Small Business Brands | What’s Killing Your Brand (And How To Kill It Before It Kills You)
Small Business Brands | You. Me. Tiger Woods. Popeye. Maybe you think we don’t have that much in common, but we do. Our agendas may differ — better job, more clients, book sales — but we seek the same things: recognition, respect, influence and success. Regardless of the type of business you are in, and whether your office is on Wall Street or in the basement of your own house, you, my friend, are a brand.
There are more ways to build (and destroy) your company’s brand these days than ever before. With different social media platforms in play – as well as the traditional means of getting customers’ attention – businesses have to be more aware of the image they’re projecting in order to be successful. Branding includes everything from your website to your logo to the message you put out on social media websites. You want your branding to be consistent, appealing and professional. Here are five tips to get you started.
Start by defining your brand | Small Business Brands
The first big mistake of marketing is not having a brand at all. A brand can be defined as the visual elements (logo, company name, slogan or tagline, and color palette) used to convey your company’s identity. Review the product or service your business offers, pinpoint the space in the market it occupies and research the emotive and rational needs and concerns of your potential clients.
Invest in a designer | Small Business Brands
Owners will often replace the work of a successful professional designer for the low-cost help of a relative or close friend who has some Photoshop experience. Small business owners often assume they can’t afford to hire a graphic designer for logos and business cards, but sometimes you can’t afford not to. Choosing a logo design is one of the most important, and most frequently mistaken, branding choices a company makes. You want something that is recognizable. As the company’s graphical representation, a logo holds together the company’s brand and becomes the single most visible representation of your business within the target market. For this reason, a well-designed logo is an essential part of any company’s overall marketing strategy.
Be consistent | Small Business Brands
If you have a whimsical website, your logo and business cards should also be whimsical. The more consistent all of your branding is, the more people will begin to remember your brand. If you have a brochure and a website with one type of logo design, and a vehicle wrap with another, your company will be missing out on the big power of association. Make sure your true brand identity is present in every aspect of your marketing efforts.
if your brand’s voice isn’t consistent across every channel than it may put a fork in your credibility. This is like the politician who looks great during speeches, but then posts off-color remarks on social media. Your brand should always speak to your clients with a consistent tone of voice. It will help reinforce the business’s character and clarify its offering so potential clients are aware exactly what to expect from your product or service.
Be extraordinary | Small Business Brands
It can be smarter to focus on winning over smaller demographics one at a time, rather than trying to appeal to everyone all the time. Focus on building products for different niche groups in order to unite all those groups into one single brand later on. The least expensive way to brand yourself is to have your clients do it for you. Fight the temptation to sound better than you really are: Promise only what you can deliver, then do it better than the client expects you to. Products don’t become brands for nothing, just like people don’t become known for being simply ordinary.
Be different | Small Business Brands
The key mistake that many owners make is lacking the creative, differentiating aspect in their branding. You want to stand out from the rest, not use the same boilerplate logo and website. Don’t try to be like other companies: be yourself. There will be a segment of the market that likes what you do better than what the market leader does, and that’s the percentage of the market you can skim off.
Stick with your branding, but don’t be afraid to update it | Small Business Brands
It’s important not to change your website design or logo every six months, because you want to create a lasting impression with clients. Companies get tired of their own marketing way before the market does. Remember, you live with it day in and day out, and your clients see it only once in a while. However, after a few years, consider updating your logo to ride with the times. Make small changes, so it’s still recognizable.