Don’t skimp on branding

By Staff | July 15, 2013 | Last updated on July 15, 2013
2 min read

Creating a recognizable brand is important for small business owners, says a new survey.

Increasingly, owners are focusing on providing an overall brand experience to their customers, adds the quarterly American Express small business monitor.

It reveals 93% say developing a unique customer approach is more important now than ever before, with 51% saying it helps attract new business.

Go digital

Consumers have embraced social media, so almost three quarters (73%) of businesses report they need to constantly monitor their brand’s perception online.

More than half (52%) use their websites to build their brand, but 60% also rely on rely on employees to leave an impression on customers and almost half.

About a third (32%) of owners run events to increase brand awareness.


Room for improvement

Owners are aware they have stiff competition, but the study says they may be missing opportunities to assess evolving trends and ensure their business stacks up.

It finds 36% admit they’re interested in expanding their brand but don’t know where to start. Despite this, a substantial 86% of still choose not to capitalize on the resources third party experts offer when it comes to building up their presences in the market.

Businesses aren’t developing and refining their brands, yet they’re willing to invest in other areas like accounting, legal and payroll,” says Athena Varmazis, vice president and general manager of Small Business Services at American Express.

Read: Learn to market yourself

This is one reason why Canadian owners are wary about the outlook of their businesses, and are therefore making more reserved and thoughtful decisions when it comes to business growth.

The index portion of the monitor reveals a decline in optimism levels year over year. Although more half (55%) of owners remain are hopeful about their financial positions, sentiment has decreased by 15% since last summer.

As a result, only one-fifth (22%) are willing to take above average or significant risks for in the next six months. About 38% were willing to invest and spend last year.

“Now, more than ever, business owners are mitigating risks and are carefully planning for the future,” says Varmazis.


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The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.