SMEs and Branding Strategies

SMEs and Branding Strategies

Neeta Baporikar (Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek, Namibia & University of Pune, Pune, India) and Mukund Deshpande (Independent Researcher, Pune, India)
DOI: 10.4018/IJAMSE.2017010104
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SMEs, in a competitive world, have been realizing that they are not just selling products or services but a mass of branded products, services and people to sustain in the business. Therefore, movement is captivating in the SMEs to introduce competency through branding for obtaining and enhancing market share. Auto-Component is a great feeder industry in the Automobiles Sector that has put India on Global map. Therefore, studying branding in this industry brings reveals that marketing policies especially branding strategies are significantly helping Pune SMEs become competitive and gain highest market share in the world. The focus of this paper though grounded theory and in-depth literature review, secondary data and close observation is to understand the branding strategies and further understand how core and complimentary instruments are used to improve effectiveness of marketing in SMEs.
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The AMA (2007) defines a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers. Therefore, it makes sense to understand that branding is not about getting target market to choose over the competition, but it is about getting the prospects to see the SMEs as the only one that provides a solution to their problem. IIFT 2009 has revealed in its study that the SMEs have a narrow interpretation of what branding is. It has further exposed that branding is meant for big firm due to their access to ample resources. The views of SMEs on branding are limited to advertising plus brand name and /or logo. Advertising activities were seen as important to branding but not critical for SME business. Personal selling and face-to-face communication is a critical part of marketing communications. Quality of their work can't be projected because of budget constraint. SMEs can think about branding if business picks up and if time allows doing so.

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