As a small business, you may be competing against big brands with devoted customers. That’s why you have to find ways to differentiate yourself with a solid brand building process that is best suited for your business.
Branding is much more than just a cool logo or well-placed advertisement.
A successful brand has to be consistent across many applications such as:
- Environment (storefront or office)
- Print, signage, packaging
- Website & online advertising
- Social media & content marketing
- Sales & customer service
Brand building is definitely a process. However, the ongoing effort will result in establishing long-term relationships with your customers. This can mean an increase in sales, more projects, word-of-mouth referrals, and advocacy for your products or services.
Here are some steps that will lead your company down the right path.
Step 1 : Determine your brand’s target audience
The foundation for building your brand, is to determine the targeted audience that you’ll be focusing on. Be specific and figure out detailed behaviors and lifestyle of your consumers.
Step 2 : Define a branding mission statement.
Before you can build a brand that your target audience trusts, you need to know what your business provides and your values. The mission statement defines the purpose of your business.
Step 3 : Research brands within your industry niche
You should never imitate exactly what the big brands are doing in your industry. But, you should be aware of what they do well.
Step 4 : Outline the key qualities & benefits your brand offers.
Your products, services, and benefits belong solely to you. You have to delve down deep and figure out what you offer, that no one else is offering.
Step 5 : Create a great brand logo & tagline
The most basic (and arguably the most important piece) of brand building, is the creation of your company logo and tagline. This graphic will appear on everything that relates to your small business. It will become your calling card, and the visual recognition of your promise. Be willing to invest the time and money to create something exceptional. You’ll be putting the logo on everything, to reinforce visual identity of your brand.
Step 6 : Form your brand’s business voice.
Your voice is dependent on your company mission, audience, and industry. It’s how you communicate with your customers, and how they respond to you.
A business voice could be:
- informative, etc.
Step 7 : Integrate your brand into every aspect of your business.
Your brand should be visible and show in everything that your customer sees. If a client walks into your office, your brand should be on display both in the environment and with personal interactions. Anything tangible from business cards, to advertisements, to packaging–needs the stamp of your logo. When you design your website: incorporate your voice, message, and personality into content. Profile pages for social media networks should be branded visually.
A solid brand building process can transform your business from a small player into a successful competitor. You’ll discover that your customers will develop a deeper level of trust for your brand, and be more likely to purchase what you are selling. Develop a consistent message and visual identity to reinforce your mission. Integrate your brand into every aspect of customer experience: from your storefront, to your website, to your personal interactions!