Small companies think of branding and tend to associate it with spending a lot of money on creative ads that don’t produce phone calls. Most of these companies don’t have the luxury of producing expensive and creative ads like Coke in hope that people choose their product the next time they are at the grocery store–but that doesn’t mean branding isn’t important.

The reality is that anytime your company is positioned in front of consumers, you are branding to some degree. Having a strong brand is important and does matter to consumers.

Case in point: Let’s say you come across an ad in a magazine that’s selling a 60-inch Sony plasma flat screen TV for $299 (ok…that will probably never happen, but we can all hope, right?). First, imagine if the company placing that ad was one you had never seen or heard of before. Would be you likely to even look into buying that TV or just consider it a hoax? Next, imagine if that ad was emblazoned with a royal blue and bright yellow logo. Chances are you’d actually rush to your nearest BestBuy to get your hands on one of those awesome flat screens.

What is the difference? Why would you be more likely to go there rather than the no-name store? Well, you probably associate BestBuy with reliable prices, warranties, and Geek Squad simply because of their marketing and that’s what makes you more likely to buy from them.

Another common misconception is that branding is only useful for national or international companies that take up a large portion of the market share. Even family-owned and local business can benefit from successful branding because it creates a level of awareness and trust that attracts and keeps customers when they have a need for your product or service.

Branding is an extremely vital part of marketing. While it may not be your focus, it is certainly something that should be carefully thought out and considered when you are creating your company’s marketing and advertising material.