Why savvy female entrepreneurs need branding more than ever
7 March 2019, with Stella Gianotto, Branding Expert – First appeared on The Daily Bulletin.
Branding isn’t new, but it’s become an integral factor in any business success, especially for female entrepreneurs. With an oversupply of skincare, hair and beauty products, fashion accessories, healthy supplements and other products offered by the global reach of the internet, achieving a global business, as a female entrepreneur, demands more than an slick looking LinkedIn profile or the convenience of a scrolling target market waiting to buy from you on Instagram.
To achieve rapid growth in any business sector demands a viral spread of your brands awareness coupled with people taking up your individual offering, before a ‘me-too’ competitor fills your market segment. According The Financial Review, “Women today own almost 40 per cent of Australia’s small businesses, contributing to a 46 per cent increase in the number of female business operators in Australia over the past two decades”.
While it will take some time, female entrepreneurs need to be savvy about how they invest effort into creating a consistent personal brand that will help propel you towards your business goals more quickly. To be able to maintain dominance in your market requires three things:
- A strong brand presence;
- Customer retention and;
- Vigorously building your brands presence.
So how can you achieve an iconic brand?
In the past, you could’ve attained your business goals through vigorous marketing or aggressive advertising. In today’s over-saturated marketplace and under reported female entrepreneurialism it requires a strategically crafted BRAND identity.
Until recently, branding was only achievable by large national or international companies in any arena. But that is no longer the case. The Internet, social media and global distribution systems now allow every female entrepreneur to be global. And if they can achieve strong brand recognition they can become – ICONIC.
For females, it’s not as difficult as it seems, and we have plenty of home-grown examples who have done just that.
Look at Michelle Bridges, who went from humble trainer to building a personal empire worth $60 million, according to BRW, based on her personal brand’s core values of fitness, health and perseverance.
Or consider Janine Allis, the Aussie Businesswoman behind Boost Juice and resident ‘shark’ on Shark Tank whose business now in 13 countries (who started operations in her own home) is now worth $66 million.
There are many others listed in Smart Company’s 2018 Top Female Entrepreneurs, Naomi Simpson of Big Red Group, Barb Di Corti of Enjo, Kristina Karlson of Kikki K and Sue Ismail of Nads Hair Removal and the list continues on.
Understand, what a brand, IS?
Simply put, a brand (your brand) should be in the imagination of your client or customer when they think about your offering. Think of a cool beverage to give you a boost, and it’s Boost Juice. In need of some stylish desk accessories, and it’s Kikki K. That’s what a brand (whether it is a product or an individual) aims to create – top of mind recall.
While your name conveys who you are and a logo conveys what you do, your BRAND represents your clients’ values, lifestyle or self-image – who they are. If you can combine this message to influence your customers through your marketing and advertising efforts, you’ll create a very powerful brand and simultaneously carve out a niche market for yourself.
Why is a female brand important?
Your brand must be as vitally important to your clients and customers, as it is to you. Remember the top of mind recall we talked about earlier? This is called brand recognition.
While this sounds like a tall order, consider the number of every-day products which now feature the company logo prominently in the design. It is not the logo the wearer is proudly promoting, but the brand (and their experience) behind it. Once the brand achieves this type of recognition the products or services simply sell themselves.
Branding should be considered early on when setting up your business. Why invest in a company name, logo development, website and social media account, without reflecting on how they support and enhance your brand? As stated previously, branding should be vital to you as it is to your clients and customers. Branding should be considered early on when setting up your business. Why invest in a company name, logo development, website, social media account, and flyer printing without reflecting on how they support and enhance your brand? As stated previously, branding should be vital to you as it is to your clients and customers.
Investing in identifying your brand before all of these ‘marketing’ activities will accelerate your business in the start-up phase and save on ‘do-overs’ later. An effective brand strategy will allow you to leverage a generous portion of ‘free advertising’ through social media and public relations.
Because your brand has social significance, as well as product appeal, your early clients become advocates and spokespeople for you and your market offerings. More so than any logo, business name or advertisement ever will. It’s these loyal followers that will be fearless and pave the way to opening your brand to other segments or market opportunities.
That same brand message will attract attention in both traditional media (pr) and social media, creating viral growth while creating business momentum when launching. Keeping in mind that if your brand targets women, they are also the gateway to multiple markets as women heavily influence most household budgets and expenditure.
In a society where women are encouraged to stand tall, be bold and courageous to get ahead, branding can be the missing ingredient to cutting through dominated industries. We may just see more fearless women become home-grown examples, that flourish into an iconic female brand.