Thoughtful Branding | What Is Your Brand? (Hint: It’s Probably Not What You Think)
Thoughtful Branding | With so much competition out there today, how exactly do you plan on branding your small business? No matter how innovative your company’s service or product is, you have to make potential clients aware of it before you can turn it into a success. Effective branding is the most powerful way to get you, your product, and your service out there. With so many businesses offering the same or similar service, you want to stand up and be counted, not blend into the background.
There’s more to your “brand essence” than just your logo and a witty slogan. 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. It affects whether clients join your loyalty club, and refer you to friends — or don’t bother with you again. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and who people think you are. Are you the innovative expert in your niche? Or the experienced, reliable one?
Know Your Audience | Thoughtful Branding
When building a brand, and brand awareness, you have to know who your target audience is. Are you aiming only at the 18-30 bracket? Is there a particular target sex? Or maybe you’re targeting professionals, or stay at home parents. 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 for sure what they think.
Pay Attention To Your Logo | Thoughtful Branding
It’s crucial to have many different ways to communicate your message and style to your potential clients, so you have to have both verbal, and graphical brand representations for your business. That means you need a logo that complements your verbal message, and creates a consistent presentation for your print materials, and website. An eye-catching logo will instantly grab attention, and allow others to recognize your product the moment they see it.
Create Brand Guidelines | Thoughtful Branding
Inconsistency can negatively affect your business. At best, your brand might not be memorable, but at worst, it can start a reputation of confusion, and apathy. From business cards and logo to email newsletters and brick-and-mortar signage, all of your marketing and sales materials should look, feel, and sound like they come from the same source. In terms of messaging, reuse key phrases that are your unique selling points, whether they’re used in your brochure, on your website, or in ads. If you aren’t focused about how you appear, then your potential clients will be affected by your inconsistency, rather than your message.
Choose A Simple Branding Message | Thoughtful Branding
What sets your business apart from others in your niche? What makes you different, and unique? What about your business makes it the one that a potential client should choose? If you want to be known as a fun, exciting business, this needs to be conveyed in your marketing, and brand awareness campaign. If you want to be known as a dependable, trustworthy company, again, this needs to be strongly reflected in the products you are offering, as well as the brand itself.
Monitor Your Online Brand | Thoughtful Branding
As you move forward, make sure you monitor the reactions of your potential clients to your brand. With social media, forums, articles, and all sorts of other online discussion platforms, your brand can become the topic of conversation in many different places. What’s being said about your brand? More importantly, how is it affecting your reputation? When you notice particular elements of your branding not delivering, tweak them.
Give Quality First Impressions | Thoughtful Branding
The number-one way to take advantage of social media, and to use the audience brought there by big business is to offer up quality and value. If you’re posting high-quality material, and offering value that someone can’t pass up, then you’re an equal in the eyes of an impartial client. Make client service an essential value at all levels of your company, and become known as a brand that delivers a great experience. Your clients will reward you.
These tips serve a very specific purpose in a social media context. Tapping into the niche of an established big business is the ultimate leverage for your brand, and conveying your image through your logo is going to help you stand out as a professional. Branding is a dynamic part of your marketing plan. It is a powerful way to enable your business to stand apart from competitors and discover how to best speak to your potential clients, and win their trust.