Branding is an essential part of growing and maintaining your business, and is just as important for small businesses as it is for big companies. A successful brand identity is about more than just a great logo (although a great logo is really important and we can help with that!). It’s about defining your business, and effectively communicating your product/service, and your point of difference to yourself, your team and your customers.
We’ve put together a few important steps to get your branding underway.
1. Who are you? Know your brand.
The best way to define your business or company to start with a list (yes, a list; to those of you who know us well- we love a list!). Begin by listing all of the characteristics that describe your business and how you want it to be perceived, then narrow it down. You should be left with adjectives that describe the rational needs of your customers (relating to product, service etc.) and those that describe how your customers can connect with your business (these are emotive and relate to your company’s beliefs, purpose, values etc.). This list should ideally differentiate you from your competitors and will also provide expectations for your team. Team members who understand your business will be better equipped to engage customers and promote your company.
2. Sum it up.
If you can’t sum up your business in a few words, your customers probably can’t either – keep your slogan short, sweet and informative
3. Play the long game.
Don’t raise expectations and break promises. Be honest with your customers; be true to your company values and your customers will learn to trust and rely on you – this will create customer loyalty.
4. Be consistent.
Too many voices, styles and emphases appear chaotic, inconsistent and confusing to customers. Your business should have one clear voice – it sets the tone of your business and allows customers to better connect with your company.
5. Be clear.
Customers need to hear more than just your slogan repeated over and over. Your key messages should work together to create a consistent, multifaceted brand identity that your customers will immediately recognise.
6. Be bold, be daring.
Attempting to mimic big brands is a road you don’t want to go down. Be brave and find your own place in the market; you want people to recognise your business, not confuse it with another. This is true for brand identity (product/service/values etc.) as well as visual branding.
7. Be interesting!
Generate intrigue via exciting email campaigns, a surprising website and a strategic social media presence. The aim is to get people talking – this is the best way to develop authentic brand ambassadors who will revel in recommending your business to others.