7 Easy Steps to Create the Perfect Branding Strategy for your Small Business
Branding entails more than just your company’s logo.. It’s more about your message, reputation, and emotions relating to your clients behind your logo. Truly, your brand is what people think of when they think about your small business.
Your small business’s branding is what will bring in new clients and keep existing ones happy. It has the power to make or break your business, and so isn’t something you can just push off to the side.
What more can a good branding strategy bring?
- Trust within the marketplace
- More business recognition
- Better outcomes to your marketing efforts
- Employee motivation to carry your mission forward
- Increased revenue generation
While business branding isn’t rocket science, it does necessitate a certain amount of creativity and strategic thinking. And it may take a back seat at times when you’re preoccupied with other parts of your company’s expansion.
So, how can you enhance your small business branding to make it more memorable?
Worry not! We’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll look at the 7 branding strategies that will boost your small business growth and make your company more recognizable.
7 steps to a memorable brand->
- Define your brand personality
- Create a visual identity
- Maintain brand consistency
- Position your business brand as an expert
- Cross-promote to expand reach
- Build your brand on social media
- Create an amazing customer experience
Ready? Let’s go!
1. Define your brand personality
Who are you? What exactly do you offer? What’s more important is, why should a prospective consumer choose you?
The personality of your brand is what makes people love (or detest) it.
It’s not just about your logo or corporate slogan; it’s about you, your team, what you offer, how you operate, and what you love. In the end, it’s what draws customers to your company.
Now, the question is – how to define it? Let us discuss a few key points that can assist you in defining your company’s brand personality:
A) Know who you are
You must first understand who you are as a company before you can learn about the precise aspects that may effect your brand image.
Take a piece of paper or a new document and scribble down your responses to all of the following questions about your company:
- How would you like your team to be remembered?
- What is your business mission?
- Do your products or services solve any problems? If yes, what are they?
- How does your business solve those problems?
- Where do you see your business going?
- Why is this business important to you?
You now have a good picture of your reasons and objectives. This knowledge is necessary for creating a brand that aesthetically conveys these ideals.
B) Know your target audience
You can’t build a strong brand unless you know who you want it to speak to. Bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to target audiences. In fact, the more narrow your target audience is, the more effective your business branding strategies will be.
The following are some elements that can help you narrow down your focus and discover your niche:
- Demographics like age, gender, education, and occupation
- The target audience of similar or competing brands
- Statistics on sales and market
- Customer reviews and surveys
C) Define your competitive advantage
Nowadays, even the most unique ideas have competition, and undiscovered niches are hard to come by. So, if you want to stand out from the crowd and create a memorable brand, you must first determine your competitive advantage.
Your competitive advantage doesn’t have to be world-shaking. Is your product 100% natural? Are you carrying on a family tradition of service that dates back 40 years? Are you known for providing the greatest customer service in the industry?
It may be even easier than that; simply figure out what makes you unique and use it into every aspect of your small business branding strategy.
2. Create a visual identity
Now that you’ve defined the base of your brand, next you will have to breathe life into it. You must provide your company a distinct visual identity with which your target audience can identify.. The challenge here is to create strong impressions and feelings with small and nuanced tools.
We’ll take a look at the various elements that come together to form a cohesive visual identity of your brand:
When creating a business’s brand identity, a consistent type of font should be used, each for a specific reason. There are numerous distinct fonts, each with its own effect on the spectator, including varying degrees of legibility. Most of the design experts suggest using a mix of Sans Serif font and a Serif font.
When it comes to visual identity, you should think about a logo wordmark, a headline typeface, and a body copy font (which should be the most legible).
B) Color palette
Color is used to define a brand through a scheme of extremely particular hues, tones, and tints (usually no more than three colors are advised). Colors, when used effectively, can elicit some of the strongest emotional responses in the spectator.
You will generally need to assign a primary color (the main color for your brand), a secondary color (to be used in the background), and an accent color (for contrast on assets such as a CTA button).
With the arrival of the digital age and social media, we are bombarded with brand images every day. There are trillions of images in the world, and we know that content with imagery is more memorable and creates more engagement than content without it.
However, merely selecting any image and inserting it into content (because you now know you need it) isn’t enough. It must be the right image, one that supports or tells the story you’re attempting to tell, aligns with your brand promise, and sticks out amid the sea of photos available.
D) Business logo
People are more likely to see your logo first when they come into contact with your company, and it’s your chance to make a strong first impression. It is a brand’s most crucial visual connection with its customers.
A good logo is memorable, effective at communicating the brand message, and can establish a strong brand identity.
When it comes to logo design, you can use a lot of creativity, but make sure it matches your brand promise. To make it elegant and timeless, keep it simple with minimal colors and clean fonts.
E) Professional website
Your website is one of the most representative elements of your brand’s visual identity. Customers will surely check over your website before doing business with you, especially if you run an online business or sell a digital product.
So, the appearance and feel of your website should match the rest of your branding. Your website should clearly reflect your basic principles, prompting your audience to make that all-important click.
3. Maintain brand consistency
From old logos that don’t match on social media pages to tag lines and mission statements that read differently depending on where you look, a lot of small businesses often ignore brand consistency and end up losing their recognition.
Inconsistency like this might seem not so important, but for customers, this inconsistency can raise a red flag, making them doubt not only the validity and trustworthiness of a brand but also its professionalism.
So, here are a few fundamental approaches you can consider to maintain consistent branding and reinforce your identity:
- Use your logo and design elements consistently. The only thing that is worse than seeing a logo that has been stretched out of proportion, deformed, or painted with new colors is having it shared with customers and employees in that manner.
- Select relevant topics for your brand’s content calendar. Your brand’s objectives and goals should be reflected in the topics you write about, as well as the webinars and videos you generate.
- Incorporate offline marketing events into your online branding strategy. If your company is exhibiting at a trade show, has won an award, or is participating in a community event, let your online audience know.
You can learn more about internet marketing strategies for your business here.
- Maintain a consistent brand tone and personality across all channels. If your brand is lighthearted and upbeat on Twitter, it should be similarly so on Facebook and Instagram.
Similarly, your LinkedIn messaging might be less casual or more formal, but it shouldn’t sound like it’s coming from a different brand altogether.
- Participate in platforms and channels that reflect your brand’s personality. as well as the preferences of your prospects and customers.
Don’t follow the crowd to an existing network or become an early adopter of a new trend that doesn’t make any sense to your business.
- Work with influencers that appeal to your target audience. Influencer marketing is hot right now. It’s been so hot that businesses have rushed in and made some mistakes when choosing the right influencer to represent their brands.
If you choose to collaborate with influencers, make sure they share your brand’s personality.
4. Position your business brand as an expert
You may not have a large advertising budget as a small business owner. Content marketing, on the other hand, is a more straightforward and cost-effective strategy to bring your company to the forefront.
It can assist you in becoming a market leader. You’ll become the go-to resource and subject matter authority in your field if you succeed, and your audience will come to trust you. And, when it’s time for them to choose a business partner, you’ll be at the top of their list!
Fun fact: 70% of marketers rely on content marketing as a key marketing strategy. Want to know how to employ it for your own business? Check this out!
However, this process takes some time. You have to publish content that is backed by proper research & data, and solves the burning questions of your customers consistently in order to build credibility.
You may go for case studies, articles, blog posts, infographics, and more. The point is, your customers want a lot of information. And if you can deliver value and make it accessible to them through your content, they’ll begin to trust your brand, which will drive your business.
5. Cross-promote to expand reach
Do you know a brand that really compliments your product or service?
Are they a competitor? If not, see if they’re willing to work together. There are a lot of influencers, non-profit organizations, and businesses to choose from. And many would jump at any chance to collaborate with a different brand.
Sounds like a great idea, right? It is indeed! And it has been here for quite some time.
Cross-promotion happens all the time with brands around us, and it is one of the most popular local marketing methods. A notable example is McDonald’s Happy Meal, which promotes the latest blockbuster success.
What is the key to this strategy’s success? Finding a company with similar but non-competitive audiences is a good place to start.
If you own a local bakery, for example, you might consider partnering with local cafés and restaurants to sell your delightful goodies. If you offer beauty items, consider forming a partnership with a local salon.
It’s easy to form local business partnerships. You can go to the physical store and make your suggestion to the owner in person. If you don’t have time to wait for them, simply find out the owner’s name and use email finder tools to obtain their contact information.
6. Build your brand on social media
According to a research, the number of people using social media has surpassed 4.2 billion in early 2021. What better way to advertise yourself than through your social media sites, especially with so many people online?
Having a strong social media presence can help you increase the visibility of your small business brand and reach a wider audience. It can assist you in communicating with potential customers, learning about their preferences, and responding to any queries they may have about your company.
Here are a few ways you can build your brand on social media and increase its visibility:
A) Be consistent across all social media platforms.
Your brand profile should be identical across all platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, your corporate blog, and wherever else it appears. Graphics, color, style, language, and even the frequency with which posts are published should all be consistent.
B) Know your brand’s tone & writing style.
The product or service you offer, as well as the demographics of your target audience, shape the voice and style of a business on social media. Imagine your brand as a person and consider what type of language it would use. Try to picture how this individual would speak by describing them in terms of age, gender, interests, and personality.
C) Talk like a human being.
Ditch the corporate jargon and use conversational language. Respond to questions by their first name, and don’t be hesitant to use informal dialogue. If a brand speaks as if it were a genuine person with a personality, it will become more relatable. It might even go viral if it’s very brilliant, sincere, and funny.
D) Quit plugging, start interacting.
Concentrate on building a two-way dialogue with clients through conversing, interacting, and caring. Don’t just plug products or services.
E) Be transparent.
Giving clients a glimpse behind the scenes can help create a successful relationship because transparency is the cornerstone of any long-term engagement.
F) Make it visual.
Users are more engaged with posts that feature images than with posts that do not. Utilize Pinterest and Tumblr, which can be used to store and distribute visual information, to include infographics, images, and other visual assets.
G) Post relevant content.
Don’t just post for the sake of it. Keep your social media messages relevant, meaningful, and simple. People unfollow and detest brands for a variety of reasons, one of which is ‘boring’ content.
7. Create an amazing customer experience
Branding for a small business such as yours doesn’t end just after you create a logo, come up with marketing strategies or lay out a plan to grab customers’ attention. It all comes down to what you do after you’ve made contact with those customers. The reputation you build and what customers say behind your back is the most crucial part of your branding.
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools a small business can wish for today. And what could be a better way to make your customers come back to you and tell their friends about you than creating a positive experience every time they interact with your brand.
When it comes to customer experience, it’s not just about a single interaction or a department. If you truly want to live and breathe customer service, you must continually provide a positive experience to your customers, regardless of how, when, or why they interact with your company.
Yes, you can hire and teach good people, but you must also give them the resources that they need to deliver a customer experience that not only meets but exceeds their expectations.
Tip: Keep looking for opportunities where you can improve the customer experience. Is it a hassle to make a return? Provide customers a prepaid return label along with explicit instructions to make the procedure easier.
Is it taking very long for your customers to book a service with you? Make it seamless by using an appointment scheduling software!
Be there for them, no matter how, where, and when they reach out to you, be consistent, and build your brand through satisfied customers.
While branding your company may appear difficult at first, it ultimately demands dedication and hard work to see benefits.
And now that you know how to properly brand your business, it’s time to get out there, implement these small business branding ideas, and get started! All the best and happy branding 🙂
If there’s anything else you want to know or simply want to have a chat, feel free to drop a comment below.
We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, and resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day.
If you have any thoughts on this blog or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below.
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