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Sticky Branding Gets a Thumbs Up

When you think of brands, the first that may be front of mind are the big ones such as McDonald's or Coca-Cola. However, these brands got to where they are with large budgets and virtually limitless resources. Branding is important because it attracts new customers and helps to retain existing ones but how does a small business with with limited funds approach the problem? Much of the information and guidance that is readily available relates to big business but very little of it pertains to small businesses.

The importance of branding for small business

Jeremy Miller has released a book called Sticky Branding: 12.5 Principles to Stand Out, Attract Customers, and Grow an Incredible Brand in which he says that small businesses should approach their brand building with as much focus and dedication as the large businesses. He draws on his experience of working in a family-owned recruiting business with declining revenues and leads. The analysis carried out by his team showed that they were just another company with no differentiation when it came to branding. He realized that the solution to the problem was to practice what he named "sticky branding" which would help in new customer acquisition and retention of existing ones. He then analyzed what makes sticky branding work and this is the basis of his book.

Is this a read for you?

This book offers practical guidance for medium and small businesses on how to strengthen their brand. It seeks to provide insights into the mindset needed and the actions required to establish a strong brand or to redefine your existing brand. As can be expected, there is a repetition of the advice offered by other marketing gurus in the book but the collection of this advice makes it worth the read because much of this content is impressive. This is particularly true of the advice and guidance from the author based his actual applied experience.

It would be fair to say that the book digs deeper into the analysis of the process than much of the other literature. For instance, he explains the transformation of a company in the general logistics business to a market leader in the business of fashion and retail. This process took more than a year and a half and involved hard decisions such as laying off employees and building new customer relationships while turning away paying customers whose business was no longer suitable. The focus on this period was just to survive while these measures were taking effect.

The book is helpful because of the use of relevant case studies and the activities to be found at the end of each chapter. The businesses chosen for the case studies comprise of a mix of big and small businesses to drive home the point and the activities can be implemented simply and easily. The recommendations can be used by businesses of any size because they focus on branding activities that take into account limited budgets. Small businesses should be able to find answers to some of the most important branding questions.

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