Why Is Branding Important for a Small Business?
A strong brand identity is a small business’s greatest asset because it speaks to the public about what the company stands for and builds brand recognition. Big brands such as Nike and Apple started very small, with just an idea, but are now some of the most visually recognizable brands in the world. Even the smallest business can create a successful brand strategy with time and consideration. Building a brand for your small business is a process that requires time, expertise, and creativity.
Define your brand identity
To define your brand identity, you must be clear about who you are as a company. Your identity is more than just a logo; it’s an image. It has the power to set you apart from your competitors. The business brand speaks to your company mission, values, how you treat customers, how customers perceive the business, your reputation, and so much more.
The goal of creating a unique brand is to generate excitement, brand recognition, and interest. Being unique will help you stand out from competitors and get noticed. Offer something that people haven’t seen or heard of before. Sparking interest, curiosity, emotional connection, and even shock are all desired outcomes, but remember to remain genuine to your brand message and promise above all else. Authenticity is key when connecting with what’s most important to people.
Figure out who you are
Before diving headfirst into developing the perfect brand identity, small business owners should take a step back and do a little soul-searching. Explore what makes your business unique and ask yourself some of these deeper questions:
- What do I want my business to be known for?
- What influence or impact do I want to have within my industry?
- What would they be if I had to describe my business in just three words?
- What are our core values?
- Why should customers do business with us?
- Where do we want to be within the next 5 to 10 years and beyond?
Figuring out who you are as a company is no small task, but with careful thought and consideration, you can begin the important step of positioning your small business’ brand for the future.
Figure out who your target customers are
Since your business’s success depends on meeting your customers’ needs and wants, you’ll need to take the time to learn more about who your ideal customer is. If you don’t know who they are, how will you know if your product or service is what they need or want? Ask yourself these questions:
- What matters to them?
- What age bracket do they fall in?
- Are they a specific gender?
- Why do they need your particular product or service?
- What is their income and education level?
- How long will your product or service be of use to them?
If you’re unsure who your target audience is, consider utilizing market research tools such as surveys or focus groups. Small business owners can better use precious funds and energy and connect with potential customers by tailoring their sales and marketing approach to reach their target market.
Visual storytelling is an integral part of small business branding, from the logo to the font size and color scheme of business cards to graphics and design. If used correctly and consistently, the right marketing strategy can successfully and memorably launch a brand’s visual identity to the masses.
Create a memorable logo
The importance of creating a memorable company logo cannot be underestimated. A logo identifies a business, like a name identifies a person. It is the leading vehicle to carry a brand’s message to its target audience. And since the company logo acts as a starting point for all other visual branding, it should be the first thing that business owners design. A memorable logo should reflect a brand’s purpose, personality, and brand story, with the main objective being to make it easily recognizable to people. Many studies show that the most memorable logos are of the most straightforward designs and that many consumers will want to know more about a business after seeing its simple logo.
Be bold and daring
When building a brand for your small business, don’t be misled into thinking that a simple logo design implies that it needs to be boring! An effective company logo will grab a person’s attention and make a solid first impression, so don’t be afraid to be bold, daring, and unique! Because a company’s logo is the first thing people see when they come across a new brand, consider enlisting the help of a professional graphic designer. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Sharing your brand voice
What is a brand voice? Simply put, your brand voice is a distinct personality, emotions, and language your company uses in all communications. It applies to every platform, including your website, social media, content marketing, newsletters, advertising, etc. The same practice applies to your company’s brand voice when you document your visual brand. The document should always begin with your mission statement and core values, followed by brand phrases, everyday vocabulary, and personality traits. Provide plenty of examples of writing within the parameters of your brand’s personality. You will also want to include examples of language and tone you don’t want. Developing your brand’s voice is not a one-and-done project. Much like any persona, a brand voice will evolve. Review and re-evaluate at least once a year to avoid becoming outdated.
Let your customers become your brand ambassador
Walt Disney, the father of “The Happiest Place on Earth,” once said, “Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”
Building your brand is more than an eye-catching logo and a great marketing campaign. Building and maintaining a friendly report and keeping your customers happy are essential to the reputation of your business. Make doing business with you hassle-free and enjoyable at all times. You can attract customers to utilize more of your services by offering promotions, discounts, or even free samples when appropriate. People love to feel special, so reward your devoted client base with loyalty programs and referral bonuses. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, so make exceptional customer experiences your business’ mission.
Use social media
Reach a broader audience, develop new leads, and engage with existing and potential customers by incorporating social media networks into your marketing strategy. Some top social media platforms to drive brand awareness are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tiktok, Pinterest, and YouTube. Social media use continues to increase, so don’t overlook the importance of social media networks when building a brand for your small business. The effectiveness of this tool is highly dependent upon your target audience, so it’s best to invest in a social media marketing expert to create targeted social media posts and promote brand awareness.
Quality over quantity
People do business with brands they trust. You establish trust with potential customers the second they learn about your brand. Your website, social media, and employees will create an experience for this prospect. Choosing quality content or delivering quality experiences to these potential customers can quickly turn them into loyal customers. If you want to build an outstanding brand name, quality is non-negotiable. Take pride in what you’re putting into this world, and loyal customers will lead to your brand’s lasting success.
From the beginning of brand building, consistency is undoubtedly one of the cornerstones of developing a solid and successful brand name. Being indecisive and making minor adjustments every so often may be perceived as a weakness and put the entire business at risk. It’s hard to garner trust when you’re constantly changing your position. Stay true to yourself and committed to your vision.
Don’t copy your competition
We’ve all heard the proverb, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” but don’t be fooled into thinking that this also relates to business. Customers may see this as fake and insincere, which will kill your business. It’s a good practice to learn from your closest competition in the marketplace, but don’t copy them. Being unique has its competitive advantages. Remember, always stay true to your vision, your values, and your mission.
Gro Social supports business growth with consistent branding and marketing. If you’re struggling with building a brand for your small business, schedule a consultation today!