5 BRANDING TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
WHAT IS BRANDING
Your brand is one of the most important assets of your business. It gives your company its own identity, making it distinct and memorable. As a small business, you might think that only big companies like Apple and Google have the ability and budget to build a great brand. However, contrary to popular belief, branding can be inexpensive. With some ideation and research online, excellent branding can be achievable even for small businesses.
So, what is branding? Branding is a never-ending process of researching, creating, and managing the assets that shape the perception of a brand. The process of branding may sound intimidating for small businesses. However, following these 5 tips will help you build your brand seamlessly.
1. HAVE A BRAND STRATEGY
Oftentimes, small business owners may be too excited to jump straight into building a brand identity for their company. For instance, you might be tempted to hop right into creating your logo or a website. However, there should be some ideation process on the backend – defining your brand strategy.
Creating a brand strategy is arguably the most vital process of building a great brand. It is like a blueprint that provides a clear direction for the branding process. The brand strategy consists of a detailed plan which includes the heart, message, and identity of your brand.
Firstly, the brand heart refers to the core of the brand. It comprises the purpose, mission and vision, and values of your business. Your brand heart provides the foundation for your brand strategy.
Brand messaging is the way you convey your brand. It highlights the emotions behind your brand. For instance, this includes the story of how your company was founded or the need for your products or services. Brand messaging comprises the brand voice, taglines, value propositions, and brand pillars.
The final part of completing your brand strategy is the identity of your brand. Brand identity refers to the visible elements of your brand. For instance, the logo, typography, and colours, etc, of your brand. Your brand identity is a powerful tool to communicate with your target audience and provide them with a unique brand experience.
2. BE CONSISTENT
By prioritising consistency, your brand can be easily recognizable. Hence, customers across different platforms can easily decode your brand and become familiar with it. With an increased sense of familiarity, they will come to prefer your brand over time.
3. CREATE A BRAND GUIDELINE
As your business expands, your team expands. Therefore, you will need a brand guideline as a resource for everyone to understand how to represent your brand. Brand guidelines comprise a set of rules to create a cohesive identity for your brand. It includes design details and logo variations etc.
A brand guideline helps you establish cohesiveness and consistency in your brand. In the long run, this increases your brand awareness which helps customers gain confidence and trust in your brand.
4. SEEK FOR PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES (CO-BRANDING)
Ideally, you should find a company with similar but non-competitive audiences to make this strategy effective. For instance, both businesses can do a joint promotional giveaway on social media, or even a joint webinar. This can help your business increase exposure by gaining access to new a customer base. Both businesses can help complement each other and ultimately boost sales of both parties, creating a win-win situation.
5. CREATE A STRONG ONLINE PRESENCE
With most businesses going digital during the pandemic, it becomes important to prioritize your company’s presence online. With a good marketing strategy online, it can help build confidence and credibility in your brand. For instance, you can use different social media platforms to engage with your audience. This helps you to express your brand’s personality and build trust with your audience.
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