Brand Management | Build A Brand On A Budget! Tips And Strategies For Business Owners
Brand Management | Many small business owners mistakenly think that branding is simply about pasting a logo on their website and then waiting around for the sales to start pouring in. Here’s the truth of the matter: your brand isn’t about a logo. Your brand is the total sum of what you do, what your business excels at and the experience your clients have with you. It affects whether your clients join your loyalty club and refer you to other people — or don’t bother with your business again.
Branding is a tricky business. It’s one of those things where you see a better return on investment with the more you invest. In the startup stage, you don’t have the budget to put aside for branding, and for many, it’s an afterthought, which is a bad way of looking at your business identity. Think branding is only for huge international corporations? Think again. Here are six easy tips you can use to grow your small business brand without breaking the bank.
Start By Defining Your Brand | Brand Management
The most important work for successful branding takes place before a designer or agency is even hired: research, planning, introspection, and difficult decision making by the business owner. The worst thing a business owner can do is hire a design agency without having collected vital pieces of information and think the designers will fill in the blanks. Review the product or service your business offers, define the space in the market it holds, and research the emotive and rational needs and concerns of your target audience.
Choose A Simple Branding Message | Brand Management
First, decide exactly what you want to communicate and who you want to communicate to — who is most likely to be interested in your product? Then, break down what your business does and identify its strengths and weaknesses, so you can create an approach that promotes the former and diminishes the latter. If your brand is going to be effective, you have to be able to determine what it is that makes what you do unique. What sets your business apart from others in your industry? What makes you different and original?
Create A Voice To Accompany Your Message | Brand Management
It’s not just what you say, but how you say it. Your brand’s voice is the language, tone and rhythm that you use in all your communications. Not only does this voice communicate the essence of your branding message, but it also enforces an overall image for your business that extends past the message itself and makes you stand out. Reuse key phrases that are your unique selling points, whether they’re used in your brochure, on your website or in ads. Put your business slogan or tagline on everything — it’s your brand promise boiled down to a catchy, memorable phrase.
Create A Logo And Design Scheme | Brand Management
It’s important to have many different ways to communicate your message and style to your potential clients, so you need to have both verbal and visual brand representations for your business. That means you need a logo and color scheme that match your verbal message, and create a consistent presentation for your materials and website. From business cards and logo to email newsletters and brick-and-mortar signage, all of your printed communications and sales materials should look, feel and sound like they come from the same source.
Websites Are No Longer Optional | Brand Management
Everyone, uses the Internet today to check references. If someone recommends your company, you can almost guarantee that they will go online to look for you. Having a website is no longer optional if you want to stand out. With the amount of solutions there is in the marketplace right now, there’s no excuse for not having a website. It’s not good enough to just have a website, you must effectively convey your brand image. If you’re known as a top notch photographer, the last thing you want is a website designed 10 years ago.
Be Reliable | Brand Management
Letting your clients down by failing to live up to your own promises and brand standards can be especially harmful for small businesses that depend heavily on referrals. The foundation of brand loyalty lies in great service – a happy client is a loyal client. Jumping through hoops makes a client feel appreciated, and it also impresses them and boosts brand affinity. Brand affinities create word-of-mouth buzz, because people love telling their friends about new startups and businesses they have to try.