When it comes to branding, simply creating a logo or slogan is not enough. Branding is a strategic, long-term approach that helps small businesses achieve success. If you haven’t prioritized your branding yet, the following branding tips for small businesses will help you get started. Before diving into these tips, however, consider how vital branding for a small business is.
Why branding matters
Did you know that it takes approximately five to seven impressions before someone will remember your brand? That means a potential customer or client must see your logo, name, or brand nearly half a dozen times before it will stick in their mind. By maintaining a clear and consistent brand, potential customers and clients can mentally connect a business with the services they offer, allowing them to quickly recall the name of your business when they have a need it can provide.
Branding goes beyond a memorable name or catchy tune. Color schemes, voice, tone, personality, logo, customer service, and many other business ownership aspects combine to create a business’s brand. Consistency is key to building and maintaining a strong brand awareness among potential customers, and a strong branding strategy can elevate a business to its next level.
Branding idea every small business should consider
If you’re a small business owner, now is the time to focus on your branding. Many small businesses with an excellent reputation for quality products or services may become stuck in the middle of success if they fail to dedicate time to form a strong brand identity. To avoid this common pitfall, consider the following tips provided by your Better Business Bureau:
Know the competition
Before building a brand that stands out from the crowd, know who is competing against you. Conducting a competitor analysis is an excellent way to see what other businesses in your industry are doing so you know how to differentiate yourself and capture the attention of potential customers by making a unique impression. Be realistic in your analysis; most small businesses are not competing with large, national corporations but with other small business owners in their area that possess the same resources and offer similar services.
Be uniquely you
Once you understand who your competition is, start defining who you are and how you are different from the rest. Be yourself, and not something or someone else; chances are, it will ultimately backfire. Your brand reflects who you truly are, and your customers will be as confident in your products and services as you are if you remain open, transparent and honest in your messaging.
Invest in visual identity
Visual identity encompasses everything from the brand logo to the colors throughout your website. It’s also the first impression your brand will make on potential customers. If you want to build a brand that stands out, then create a brand identity that’s unique to you. Make sure the logo, colors and other visual elements reflect your business’s values. Remember that ornate or complicated logos may also increase the price of branded merchandise or may not transfer well to particular products your customers may be interested in purchasing.
Carefully define your brand’s mission and values
Your brand’s mission is the “why” behind your business, and the brand’s values are the principles you live by. They’re the reason you’re in business. Clearly defining these two essential aspects and sharing them with your customers will set your business apart and build loyalty. Business owners should state their mission within a sentence or two, with the general idea it can be spoken out loud within a single breath during a conversation.
Identify the ideal customer
Remember, you don’t need to be all things to all people. Instead, focus on your specialty and build a strong reputation in that space. It is best to target customers interested in your services or goods, not just everyone in your community. To target them effectively, work towards identifying and understanding who they are, what values are important to them, and their shopping habits.
Create a consistent brand voice
The brand’s voice should be consistent throughout the website, social media pages, and other marketing materials. As a small business, it is a good idea to focus on your locality, professionalism, and trustworthiness and consider what makes your business different from your competitors. Above all, your voice should be authentic and genuine and reflects your business’s mission and values.
Stand for something
Your brand should stand for something, such as a charitable cause or a specific movement, reflecting who you are and what you represent. This stance should directly correlate with your brand mission and values, and it will give customers a reason to do business with you.
Stand by your word
Your brand is a promise to your customers. If you fail to follow through with the promises you make to your customers through brand messaging, you’ll lose business and harm your reputation. Make sure that your brand is authentic and that you honor your promises.
Don’t be afraid to be different
Market and customer needs change with the times, and there is no better example of this other than the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Think about how your brand can adapt to changes in the market and how to accommodate customer needs. If you’re unwilling to change, it becomes more of a challenge to stay ahead of your competition. The best brands are constantly evolving and look for new ways to keep a competitive edge.
For more business tips, visit BBB.org/SmallBusiness.