Branding for Small Business

You don’t need to be playing in the big league to create a strong brand for your business.  In fact, branding can be especially important for small businesses that might not have the funds to blow on a massive marketing budget.  In the simplest of terms, your brand is your promise to your customer.  It tells your customer who you are, what they can expect from you, and what makes you different to your competitors.  Here, we take a look at the things you should keep in mind when creating a brand for your business.

small-business-branding

IMAGE CREDIT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/searchnetmedia/

BUILDING BLOCKS

When creating a small business brand, it’s important to know the answer to each of these questions:

 

  • Who is your target market?  It’s important for businesses of all sizes to identify who the potential buyers of their product or service are, in order to create a brand that zeros in on their needs.

  • What makes your product unique? It’s not just your own brand that you need to know back-to-front.  A solid knowledge of your competitors will help you to discover what is is that makes your product stand out from the crowd.

  • What is your central focus? Establish the message you want your brand to convey, and regard this as a focal point for your marketing and business activity.

 

CONSIDERATIONS WHEN BUILDING YOUR BRAND

Once you’ve identified your target market, point of difference and central focus, it’s time to build your brand.

 

  • Your logo is often the first exposure that your potential customers will have to your business.  It might be tempting to go with the quickest, easiest option, but this isn’t advisable.

    A cheap, rushed logo can make your business look cheap and sloppy.  It’s worthwhile investing time and money into creating a logo that says exactly what you want it to about your business.

  • Humanize your brand by including professional photographs of yourself and your staff on your website and marketing material.  Letting your customers see the “face” of your business will make you appear more trustworthy.

  • Much like showing your face, telling your brand’s story encourages your customers to bond with and trust your brand.

 

  • User generated content can be a great way to involve your audience.  Asking your audience to share stories, photos and videos around a theme relating to your product doesn’t only encourage your audience to think about your brand.  It also provides you with valuable insight into how your target market engages with your product.

  • Contests and competitions give your audience an incentive to pay attention to your brand.

 

Of course, managing your brand is an ongoing process. A few final considerations to help you along the way:

 

  • Protect your brand by registering your business name and logo as trademark.

  • Monitor what’s being said about you. Set up a Google Alert for your business to keep an eye on how you’re being talked about online.

  • Finally, as you continue to build your brand, keep your central brand message in mind and remember to remain consistent- your customers should receive the same message every time they interact with your business.

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