses understand that a mobile-friendly or responsive website is imperative to their business, but many still lag behind adopting a mobile app strategy,” said AppsBuilder’s marketing manager Krista McLandress in the Clutch report.
Another American company Yodle, a local online marketing and advertising company, did a survey of 306 small business owners in the United States (U.S.) and found 52 percent of the businesses do not even have a website to advertise their products or services. Similarly, 51 percent of businesses do not have accounting services technology.
These are but few branding challenges many small business owners in Canada and the U.S. face. In Asia, StrategiCom consultant Charissa Lim wrote in JobCentral’s community blog, “The attraction of talent can be done through employer branding, which refers to ‘the attraction and retention of skilled personnel’”. Lim expressed that employer branding is a relatively new concept in Asia when compared to employers in other developed countries. JobCentral is one of the biggest startup success stories in Asia.
Branding Investment: Businessmen vs. Businesswomen
When it comes to branding, a majority of businesswomen hit the spot. In the 2015 SMB Branding Perceptions Survey, which covered 719 small business owners in the U.S., found that female business owners invest more money and time when it comes to business branding.
Women are 31 percent more likely to spend money on a professionally made logo. On the other hand, men are only 17 percent more likely to shell out money for outsourcing. Apart from the logo, women business owners were found to make it a priority to have a professional-looking website. Moreover, a professional-looking websites influence their own consumer decisions.
Moving forward, the survey also revealed that 76 percent of the respondents across genders are positive that a professionally done website help attract a ‘better quality of customer’. Less than a quarter, at 22 percent, do not put any importance on how a website should look.
“If you’re a local business and dependent on word of mouth, a website may not be as important. That being said, I don’t think anyone would argue that having a website does give a business more credibility,” said 99designs’ CMO Pamela Webber in an interview with Examiner.com.
Starting A Business In Singapore: Branding Tips
Get a professional logo. When setting up a business in Singapore, make sure you have a professional logo to accompany your services or products. Ask help from the professionals.
Landor and Brandient are two design firms included in 99designs’ 15 famous graphic design companies from around the globe. The two agencies have offices in Singapore. You can also hire freelance designers, check out LinkedIn’s list here.
Define your brand’s message. What do you want people to think when they hear or see your brand? This is the question you need to answer when you define your brand’s message.
Copywriting experts can help you fine-tune the message and find the ‘voice’ of your brand. A brand’s voice is the language and personality your company uses when delivering a product or a service. If you are a buisnessowner who is not familiar with marketing, this Non-marketer’s Guide to Building a Startup Brand may be helpful to you.
Sign in and participate in pop-up and charitable events. Putting up a small tent and table in a charitable event is a win-win situation for you and the charity. It’s the simplest way to infiltrate the local community. It also provides you with a chance to observe competitors, see what they do and how they do it.
Be social in social media.
A Vistaprint survey found that 88 percent of 2,200 small business owners use Facebook to market their brands. LinkedIn followed at 39 percent, Twitter at 31 percent, Google+ at 22 percent, Pinterest at 20 percent and video king YouTube at 17 percent.
But having social media accounts for your business is not enough. You need to ‘engage’ your target market by providing quality and relevant content, and by talking to them in your available social platforms. Aim for long-term relationships with your target market and you can do it using the powers of social media.
Hire the best talents. Your employees can be your best advertisers. That is why it is important to hire the best talents from the beginning. Not only are they instrumental in operating your business smoothly but also in promoting your brand. Word-of-mouth is still very effective despite the success of digital marketing practices.
In 2015, Neilsen, a world-renowned consumer insights company, published their Global Trust in Advertising Survey where they sought the opinion of 30,000 respondents spread across 60 countries on different advertising mediums. The findings revealed that a vast majority of the respondents still find word-of-mouth recommendations from individuals they know and trust as the most powerful form of advertising.
Singapore is one of the world’s biggest magnets for the best talents. Apart from helping you register your business in Singapore, we, at Richmond, can offer assistance in helping you apply for an Employment Pass (EP) should you be interested in relocating to Singapore while running your business.
We also offer a wide array of corporate secretarial services. Give us a call today and let’s talk about how you can start and operate your business in Singapore more efficiently.