If you run a business, your branding is one of the most important elements of it. It makes no difference how big, or small your business is, without the right branding and marketing, you will not make the profits that you deserve to because not enough people will know you exist. Your branding works is a promise to your customers, showing them what you stand for and how you operate. It also shows them what you can provide. Your branding sets you apart from the competition and is the thing, more than anything else, that will persuade customers to come to you and not another company. How can you create an unforgettable brand?
Define The Brand
When you define your brand, you are looking deep into the inner workings of your company to discover what it is exactly which you want to achieve. How do you want to be perceived? What is important to tell your customers through your brand? Every company will have a mission. Some of those missions aren’t of interest to the customers, though. If, for example, your company mission is to make as much money as you can, your customers won’t want to know about it. Don’t mention it in your branding! You will instead need to work out what you can offer your customers that no one else can. That is your mission. You should also know what the features and benefits are of your product or service, and what qualities you want your customers to think of when they see your logo or your advertising. These things together help to define your brand.
Your logo is a crucial part of your branding strategy. A logo is a kind of shorthand, something that allows people to know who you are and what you do without you having to spell it all out for them. It is worth researching how logos work, and what the best logos are. Specific colors, styles, and fonts are important, and it will also depend on what your product or service is as to how you go about designing your logo. A sports logo, for example, will be completely different to one representing a food company. Once you have your logo it needs to be placed on everything you send out; it needs to be on your paperwork and your website, on your vehicles and your clothing. You must put it in your potential customers’ minds and keep it there.
When you are thinking of your brand, you should also discover what its voice is. Every brand has a certain tone associated with it, and that tone should be reflected within the company itself. Depending on what it is you sell, that voice can be caring and welcoming, or brash and loud. It can be anything in between as long as it doesn’t alienate people, and as long as it is what those people who your market research determined were your ideal customers want and need to hear.
When designing the brand for your independent small business, it’s important to be yourself and to be unique. Don’t try to mimic what the larger chains and more famous stores are doing; you could get yourself into trouble, and, perhaps worse, you could drive customers away. Right now there is a huge upwards trend towards shopping in independent stores and boutiques. People are actively choosing to do this rather than spending their money in the larger stores. They like the personal nature of independent businesses, and they like that they are putting money into someone’s college fund or vacation savings rather than into a big, corporate black hole. If you try to be too much like the bigger chains, those customers who are seeking out independent stores to shop in may steer away from you. Being independent is a big pull for many customers, so play on that in your branding and stand out for being completely different.
What Is The Competition Doing?
Although as we’ve said being unique is essential to making your business profitable, it is also important to carry out research on what your competitors are doing. It’s not so that you can align your branding more closely with theirs, however. Instead, it is to discover where those other brands are succeeding (and where they are failing). Knowing these things will point you in the right direction and help you on your way to working out what your branding should be about, and what it needs to include. The main goal, once you have this information, is to differentiate yourself.
What Is Your Elevator Pitch?
Do you have an elevator pitch? The elevator pitch is your company’s brand message put succinctly into one or two sentences. It should use the brand voice you have chosen for the rest of your marketing efforts. It may be that no one ever sees this ‘pitch’, but if you always remember it and stick to it, it will make branding, and running the business in general, a lot easier. This ethos will be the backbone of the company. It needs to be able to communicate on a human level, without any technical jargon or sales spiel. It should be easy to understand, and ideally, it should strike at an emotional level.
When you build a brand for your business, it needs to be professional. If it is not, customers will have difficulty trusting you. There are so many companies and places to buy goods these days that trust is essential; if a customer doesn’t feel it, they will move onto the next website or across the street and buy their items elsewhere. One way to look professional is to have a consistent look across all your marketing material and your company in general. Once you come up with your logo, make sure you use the same fonts and colors for all your other marketing. Ensure that the colors of any uniforms that you have also match this scheme. Being consistent means that as soon as someone sees your colors or font or your tagline, they will immediately be reminded of your company. It will boost sales for you because you become much more part of the advertising landscape.