10 Tips for the Small Business Branding Process
Do you want your business to stand out and be successful in your industry?
Then you will need a strong brand that attracts and retains customers.
Did you know that only about 70 percent of small businesses remain operational after two years? Stretch that to five years and business survival falls to 50 percent!
If you want to succeed and remain profitable for decades to come, you will need to develop a great branding process. Keep reading to learn about our top 10 ten tips for improving the branding process in your small business.
Define Your Brand
When you start thinking about your brand and what it means, go beyond the logo and your services or products. You need to define a general mission and purpose that your company represents.
What kind of experience do you want your customers to have when shopping at your business? What story do you want to tell?
Find the answers to these questions and you will be more prepared to define your brand.
What are the visuals that your customers will see when they first show up in your store or access your website? The photos and images on your site, as well as your logo, will also define your brand.
Your branding process will also need to have a strong message to engage more customers. Keep this in mind when creating marketing materials and posting on your social media pages.
When you have a consistent brand that aligns throughout all of your marketing, your small business will have more trust and credibility in the market.
Show What Makes You Different
What makes you and your company stand out among the rest? What products or services do you provide that others in your community do not?
You need to figure out what makes you different from your competitors.
For example, maybe you have a hostess in your grocery store that walks around and provides great tips to your shoppers. You might have a great customer service department that checks in with your clients every month.
These things are key in differentiating you from your competitors.
Once you have decided what makes you different from the rest, add this messaging into your marketing materials including brochures, your website, blogs, and social media pages.
Make Your Voice Unique And Different
Make your brand unique. Is there a general friendliness and support provided in your voice across all channels? Do you have a distinct communication style in person, on the phone, and through social media?
You will need to have that distinction in your branding process and may need to do a general audit on how you and your employees, including your marketing department, communicate with your customers and clients.
If you don’t know what type of voice you want for your company, take a look around at your competitors and see what might be missing from your industry.
What can you learn from your competitors? What makes customers happy to work with them? The answers to these questions could lead you toward finding your distinct voice.
Build A Community Around Your Company
Many major businesses focus on building and growing their community instead of solely getting more customers.
For example, companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Skype have all worked on building the community around them.
Instead of putting all their money into advertising, these companies give back to their communities. This builds more trust amongst consumers.
If you want to build a community start with social media pages. You can build an Instagram account, a Twitter page, a Facebook page, and a Google+ account.
You can create blogs through your website and publish regular content for your audience.
Design Great Products And Provide Excellent Services
When you think about the best companies in the world, you may remember the experiences as well as the quality products they sell.
You might have remembered the company Apple and the amazing iPhones and iPods they have sold.
Now take a second to think about what company has been successful, but you’re not happy with their product. You might think of McDonald’s or Burger King.
Often these companies begin by offering great food. Yet, over time, they may have slipped and stopped working on improving their products or keeping quality as important as initially.
You will need to continue designing excellent products and offering great services in order to have a strong brand and a successful small business.
Your Message And Branding Process Needs Consistency
One of the easiest things to slip up on is a lack of consistency in your message.
Make sure that your audience hears a consistency in your messages across all channels.
You need consistency in your branding process whether through marketing material, social media posts, customer service phone calls, or face-to-face communication.
Your business name, logo, images and aesthetics must all have the same messaging. Your products and services must also remain consistent with your overall brand.
Brand consistency will make your customers more familiar with your company. This will make your customers trust your small business for years to come.
Consider Having A Specific Stance On Social Issues
You may often find that companies and brands that people love tend to stand for some type of social issue.
This will allow you to connect to your customers on an emotional level. For instance, do you love animals? Then stand up for saving animals in shelters and helping families adopt pets.
Taking a stance on social issues as a company could have a great impact on your brand processing as a whole. You may end up with a loyal following and the knowledge that your helping a good cause in the process
Find Your Customer Base And Don’t Work To Serve Everyone
“You’re never going to please everyone, so don’t try to be everything to everyone. Learn to be the best brand possible to a specific set of users,” Jonathan Long from Market Domination Media told Entrepreneur magazine.
Find your customer base because you won’t be able to serve every customer type. Your branding process needs to focus on a specific audience that you’re targeting.
Offer Real Value With Everything You Do In Your Small Business
Your products and services need to offer real value to your customers. For example, if you sell computers, they need to be of high quality, user-friendly, and last for a number of years.
When you’re trying to add value to your products, think about what sets your company apart from your competitors.
Figure out how the benefits of your products or services solve your customers’ challenges and connect with them on an emotional level.
Be sure that your products and services give real value to your customers.
Incorporate Your Brand Into All You Do
Every single thing you do throughout the day should have your brand and personality intertwined. When you wake up in the morning and throw your clothes on, how do those clothes show your brand?
For example, Apple’s Steve Jobs constantly wore a black turtleneck and blue jeans, which established his brand. If you want to dress to impress, be sure to put on a suit every day to work.
When you’re out at networking events, keep your brand consistent. If you’re just sitting down to write a blog, weave that personality and brand throughout.
Your brand should be an integral part of every aspect of your business.