Affordable Business Branding Guide | No Excuses! Build A Brand Your Small Business Deserves
Affordable Business Branding Guide | Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business. As a small business owner, you may believe that branding is just for the big shots. However, paying attention to your brand can pay off big time – no matter how small you are. An effective brand strategy essentially gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets, and it affects whether clients join your loyalty club and refer you to their friends and family — or don’t bother with you again.
There’s more to building a brand than just having a logo designed and writing a snappy slogan. Your brand is the entire sum of what your company does, how it does it, and the experience your clients have when doing business with you. Your brand lives in everyday interactions with your audience, the images you share, the messages you post on social media, and the content of your marketing materials, both online and off. But what can you do to use these experiences and grow the appeal of your brand – without breaking the bank? Here are a few tips that can help.
Start By Defining Your Brand | Affordable Business Branding Guide
Review the product or service you’re providing, determine the space in the market it occupies and research the emotive and rational needs and concerns of your target audience. Are you the groundbreaking innovator in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can’t be both, and you can’t be everything to everyone. Need help defining your brand? Complete this sentence: “My clients do business with me because I’m the only one that…” The more specific the answer, the clearer your brand promise will be.
Target Whom You Want To Serve | Affordable Business Branding Guide
As discussed above, your small business can’t do everything; likewise, it probably can’t serve everyone. Do your research. Learn the needs, habits and desires of your existing and potential clients. And don’t rely on what you think they think. Know what they think. The benefits that a strategically defined brand can bring are the same as when people fall in love with each other. Be smart about your brand and your clients will become your brand’s ambassadors – spreading your ideas and brand to their own networks.
Keep Your Messaging And Visual Identity Professional And Consistent | Affordable Business Branding Guide
Actively building your brand is not a one-shot deal; it requires consistency. You have to repeatedly send the same messages, use the same visual elements and deliver the same level of quality every time someone walks in through the door or visits your website. To ensure consistency, design templates and clearly defien brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. In terms of messaging, reuse key phrases that convey your unique selling points, whether they’re used in a brochure, on your website or in social media. Feature your slogan or tagline on everything — it’s your brand promise boiled down to a catchy, memorable phrase.
Create A Voice For Your Business | Affordable Business Branding Guide
What you say is important, but don’t forget the way you say it. Your company’s voice is basically the language and tone you and your employees will use to deliver your branding message and interact with your clients. Create a voice for your company that matches the nature of your brand, and apply it to all written communication, online and off.
Be Reliable | Affordable Business Branding Guide
Letting your clients down by failing to live up to your own promises and brand standards can be really harmful, especially for small businesses that rely on referrals and word of mouth marketing. Although this may sound like common sense, you’d be surprised how many entrepreneurs tarnish relationships with their clients by failing to keep their promises. The foundation of brand loyalty lies in great service – a happy client is a loyal client. At the end of the day, clients won’t return to you, let alone refer you to someone else, unless you meet and exceed expectations.
Measure Reactions And Tweak Your Message And Design | Affordable Business Branding Guide
As you move forward, make sure you measure the reactions of your target audience to your brand. Watch for their discussions on social networks and blogs and pay attention to sales figure movements. Industries change, markets fluctuate, and the needs of your clients and target audiences will evolve and change over time. Successful small business brands will look, listen and adapt to those inevitable changes.