Small Business Branding the Right Way
To take your small business to the next level, you’re going to need a brand. There are a few important things you need to know about branding your small business and competing in the online market. In a nutshell, you need to create a brand that will differentiate you from your competition—but how do you create a brand that will appeal to clients and tell your story in a compelling and memorable way? We’ve seen a lot of rookie mistakes, and we’re here to help you avoid them.
Effective branding tells your story in an interesting, memorable way, differentiating your brand from your competition.
What does “branding” mean for your small business?
Branding is the part of marketing that tells the story of your business. What do I mean? Think of a brand you know well—how about a small business that went big like Ben & Jerry’s. When you see their logo, you connect instantly with their company values. At the very least you know a little about them—progressive, socially conscious, environmentally conscious company that sells ice cream with fun names and natural ingredients.
Good business branding should tell your story with your company name, symbols, designs, and logos. According to Entrepreneur, branding is “your promise to your customer.” Nike’s swoosh promises you fitness with solitary drive. Ben & Jerry’s promises good ice cream that contributes to social causes. Starbuck’s promises strong coffee served by company “partners.” These are distinctly different promises from what Adidas, Breyers, or Dunkin’ Donuts offer. That’s branding.
How do you create a brand that says all it needs to say about your business?
There are five key ingredients to designing a good brand for your small business:
1 Know what you have to offer
Your business is as unique as you are, so incorporate some of that wonderful ‘you-ness’ into your brand. What do you believe in? What are your business values? What is the passion behind your business? What is your reason for coming to work every day? These are important aspects of your business’s identity, and letting your customers know what they are will give them something to connect with when they walk through your door or click onto your website.
You aren’t just another run-of-the-mill big box store. You’re a small business, and small businesses have special relationships with their clients. You play an important role in your community and an even larger role for your loyal customers. Make this feature a focal point so the whole world can know just how important you and your business are.
2 Know your customers
Your loyal customers come back to you for a reason. You probably know why. If you don’t, then ask. I’m sure your customers will be happy to tell you why they return. Once you know what this reason is, you can incorporate it into your brand to ensure that all of your potential clients know why they should come to you instead of your competitors.
Customers are loyal to a brand because of perceived value, satisfaction, and trust. Understand your customers’ commitment to your brand.
3 Design for your demographic
If your business caters to a specific demographic, make sure you use a design that will speak directly to that audience. Your web page typography, layout, symbols, imagery, and design should appeal to your targeted customers so they know from the first glance that you’re talking to them.
4 Transparent communication
Be honest and clear about what your business has to offer. Put yourself out into the marketplace just as you are. What I mean is, don’t try to be everything to everyone. This is the primary rookie mistake we see when trying to help businesses brand themselves. It’s like your mother always told you, be yourself. And remember that customer service will make or break even the most powerful of corporations.
Authentic branding can build your business by clearly communicating your company’s message and mission.
5 Consult with a specialist
When it comes to getting a small business to really stand out in the marketplace, there is a lot to know, but you don’t have to do it alone. Contact us at Whitbeck Web to get help making your small business impact the marketplace the way you want it to.