It can be tricky when starting a new business, as there are so many competitors vying for the same connections. This is why no matter how big or small your company is; you still need to consider branding.
While larger companies have equally larger budgets to spend on branding, you really don’t need a huge bank account to have an effective strategy. There are lots of steps you can take to grab customers’ attention and make your business stand out, without breaking the bank.
Don’t make the mistake of ignoring branding because you don’t think it applies to you. On the contrary, many small businesses are a distinct brand. You don’t have to be a corporate giant to have an identity.
Focus your efforts on visual branding, content marketing, business opportunities and customer attention. There are several branding strategies that can help your business and you don’t have to spend a fortune to benefit from these ideas.
Your first step should be to define your brand identity. This means you need to decide exactly who you are, or who you aspire to be, as a brand. When you already know, that’s ideal, but if you’re not sure, it’s time to do some serious thinking.
When you’re trying to define your brand ID, think about how you would concisely describe your company; what you wish to be known for in the marketplace; your company’s core values and missions; and what kind of difference you wish to make in your industry. Then consider how to infuse all of this into your branding.
Define your target customers
Although this sounds obvious, some small businesses neglect to figure out who they’re trying to sell to. As a result, their branding efforts suffer. Think about who your ideal customer is, such as their age, their income, gender, what they’re looking for and why they would need your product or services.
Once you’ve determined your target market, use it to influence your branding strategy. You’ll find the end result will be a more successful brand that connects with your target customers.
Unique selling point
Establish what’s different about your company and what makes you stand out from your competitors. This is your “unique selling point” or “point of difference”. This is what makes you special and why customers would choose you over another brand, so it must be built into your strategy.
It doesn’t need to be something spectacular, it just needs to be something that makes your company a little bit special. Maybe it’s a family business that gives the local community a personal service, or perhaps you use ethically sourced ingredients in your products? Whatever it is, use this unique factor as part of your brand identity.
Designing your brand
Once you know the message you want to put across, get visual with your branding, so it has the right look and feel. Consider your design strategy carefully, such as the best colours to use and the fonts for the text. If you’re working with someone else to design your brand, make sure you’re all on the same page.
Remember your logo is the public face of your business. It will be the first thing people see when they encounter your company, so the visuals will be tied forever to your business. Your brand can be your most important visual asset and the springboard for all other aspects of your success, so make sure you get it right.
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