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Eight Simple and Effective Ways
to Brand Your Small Business
Owning a small business is hard work and there are a lot of different components that you must consider. For instance, without proper branding, you won't get very far.
Fortunately, however, there are some things you can do to make branding your small business easier.
Define Your Brand
The first thing you must do is to define your business. This is such a critical step that the Small Business Administration offers both free and low-cost help in this arena.
Small Biz Trends says when you're willing to do the work yourself, it won't cost you anything more than some time to properly brand your business. Of course, there are a few questions you'll want to answer before you set out on this endeavor, including:
- What's your business' mission?
- Why is your business different from your competitors?
- Who are your customers?
With answers to these questions in mind, you're ready to choose your company's name or rebrand it if you've already started a business that isn't living up to its full potential. This is important because you want a name that sounds professional, but that also reflects your mission, personality, and goals at the same time.
Create a Logo
Once you figure out how to best define your brand you'll want to create a logo your customers can use to identify you by. Its color and design probably won't be a major factor in attracting customers to you. Nevertheless, when your customers see your logo they should connect it to your brand and its message. You don't need to spend a lot of money to make this happen, but you do want to make sure that the color and image align with your company's values. Once you choose a logo that you feel you can identify with and that you believe will work best for your company, make sure you plaster it everywhere – from brochures you hand out to your website.
Share Your Business
You'll find that there are many ways you can build your brand. However, two of the most popular resources you'll have at your disposal include:
- Blogging: There are several free or inexpensive platforms available you can use to share your insights and establish yourself as an expert. You can do this by discussing issues that are relevant to your target audience so that you're able to develop a personal connection with them. The best way to do this is to consistently deliver fresh content. For this, you'll want to create an editorial calendar that will help keep you on track.
- Social media: By actively engaging here you can easily build your brand since it's free to join all these platforms. Of course, it's important to understand that you don't need to be everywhere. Instead, you should take some time to conduct some research to discover what platforms will work best for you to reach your target audience. Once you find these platforms, you'll want to share posts, photos, and anything else you can share that will help strengthen your brand. Do your best to remain active here, especially since there are so many free or inexpensive tools available to help you do so. A few that you may wish to consider include Buffer and Hootsuite – both of which offer various plans ranging from free to inexpensive.
The way you communicate your marketing message is known as your tone of voice. You have several to choose from here, including professional, casual, or you can even choose to be funny.
The most important thing is to make sure that whatever tone of voice you choose resonates well with your audience. For instance, if you own a B2B firm, then it's a good idea to use a more formal tone instead of a casual tone that's peppered with teen-friendly acronyms. Once you determine what tone of voice you want to use, make sure that you use it consistently across all your various marketing channels.
This is also important when you outsource your content creation to writers. They must use your brand’s voice as if it were second nature to them. You can help them do this by taking the time to create a document that outlines your brand guidelines and making sure this includes examples of the tone you're trying to obtain. It's also important for you to meet with them to answer their questions.
Marketing Donut says there's a lot of bureaucracy surrounding big brands today. Unfortunately, this prevents them from being flexible and reacting to their customers' ever-changing needs. With so many different people involved in making decisions, it's also harder for these businesses to be daring with their branding.
As a small business without bureaucracy, you can be innovative.
Know Your Brand’s Values
Forbes says once you establish what your brand stands for, your marketing will benefit greatly because you'll know what values you'll want to communicate to your customers and how you can do so. You'll want to make notes of what you've found is important for your business – things like your concern for the environment and how your company's decisions align with this value.
It's a good idea to conduct corporate reviews so your potential clients can have a quick and positive idea about who your company is and what it stands for. Since this is meant to be a “quick” overview, it shouldn't be more than a single page in length. Make sure you use short sentences so it's easy for people to read and understand.
Enhance Efficiency and Productivity
The type of publicity your company receives will depend on how good you are at creating your products or providing your services. Of course, no business owner ever wants to receive bad publicity, especially since it travels faster than good publicity does. This is why you must make sure you provide high-quality products and services, so you don't compromise your brand. When you need some encouragement to help you do this, you should listen to motivational speakers for better productivity.
Now that you have an idea of what you must do to properly brand your business, it's time to get started. Taking the time to do so may be just the boost your business really needs today. This is just one of the many reasons you shouldn't put it off any longer.
About the Author
Mila Jones is a Senior Business Consultant, with rich experience in the domains of technology consulting and strategy, she works with both established technology brands and market entrants to offer research inputs and insights on leveraging technology as a source of strategic competitive advantage.
She is a prolific author and shares her expertise with tech enthusiasts on popular digital publishing platforms.