When you are just starting out your small business, branding may seem like a daunting task. But it is the elephant in the room that one must start paying close attention to. Your company’s brand is how you present yourselves to your customers. It gives your small business a distinct identity as it provides information on who you are as a company, what your products/services are and what makes them unique, and what values your company upholds. The brand you will be creating determines how you are perceived by your customers and how you differentiate from the competitors. Branding is, in other words, an opportunity to make your small business stand out.
But how do you create a brand for your small business? Here are some easy pointers for you to remember.
Branding is about having focus and being clear about your company’s identity. And so, it is important that you must first define: 1) what your small business is all about, 2) what your goals are for the short-term or long-term, 3) what are the strengths and weaknesses of the products/services you offer, and 4) who are your primary target customers. Have a strong foundation laid out first with the basic information that are vital for your small business.
Branding is also about telling your story. Creating a story as part of your brand gives more humanity to your small business. A business is not just about selling this or that and earning profit, it can also be a symbol for the struggles, the dreams, and the vision of its founder and everyone who aspires to be like him/her. Be brave in creating and telling a story that is personal and true. Having a story attached to your small business also gives an easy brand recall to your customers.
Once you get to know your small business inside out, it is time to determine your own voice as a company. Will your business adapt a more playful tone when interacting with the customers? Or will it be more serious or perhaps quite casual? Your own unique voice must reflect the values which your business is grounded upon and the kinds of customers you wish to attract.
Get the Word Out
Knowing what your small business is all about is coming up with a clear message and a distinct voice for your brand. Now, to get that message across, the right tools and medium are essential. A few basic brand elements you may need to consider are the following: a good and memorable brand name or business name; a well-designed logo that will not leave people scratching their heads in confusion; perhaps, a catchy tagline; and the overall look of your small business – from your business cards to your website design down to your packaging. All of these elements must tie up into one cohesive and consistent brand. Keep it simple and easy to understand for your target customers.
To get the word out for your small business, advertising is also needed. To make advertising for your small business less costly, try organic advertising, which is built on trust that your company has established with your customers. Customers may spread word about your business if you are able to deliver on the excellence you have promised or more. Utilize social media as well and create an online community for your small business. Traditional media such as print, television, and radio may work but keep exploring other means to advertise more effectively.
Deliver What You Promise
The last step in creating a brand is ensuring that you deliver on the what your brand has promised. It is problematic when the brand you are advertising is all moon and stars but the actual product/service is a let down. Be consistent with your message. It is often consistency that wins the loyalty of your customers, so work hard and smart to get to that top level you are telling your customers about.