Practical Business Branding Tips | Six Branding Tips Every Small Business Owner On A Budget Should Know
Practical Business Branding Tips | So you want to start a business? Great! Keep in mind that you’re not alone, though — over six million businesses are being launched each year, making it vitally important that your business stands out in the saturated market. Branding is one of the most important tools for any business trying to do exactly that. An effective brand identity can give you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets, but what exactly does “branding” mean? How does it affect a small business like yours?
A brand is the sum total of the experiences your existing and potential clients have when doing business with you. Your brand, however, also lives in everyday interactions with your target audience, the images you share, the content you post on your website, the copy of your sales message, and in your posts on social media. So, what can you do to use these experiences and grow the appeal of your brand – without actually breaking the bank? Here are some of our favorite tips that can help.
Defining Your Brand | Practical Business Branding Tips
Defining your brand can often be like a journey of business self-discovery. It can be challenging, time-consuming and even overwhelming. However, you need to review the product or service you’re providing, determine the exact space in the market it holds and research the emotive and rational needs and concerns of your ideal clients. Do your research. Learn the needs, habits and desires of your target audience. And don’t rely on what you think they think. Know what they think.
Get Your Name And Logo Right | Practical Business Branding Tips
This is crucial to brand recognition and it’s important to get it right the first time, because changing your name or redesigning your logo can be damaging to your business image down the road. In order to be effective, your logo and name should be memorable and able to convey the nature and tone of your business as well as appeal to your target market, as they will appear on your business cards, letterhead, website, social networks, promotional materials, products, and pretty much everywhere in print and online to identify your business and the services you’re providing.
Create A Voice For Your Business | Practical Business Branding Tips
Branding extends to every area of your business – how you answer the phone and emails, what you or your salespeople wear to meetings and networking events, and even your e-mail signature. Not sure what your “voice” should be? Look to other brands. What do they do that you’d like to emulate? Your company’s voice should be used in all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it ritzy? Be more formal.
Ensure A Consistent Look And Feel | Practical Business Branding Tips
To build and maintain a memorable brand, every element of your brand should be as good as the product or service you’re providing, and you must be consistent in presenting your brand. The best way to do that is to design templates and define brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. This includes not only your company’s name, logo, overall aesthetic design, products and services, but also trickles into your marketing materials, website, appearances at trade shows and conferences, content posted to social networks, etc.
Be True To Your Brand | Practical Business Branding Tips
Chances are, word of mouth will be your best lead generator, so having great products and services that people talk about is an essential part of your brand and why you are in business in the first place. Your clients won’t return to you, let alone refer you to someone else, unless you deliver on your promise. Never lose sight of your product – keep refining it, testing new offerings, and making sure you always put product first, not the money it brings in.
Build A Community Around Your Brand | Practical Business Branding Tips
A successful brand is one that is trusted and respected by its clients – and building a strong community online and off can help you accomplish this. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to do this, either. In fact, many successful brands focus almost exclusively on online and offline community building as opposed to traditional advertising. Create trust with honest branding — be clear about what your business is all about and what it stands for, and be true to the values that drive it every day. People can become your brand’s ambassadors if they connect with your brand emotively – spreading your ideas and brand to their own networks, so spend time nurturing relationships with such people.