It’s a given that every business needs a brand. But what many small-to-mid sized businesses don’t realize is that the amount of effort you put into developing a brand must directly relate to the size of the business.

A big business needs a big brand to attract big clients. By big brand we mean spending hours upon hours (and dollars upon dollars) developing the likes of mission statements, visions, a logo, a website, style guides and creative guidelines. It’s slick, it’s polished and it attracts big name clients.

But for SMB, spending the same number of hours and dollars to create a glossy brand only gives the appearance that you’re bigger than you actually are – and therefore too expensive for your target market.

As an SMB, you do still need to put some effort into developing a brand, but it’s important to understand your market so that your brand fits in it. If your brand is too big, it will alienate potential customers; but if your brand is too small, it will also alienate potential customers.

A solopreneur, for example, who is targeting owner/managers doesn’t even need to take the time to develop a brand during the start-up phase. He or she simply needs to take the time to develop relationships. Sure, a simple website and business cards are a must but their success comes from their approach rather than their appearance; their brand will evolve based on the relationships they forge and the connections they make.

Look at the Smart Foundations Business Services Inc. brand. We have a logo and a consistent look and feel, but we didn’t spend many months and dollars to get there. We understood the owner/managers we target and we developed an appropriate level of branding to reach that audience. Our services match the likes of McKinsey or Accenture but we don’t compete with them. They target large companies with their slick and polished brand statement; we target SMB with our small, yet effective brand statement.

Although, we’d like to point out that our skill sets and abilities match our big-name counterparts – even without the big name branding.

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