Expert Business Branding | What Is A Brand, Anyway? 6 Tips For Branding Your Small Business
Expert Business Branding | In the startup phase, entrepreneurs think they don’t have the budget to put aside for branding, and for many, it’s just an afterthought, which is a wrong way of looking at your business. When we talk about branding, we’re not talking about how pretty your logo is. We’re talking about your entire business, what you stand for, what you’re about and what you believe in. Branding includes everything from your product and website to your logo, even to the message you publish on social networks.
There’s more to your brand than just your logo and a witty slogan. The foundation of your brand is your logo. Your website, packaging and promotional materials, all of which should showcase your logo, convey your brand. Your brand is the entire sum of what you do, what you excel at and the experience your clients have when doing business with you. Simply put, your brand is your promise to your potential client. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it helps you stand out. Are you looking for the best plan to spend your branding budget?
Determine Your Unique Brand | Expert Business Branding
You have to look at your business as a potential client would. Review the product or service your business offers, determine the place in the market it occupies and research the emotive and rational needs and concerns of your target audience. If your brand is going to be strong, you have to be able to pinpoint what it is that makes what you do unique. What makes you stand out from others in your industry? 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.
Create A Logo And Design Scheme | Expert Business Branding
By defining a set of brand guidelines at an early stage you can make sure that everyone applies your brand identity in a consistent manner. This is vital to ensure that your target market begins to recognize your brand and starts trusting it. From business cards and logo to email newsletters and brick-and-mortar signage, all of your printed communication and sales materials should look, feel and sound like they come from the same source.
Create A Voice To Accompany Your Message | Expert Business Branding
It’s not just what you say, but how you say it. Your company’s voice is the language, tone and rhythm that you use in all your communications. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. Look to other brands. What do they do that you’d like to emulate? How do they greet and engage with you? Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it ritzy? Be more formal.
Focus On A Niche | Expert Business Branding
Your clients may skew toward certain demographic or socioeconomic groups. They may share a particular problem, interest or need. Your brand needs to connect with these people. You have to narrow your focus, because you can’t target anybody and everybody. Test groups and focus groups can help you understand what clients think and feel about your new business, and whether your products appeal to a specific demographic.
Be Authentic | Expert Business Branding
Don’t try and force your brand to be something it’s not. Choose your values at an early stage and shoot for the stars. Stick to your guns, believe what you say and you will grow a loyal base of followers. A common first instinct it to replicate what a successful company, like Apple, has already done, which is short-sighted and not to anyone’s benefit. Blindly imitating another company’s branding strategy never works out. Don’t dress up your offering and raise expectations that result in broken promises. Instead, create trust with honest branding — be clear who your company is and be true to the values that drive it every day.
Killer Customer Service | Expert Business Branding
Yes, it’s bad when things go wrong with a purchase or brand experience — maybe something got lost in the mail or a credit card was accidentally charged twice. But accidents like these are actually blessings in disguise — you can use the chance to show off your customer service skills and turn the client’s experience around, thus winning them over. Make customer service a core value at all levels of your business, and become known as a brand that delivers a terrific experience. Your clients will reward you.