SME & Startup Branding

SMEs of India (and China) will be the global conglomerates of the next decade. The caliber of entrepreneurs In India has changed dramatically. Earlier, entrepreneurs were usually from a business family, and chose a business area based on licenses obtained. There were others who came from certain communities where there were role models of people in business – Gujaratis, Marwaris, Punjabis were the more typical communities that opted for business.

Today – the environment has changed. The advent of the educated entrepreneur and the celebration and embracing of risk by society has led to an unprecedented movement towards an aspiration to be one’s own boss.

How can SMEs and startups stand out in a crowded market?

Apple, Google, Infosys… all started out as SMEs, as backyard operations, as visions of a few inspired individuals. And when they did start out, there was nothing to differentiate them in a market that was a level playing field for all. However, what visibly separated them from others was their investment in creating a brand.

To share the case of an Indian SME, Gujarat Reclaim and Rubber Products Ltd is a mid-sized firm with a global customer base, growing significantly. While nearing the 300 cr mark, Harsh Gandhi, brought in a second generation dynamism to the company started by his father Rajendra Gandhi, an alumnus from IIT, Mumbai. The next milestone for the company is 1000 cr. As it embarks on this new journey, part of the internal and external stimulus was a rebranding exercise. The new branding reflected the vision, values and culture of the organization and repositions the company as a global player. The brand architecture with its constituent businesses also creates a larger umbrella and an identity of a conglomerate.

The resultant intervention was across all internal and external touchpoints from office/ factory signages to trade fair stalls, website and collateral. Immediately upon the launch of the new identity, the GRP share prices saw a 52 week high at Rs 2020 on April 11, 2012. It also won the appreciation of investors who saw this as a positive move for the company. Additionally the company appointed one international and one Indian distributor in a 3 month period. They have also been able to recruit good talent from well-known organizations and has seen a significant increase in enquiries at international trade fairs.

Startup Branding beyond logo design and packaging

We believe that going beyond building visual distinction, branding should be focused on achieving business objectives. We work closely with promoters of established SMEs as well as startups to understand their vision, objectives, and business challenges. And our approach is towards providing modular solutions for the brand – corporate and consumer alike – that are geared towards meeting business goals.

SME Articles