As a small business owner, you might think – is it really important to brand my business? Well, the answer is yes! Branding is necessary if you want to stand out from the competition. A small business faces a tough competition with the large players as well as the small ones in the industry. Branding is as important for small businesses as it is for big ones.
Tips on how to establish a brand for your small business.
Define your brand.
Defining your brand is like self-discovery. It will take time. Review your products or services, figure out your space in the market and research the needs and concerns of your customers. Your brand identity should be able to promote your business, connect with the customer base and differentiate you in the industry.
You need to answer these questions first to define your brand.
- What are your company’s mission and vision?
- What are the benefits and features of your products/services?
- What do your customers think of your company?
- What you want them to think about your company, once the brand is established?
Create a great logo.
A logo is the foundation of a brand. The logo should be placed everywhere, your website, packaging and promotional materials, etc. in order to effectively communicate your brand.
Do not over complicate your logo. Keep it clean and simple with elements that are more likely to be associated with your brand.
Establish a brand message.
Be clear about the message you want to communicate about your brand. A message is what you want your customers to perceive about your brand. This message can be communicated through a catchy tagline, design and colour scheme of your logo, etc.
Let’s take an example of Amazon.com, the online shopping giant.
The logo was created to represent the brand message that Amazon sells everything from A to Z (the arrow connects the letters A and Z). It also represents the smile that customers would experience when they shop on Amazon.com (the arrow becomes a smile).
Create a “tone of voice” for your brand.
The manner in which you communicate your brand message is referred to as the tone of voice. It can be professional, casual, funny, emotional, etc. The tone should resonate with your audience.
For example, if you’re a B2B firm, you should prefer using a more formal tone than a casual one. A casual tone might help if your target audiences are teenagers. Whichever tone you choose, it should be consistent across all marketing channels.
Develop a tagline.
Write a catchy tagline that relates to your brand. It should be short, easy to remember, meaningful and of course catchy! Think about the most popular taglines like, Coke – Open happiness or Nike – Just do it.
That’s the power of a memorable tagline, people never forget it.
Create and maintain standard templates for your marketing materials. Use the same colour scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. Just be consistent across all channels.
For example, if you look at any advertisement, product packaging or marketing material of McDonald’s, they use the same colour scheme of red and yellow everywhere.
Fulfil your brand promises.
A brand promise is a statement made by a company to its customers promising some benefits related to their products or services. If you have made a promise and not delivered it, customers won’t return to you.
For example, if you’ve promised a 30 minutes pizza delivery, beyond which the order is free, then you must deliver the promise.
Whatever the branding efforts you are taking, it’s important to keep them consistent. Consistency is the key to a successful brand, without which all the marketing efforts will fail.
Establishing a strong online presence is the need of the hour for modern businesses. Nowadays, It is the most important factor when you brand your business because as per the Statista.com website report, there were 4176 million active internet users around the world in October 2018. Online branding is possible by creating an effective website, SEO, blogging, social media marketing and other such internet marketing techniques. If it is not possible to do these stuff In-house then you can simply outsource your SEO and other marketing stuff to someone else who is expert in this field. Also, you can connect with customers in a better way with the help of online branding.
Don’t copy big brands.
Carve your own distinct identity. Don’t try imitating the big brands. Customers are looking for original and distinct brands that match their preferences.
For example, if you get inspired by the logo of Amazon, don’t try to copy the same thing. The audience will then relate it to Amazon and not your company.
Develop a buyer persona
As a brand, you should define your audience. Branding is all about conveying messages. So, you should know whom you’re talking to.
For example, if you’re a company dealing in organic foods, then your audience is educated people living in cities who have an inclination towards organic foods.
Branding is a full marketing discipline altogether. It is huge, but need not be taken up fully for a small business. You need not set up a separate branding team. Don’t over complicate it. Just follow our simple tips and you’ll be able to achieve your branding objectives.