Branding Strategy for Your Small BusinessWritten by Mindaugas on November 13, 2017
Setting yourself apart is essential in today’s globalized society. You can’t walk a single block without being bombarded with advertisements and products that share way too many similarities with one another.
When you thought about creating a business, did you expect to encounter this much competition? You probably did market research to establish potential competitors that you might have to go head-to-head with to share the market with.
Alas you have to establish your dominance in the market. Promote yourself in the way that lets you stand tall among the competition. Strut your feathers, create an image of your company that will continue to attract customers for life. Building a reliable brand name for yourself will do just that.
Significance of Branding
You may be wondering; aren’t my marketing efforts enough to bite of a sizeable chunk of the market share? With competition getting stiffer by the day, marketing won’t always secure your business what it needs to thrive.
Marketing efforts are increasing, budgets for marketing are getting bigger. Big guys want to stay ahead of the pack, the newcomers want to make a name for themselves. You have to expand your company beyond its products. When developing a brand for yourself, you are not only signifying the importance of your goods, but the values you encompass within your organization.
A brand is promise, a guarantee to your customer, that if they choose to go with you, they won’t have to look back. An established brand name is security, affirmation that the customer should believe in your product and everything it stands for.
These words must resonate with anyone that has ever done marketing, or brand promotion. Without a buyer’s persona to focus your energy on, branding and marketing efforts will greatly be diminished.
Buyers persona is something as a business owner should know a lot about. At this point, you need to already have envisioned the perfect customer for your business.
When creating a brand that reflects your business, you always need to consider your buyer’s persona. Never let it slip your mind.
Things to Consider
When trying to establish a brand for your buyer’s persona, keep these things in mind –
- How do you want the consumer to view your enterprise?
- What is the best way to approach your branding strategy?
- Will this resonate well with your target demographic?
- Does your brand stay true to the promises you make to your consumers?
- Does your product relate to the brand message you’re trying to send?
- Is the brand message clear to the consumer?
Are these questions answered in your quest to develop a sound brand for your organization? Consumer looking to do business with you shouldn’t be puzzled by the message you are trying to spread.
The way you formulate your message, your target demographic should instantly be aware of the direction you’re going with and what you’re trying to relay.
Brand of Brothers
Ever seen sponsors for sporting events? Sponsors for some business outing? You may have noticed the companies funding them vary significantly. The type of company undertaking the sponsorship usually have certain values in common with who or what they choose to sponsor.
You are not going to see Monster or RedBull sponsor a family potato sack race! Those energy drink companies are sponsoring and funding extreme sporting events, racing and the like, because they want to be associated with that lifestyle and the edginess that comes with those sports.
Building a remarkable brand means connecting with others that share your vision, interests, and promoting a certain lifestyle. Remember when you cooperate with similar individuals, the drive to achieve same goals will fuel both of your successes.
Finding Appropriate Sponsor
Depending on your type of business, you will have some incredible opportunities to build a brand through sponsorship. This will serve a dual purpose as a marketing campaign and help you establish your name in the community.
Look around your area and see what it has to offer. There will be a lot of potential clients out there ready to take on a sponsor. If they fit your profile and you fit theirs, you could be building a valuable relationship that will aid you in growing your brand name.
First impressions when meeting someone will create a long lasting memory of the person or a place. Anytime you reel in a new customer, they should have a great time conducting business with you. The positive initial experience will always be remembered, and could very well lead to repeat business.
Connecting on a personal level with your consumer will build a long lasting bond. Not only will customers continue to come to you, but they will talk about you to their peers.
You should always urge your employees to get to know the customer on a deeper level. This will improve the overall quality of the service they receive. Customers will get used to leaving your business with a smile on his or her face.
Avoid dealing with customers like they solely exist to pay your bills. Treat them as if they were your family. If possible, you should strive to get to know everyone beyond the surface. Keep in mind that this may not always work with your buyers persona, but in many cases it can really do your business good.
If you can, figure out creative ways to add some personalized touches to your services or products that you create.
Questions, Comments, Concerns
Never cease learning about your customers. Stay on your toes and see how you can improve their experience anytime they choose to do business with you.
Some businesses utilize online surveys to get some insight on customer experience in their establishment. Implement a way to gather customer feedback and keep striving to improve you business approach!
When you head people talk about companies they did business with, they will often mention the quality of customer care. Some of the most memorable aspects of a business is how a customer is treated during the good times and the bad times.
It’s up to you how you handle your customer service of course. Just keep in mind that customer service is a huge part of building a favorable brand for your business.
Appreciate your customer. Don’t be afraid to reward them for sticking around with you. There are ways to entice your clientele to keep coming back to you. Coupons, loyalty promotions, referral rewards and other similar incentives can really tie the customer to you and help bring in others too.
If you can financially allow yourself to offer guarantees to the consumer, you should go for it. There are lifetime warranties, money back guarantees, free replacements and others that can offer the customer a peace of mind when making a purchase.
Many people will greatly appreciate you offering them security when they choose to do business with you. This will build a positive reputation for you in the community, thus enhancing your business’ image and the brand you are trying to cultivate.
You and your business will encounter numerous problems with your staff as well as with the customers. Amicable problem solving will create great rapport with the consumer. Learning to settle disputes efficiently and with compromise will leave the everyone content. You will also retain the possibility to continue building a relationship with the same clients.
Speak volumes before you say a word. That’s what a well designed logo does for any business. This could possibly be one of the trickiest things you will do as a business owner.
Creating an image that reflects your company is a daunting task that cannot be taken lightly.
You will need to collaborate your efforts from different parties to create something meaningful and memorable that will represent your company through any medium; be it a brochure, billboard, or a simple business card.
Learn to love your logo. Don’t be stingy with it and use it generously.
Have you ever had a catchy phrase get stuck in your head for days after seeing some commercial? That was a great slogan.
“Just do it!” or “I’m lovin’ it”. I am sure without me even telling you the names of those companies you could guess which companies use those slogans. I won’t even bother telling you the names of those companies because it’s so obvious.
When you create your slogan you want people to associate those words with you, your company and your brand. There shouldn’t be any hesitation when trying to interpret what the slogan is supposed to mean; it should trigger an instant “aha” moment in the consumers head.
A slogan may not be the most important part of building a reputable brand, but it sure is a great way to enhance it. Creating a memorable slogan that is timeless and memorable that conveys the key message of your company may not be easy.
Think about what kind of message you want to send to the consumer with your slogan? Keep it short and simple.
You can’t develop a reliable brand without having consistency day in and day out. Your efforts in staying true to your name shouldn’t fluctuate as time goes on. When you don’t know what direction you’re going with when developing a brand for your business, the consumers will view you as aimless and without conviction.
Being consistent with your branding efforts builds familiarity with the consumer. As time goes on, anyone who knows your business can safely assume what they can expect when they choose to go to you.
We looked at how you should approach logos and slogans for your business. Well this is where consistency comes into play.
Stick to the one logo you decide on that represents your business the best. If you use your logo on social media web pages, make sure it matches the logo on your business cards, brochures, website, etc. Slogan should also stay the same – make those words stick in the consumer’s head!
Consistency while establishing a brand will lead you to the increase in positive perception of value of your goods or services. Let us take a look at RedBull energy drinks and compare the prices to generic store brands. RedBull is able to charge 2, 3, or in some cases even 4 times the price for the product that is relatively the same.
A well received brand allows them to mark up the price because the consumer doesn’t just buy the product, but also the positive brand name RedBull has made for itself.
Your competitors who aren’t consistent with their branding or may not even focus on branding at all, won’t be able to compete with you. Even if they are offering the same product, your presence will be much louder and will drown out the competition.
We talked about consistent branding and how that will positively impact building a brand and your marketing efforts.
Ever seen people tattooing logos of their favorite brand? Waiting in line for the latest products during rain, or freezing cold? That’s brand loyalty.
A well established brand loyalty will get people to commit their time and money to you no matter what the competitors are doing.
Apply the Knowledge
You now know what it takes to create a brand name for your business that echoes down the halls.
Remember some of these strategies will have to be tweaked to fit your business model, but the principles stay the same. Always keep in mind that growing and nurturing a brand will only be successful if you truly stand by it.
Be true to yourself and your business and creating a brand that resonates with the consumer will be a whole lot easier to undertake.