Small Business Branding Series – Part 1 of 5
Gone are the days when an ad in the newspaper, a billboard and a stack of well-designed flyers are enough to get you noticed. These days if you don’t take the time to establish your business brand online chances are you’ll be quickly overshadowed by your competitors or even worse never get noticed by consumers.
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, big, small, retail or B2B. When done right it will give you a major edge over your competitors and help you stand out in even the most competitive markets. Effective branding is all about the image of your business and contrary to popular belief it’s about much more than just a fancy logo and a catchy tagline. It’s about the perceived image of your business and what it can do for your customer.
It tells consumers what they can expect from your products and services, and sets you apart from your competitors. It’s derived from who you are, what you want your business to be and what people perceive it to be. Think of it like a promise you’re making to your customer.
A good branding strategy includes multiple aspects that paint a picture of your business to consumers across multiple channels. This can include your website, social channels, content, marketing creatives etc. The goal is to make it easy for consumers to recognize your business the instant they see it no matter where they’re looking.
It’s anything that gives your company an identity that consumers know, like and trust.
The goal is to differentiate your business from your competitors. This process should start as soon as name your business and factor in on every decision you make from your logo and tagline to your content and advertising. You want to come up with something memorable that explains your brand promise.
For example, M&M says, “Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands” and Nike says, “Just Do It,” and we immediately know what they’re all about. You can go anywhere in the world, see their logo and know exactly who they are.
I realize you may not be that big yet, but try and think like you are and it will help you come up with creative ways to brand your business so that it is easily remembered by potential customers.
The first step for a successful business is taking the time to let people know who you are, what you do, and how you do it. So, before your next lesson I want you to take some time to think about how you want your customers to perceive your business.
Start by asking yourself these questions:
– What is your business’s mission/purpose?
– What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
– What do your customers and prospects already think of your business?
– If you are just starting out, what do your want your potential customer, clients or prospects to think of your business?
– What qualities do you want them to associate with your business?
- Do some research on your competitors and see how they are presenting their brand.
- Brainstorm some ideas that will help you effetely communicate your vision.
- Jot down some possible taglines that you think will tell your story.
This is the first in a series of five lessons. We have a lot to go over in the next few weeks, so make sure you look sign up to receive four more lessons. Write in the message block “Small Business Branding Series Please.”
Next we’ll be talking more about consumer perception and how you can create a campaign that will help you increase brand loyalty.[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]