Think a brand is just for big businesses? Think again. Branding is critical for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Your brand is what the outside world thinks of you. That’s it. Although you can influence your brand through well-designed logos, hilarious ad campaigns, carefully crafted press releases, or super-friendly service, ultimately, your brand is what the outside world says it is.

Why bother? Because strong brands are the key to customer loyalty and higher sales. The Economist recently reported, “Brands are the most valuable assets many companies possess. But no one agrees on how much they are worth or why.” Strong brands inspire loyalty, and we can’t always put our finger on exactly how they do it.