Nadhirah lives and breathes branding and all things related to it. Coming from the startup scene, she played a pivotal role in helping companies ideate their brand through crafting powerful messaging and storytelling. While her sharp sense and vibrant personality continue to fuel her passion for brand building, Nadhirah believes that SMEs often confuse it for marketing.

In this feature, we sat down with Nadhirah to better understand the difference between the two and how companies can distinguish themselves from competition by having a solid brand strategy.  

 Key difference between branding and marketing?

Branding is about defining who you are (as a company), while marketing is what you do to actively promote your products/services using a set of tools (eg. Flyers, social media advertising, email marketing, etc). These two components go hand in hand. Without knowing who you are as a brand, you cannot market yourself.

  1. Why does having a brand strategy matter for a small business?

As a small business, competition is always stiff. Branding improves recognition. A good branding increases the value of a company, provides employees with direction and motivation, and makes customer acquisition easier. Ultimately, having a brand strategy can make you stand out from the crowd.

  1. How can I create a brand strategy with little cost?

Having a good brand takes time and investment, which can be costly. There are some creative ways to brand your business effectively without burning your pocket. While it requires time, the ROI will not go unnoticed. I would recommend trying the following:

  • Develop an identity and voice for your brand.
  • Begin to map out a consistent social media presence. Start a company blog for inbound marketing.
  • Make customer service a priority – this is called earned media: The recognition that your brand has earned, not paid for, from people talking about something you did that was remarkable.
  • Take advantage of co-branding: One way to get your name in front of a broader audience is to partner with a brand that does have that reach.

 4. 3 tips to creating a strong brand.

  • Identify what makes you different and invest in professional video/photos.
  • Dedicate a page on your website to share about your story. Having a brand story will further humanize your brand and create resonance.
  • Know your audience – This is crucial because it enables you to build brand awareness around the right demographics and optimize outreach.


  1. Are there available grants I can tap on to develop my brand identity?
  • If you are looking to transform your business; have a new product/service/target market or going international, you can tap on EDG Strategic Branding & Marketing to defray up to 80% of costs.
  • This grant will help to support the costs of having a certified branding/marketing consultant to handhold you through your re-branding efforts. The consultants are able to develop a branding and marketing roadmap for you and recommend strategies for your brand to establish a strong foothold locally and internationally (where applicable).