Sticky Branding | Stand Out, Grow Your Client Base, And Build An Incredible Brand With These Simple Tips
Sticky Branding | Do you know what your company’s brand is? If you think it’s just your logo, you are in for a rude awakening. While your logo is an important element of it, there’s so much more to a strong brand. Branding is often overlooked by small business owners, but even though you might think your resources are better spent somewhere else, branding is a huge part of distinguishing yourself from your competition, and attracting (and maintaining) a loyal client base.
Every website, brand and business has a persona. But what is yours? There are steps you can take to build a brand personality that matches your website, product and mission, and appeals to your target audience. Large companies have the resources to hire creative agencies that build and manage their brands, but you don’t have to be a marketing professional to boost your company’s visibility and value through branding. Here are some basic tips for building a strong brand that positions your small business clearly and effectively in your industry, and helps attract repeat business and referrals without breaking the bank.
Get Your Name And Logo Right | Sticky Branding
A strong brand is easily recognizable, and recognition starts with the name and the logo of your business. The name will appear on your business cards, letterhead, website, social networks, marketing materials, products, and pretty much everywhere in print and online to represent your company or your company’s products and services. Getting the name and the logo right is vitally important to brand recognition and it’s crucial to get it right the first time, because changing your name and logo can be costly later on. Your logo and name should be easily recognizable and convey the nature and tone of your business, as well as appeal to your target market.
Define Your Brand | Sticky Branding
The next thing you have to do is define your brand. What is it that makes your service or products unique? Review the product or service your company offers, determine the space in the market it targets and holds and research the emotive and rational needs and concerns of your ideal client. You don’t get paid for the work you do in an hour; you get paid for the value you provide your clients with. How can you know your value if you don’t know who you are?
Know Your Audience | Sticky Branding
Your clients probably skew toward certain demographic or socioeconomic groups. They may share a particular problem, interest or need. Your brand has to be able to appeal to these people. They’re your target audience, the clients you should specifically aim to serve. 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.
Be Consistent | Sticky Branding
It’s not just what you say, the way you say it matters as well. Your brand’s voice is the language, tone and rhythm that you use in all your communications. Not only does this voice deliver the core of your branding message, but it also sets up an overall image for your company that extends past the message itself and makes you unique. Many small businesses mistakenly change their messaging depending on their audience. For example, a business might take a more serious tone on their website, but use a lighthearted tone on their Facebook fan page. This will only confuse your existing and potential clients.
Keep Your Promises | Sticky Branding
Although this is common sense, you’d be amazed how many small businesses ruin relationships with their clients by failing to keep their promises. Happy clients who feel good about your services are your best source of referrals. Even the most outgoing and charming small business owner is never going to succeed in bringing clients back, unless the product or service they offer delivers and exceeds expectations. Don’t lose sight of your product – keep refining it, testing new offers, and making sure you always put product first, not the money it brings in.
Create A Style Guide | Sticky Branding
Once you decide what your brand personality looks like, write it down and create a scrapbook of images that link to that personality. Create a brand style guide that defines everything about your business including the voice, images you share, color palette, typography options, copy and tone guidelines, as well as usage standards. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout your branded materials. You don’t need to be fancy, just consistent.