How to build a small business brand people love

By: François Reynier

Ever wondered why the world’s most famous brands are so loved? Why they have legions of raving fans who will only buy from them and ignore competitors? In this article, we will discuss the strategies you can use to create that connection with your audience.

Research shows that the connections people have with the brands they love can be as deep and emotional as the relationships they have with people. Big corporations’ commitment to building brands people love follows a strong business rationale. Did you know that 75% of purchase decisions are based on emotion? This is why having a strong bond with your audience will positively impact your bottom line. 

If you have a limited marketing budget, building an emotional bond with your audience is very cost-effective to attract and retain high-quality clients. In life as in business, love doesn’t come easy. It takes commitment and a genuine desire to make a positive difference in others’ lives.

Here are some of the most effective strategies used by some of the world’s most loved brands.

Make a striking first impression

Do you believe in love at first sight? In business, as in love, first impressions matter. First encounters can begin a beautiful long-term relationship or lead to… nothing. Did you know that it only takes 1/10th of a second to form a first impression of someone when meeting them for the first time? The same applies when someone comes across your business. They will decide in a split second whether or not to engage further.

By working on your brand, you proactively shape how you are perceived and raise your profile in the marketplace. Does your brand make a striking first impression? If you don’t love your brand and take care of it, who will? How your brand looks will determine your success. Every touchpoint people have with your brand plays a part in that first impression. This means that everything about your brand, whether it is your website, brochures or social media posts, need to be consistent, polished and professional.

If you don’t love your brand and take care of it, who will?

Create a deep connection 

To grow your business sustainably, you need to build long-term relationships with your clients. But how do you build and nurture long-term client loyalty?

In his famous TED Talk ‘How great leaders inspire action’, Simon Sinek explains that ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.’  Showing you are led by a purpose deeper than just making money is the secret to creating a deep connection with your audience.

Your purpose isn’t what your business does or sells — which are things that others can easily copy and offer for a lower price. Your purpose is why you exist: the positive difference you want to make in the world. An authentic and inspiring purpose is the best differentiator. Purpose-led businesses grow up to 3 times faster than the competition, so putting your purpose at the heart of your brand will transform your business.

Did you know that purpose-led businesses grow up to 3 times faster than the competition?

Build trust 

Trust is vital to building business relationships that last. Building trust takes time, but when you do it right, you’ll get a massive return on your investment. It’s all very well for a business to discuss its inspiring mission and vision, but it’s not enough to build trust. In business as in life, actions speak louder than words. Today’s savvy customers want visible proof that your vision and mission are being translated into behaviours before granting you their trust.

Without exception, all the world’s most trusted brands live by actionable principles guiding everything they do and won’t do as a brand. Principles are the high standards you hold paramount above anything else in how you operate.  Principles show your clients how much you care about delighting them. Principles are key to growth. They enable purpose-driven businesses to align all activities towards achievement. They guide and motivate purposeful action. Strong brands always live by and stay faithful to their fundamental principles. When a business shows how far it goes to live by its word, it creates an unbreakable bond of trust with its audience. 

Be consistent

When was the last time you came across a business with a clunky and disjointed? Did you buy anything from them?

On the other hand, a business with a cohesive and consistent brand inspires confidence and trust. A consistent brand stands out whilst being easy to recognise and remember. 

Did you know that it takes 5 to 7 impressions for people to remember your brand? A consistent brand will tremendously increase your business’s visibility without increasing your marketing spending. Consistency is powerful; using brand colours consistently improves brand recognition by up to 80.

Brand consistency is at the heart of some of the world’s most successful businesses. It’s why 94% of the world’s population recognises the Coca-Cola logo. But you don’t need to be Coca-Cola to achieve brand consistency. All you need is easy-to-use and professional brand guidelines to ensure your marketing activities are cohesive and consistent. By sticking to your guidelines and presenting your brand consistently across all platforms, you can increase revenue by up to 23%.

In today’s digital-first world, you don’t have to be a big business to become a well-loved brand. Unfortunately, many small businesses overlook the importance of brand building to sustain growth. Therefore, those investing in brand building gain a lasting competitive edge over those who don’t. Having a strong purpose, well-established principles and brand consistency will go a long way in attracting and retaining your ideal client. 

Using brand colours consistently improves brand recognition by up to 80%


The benefits of having a strong brand are multifaceted. A strong brand will help your business attract better clients, save time and money on digital marketing, and increase your prices and profit margins. By being proactive in deciding to rebrand, rather than reactive, you can save time, money, and many headaches in the short and long term.

Connect with François and Acacia

*We strive to do our best when supporting small business and their growth. Our business databases can give you information and data that can help you with advertising, market research, company information, and industry factsheets. If you have already taken the plunge, we would love for you to join us at a seminar, our workshops cover digital marketing, business model canvas and planning, demystifying taxes and intellectual property to name a few. Visit our events page or website for more information.

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