There are many small business owners and first-time entrepreneurs who have heard that branding is essential. Although, not many of them know why or how branding works. Regardless, an effective branding campaign can offer any business, big or small, the necessary competitive edge to get on top.
A company brand is nothing more than a promise made to the customer. It will let them know what to expect from you, your products and services, and it can differentiate you from your competitors. The key is always to uphold that promise.
Business branding is also sometimes called business identity, and for a good reason. It is a way of embodying everything that your company stands for, not only the way the logo looks or its name sounds. Another way to say it – branding is a way to connect with your customers on a more emotional level. You do this by having your brand share the same values and beliefs. It will increase their loyalty and may even become your advocates. Word of mouth advertising is one of the most effective types, after all.
So, how do you brand your small business to reap the benefits that it has to offer?
Defining the Brand
Defining your brand will not be a matter of several minutes. As one of the most critical parts of the process, it will require some of your time. You should start by first answering the following questions:
- What’s the organization’s mission?
- What are the benefits of your products or services?
- How do your customers see your company right now?
- What are the qualities that you want them to associate with your brand?
When it comes to your customers, it’s not enough to assume what they want or think about your company. You must know for sure what they believe by doing your research. Use the analytics tools at your disposal to track their behaviour, their likes, their dislikes, pain points, and whatever else information you can gather. Use it to answer the above questions in the most thorough way possible.
During this process, it’s common for people to start looking at others for inspiration. And while there isn’t anything wrong with that, it can become a slippery slope. You will have to create your identity. A real and original brand has the power to stand out while copycats will fade among the others.
Creating the Brand
Once you’ve finished defining your brand, it’s time to build it. Do so by following these steps here:
- Create a logo that’s able to encapsulate what your brand stands for and use it everywhere.
- Create your brand’s messaging. Write down the key messages you want to communicate and make sure that your employees know them.
- Don’t try dressing things up just for the sake of it. Honesty will pay much more in these sorts of situations.
- Consistency is another issue that you require to pay attention. Be consistent in the voice you give your brand and make sure that your customers recognize it the moment they see it. It includes the type of language you use across all channels, taglines, design template, colour schemes, and everything in between.
- Last but not least, be true to your brand. Do not break the promise you have made to your customers. Otherwise, they will never come back, nor will they refer you to others.
As long as people know what you are about, what you stand for, and that you always deliver, your brand will be a success. Keep your brand consistent, so that’s immediately recognizable and make sure that your staff works by it. Last but not least, be honest, and things will fall into place.
Until the next time,