It’s a common misconception that branding is something only big businesses and corporations have to worry about, yet the truth is that it’s now more crucial than ever for small business to develop their unique personality which will talk to their chosen demographic and create a devoted community of brand advocates.
Small businesses are in a powerful position to create customer experiences of value. In most cases, their product offering is niche and their lower budgets allow them to provide customers with a more personal touch – you don’t get transferred to call centres when dealing with small businesses, do you?
Branding is the way to define your business – both to customers and your internal team. It should embody the core values of the business and shape every business decision you make. Branding experts have spent years researching and refining the secret to creating a great brand and whilst there is no quick fix or silver bullet, with just a little planning and research you could be well on your way to creating something special.
Here are a Few Tips to help you Easily implement Branding into your Business:
Do your Research
You firstly need to understand that your brand is so much more than your logo, products or letter heading! As already mentioned, your brand is your business’s identity and should clearly show your customers what you stand for.
- Demonstrate the benefits of purchasing your product or service. This could include more time, money, security, acceptance or pleasure
- The promises you make to your customers
- How you will follow up after you have delivered
An ideal way to develop a unique brand that your customers will identify with and want to buy from is to conduct some form of qualitative market research, which helps you to understand why customers make buying decisions. By understanding the market better you can create a brand that far exceeds your competition.
Develop your Brand Voice
Not only do you want your brand to be instantly recognisable for its unique voice, you want that same voice to resonate with your customers and speak to them in ways your competitors wont.
Firstly identify who your customers are; is your main demographic made up of students, professionals or elderly people? Of course there will be a mixture of people ‘types’ within your customer base but the majority of your communication should speak to your biggest group. Connect with them on their level and in a way that meets the relationship you have with them.
Try to create three ‘personas’ that represent your demographic. Give them names, a personality, jobs and social lives. Think about what paper they read and what other brands they buy. This will help you to really understand who you’re selling to.
Think outside the box when it comes to clever branding. Maximise digital opportunities and exploit social media. Seek out your customers wherever they are and uncover what’s important to them.
Think Long Term
Whilst even the smallest of businesses may have a marketing budget, very few have been able to successfully build a long term, profitable ‘brand’. A good brand strategy should be a long-term plan, which will help achieve specific business goals.
When it comes to developing strong brands that will still be around for years to come, you will need to consider much more than advertising. A brand is built from within the foundations of the company and should be brought to life by its products, services and employee behavior.
Businesses in it for the long term will invest their brand budgets not only talking about delivering but actually doing what they promise.
Debbie Fletcher is an enthusiastic, experienced writer who has written for a range of difference magazines and news publications. Follow her here: @Debbie_Fletch18