Branding is just as important for small businesses as it is for large corporations. In fact, many larger companies try to look like smaller brands in order to appeal to customers who prefer to support smaller, independent businesses. Many small business owners understand that branding is important for their company, but aren’t sure exactly why this is. Although you may recognize the link between strong branding and business success and realize that branding is more than simply a logo and brand colors, a successful brand will have this at the heart of their company. Here are some essential tips on building a strong brand for your business.
#1. Your Brand Identity:
Branding is much more than just your logo; it’s the way in which you define your business to yourself and your customers. It’s all about your business’s identity that makes up the core of what the business is and its key values, rather than simply what it looks and sounds like. When customers are able to connect emotively with your brand, because they share the same values and beliefs, this leads to higher sales and stronger brand differentiation. A strong brand gives you the idea platform from which to extend your range or offering, whilst encouraging loyalty and advocacy.
#2. Think of Your Brand as a Person:
One of the best ways to define your brand and come up with a strong brand identity is to think of it as a person. First of all, define what your target market is and come up with ideas for the type of people that they are more likely to connect with. Consider your brand as an individual with their own set of beliefs, values, and purposes that defines who they are and who they connect with. Come up with a ‘brand personality’ that affects how your business will act in different situations, how it is presented to others and even the things that it says.
#3. Aim to Build Long-Term Relationships:
Customer acquisition is a hugely important part of running a strong brand, but avoid allowing it to take over the important factor of customer retention. Customers who are invested in and given the opportunity to build a strong, long-term relationship with your brand are more likely to stay loyal and continue choosing your brand even if cheaper competitors become available. The best way to achieve this is through creating trust – don’t raise expectations to be higher than you can deliver; instead, provide clear and honest branding that stays true to who your company is.
#4. Encourage Word-of-Mouth Marketing:
Today, one of the best resources that you have for spreading the word about your brand and building your reputation is your already satisfied customer base. Ask your customers to leave reviews of your brand and encourage them to pass information onto their social circle through referral schemes. You could even send out free branded products such as mugs, pens and lapel pins with your products to encourage conversations between your customers and their friends and relatives about your brand. Take your time when choosing a lapel pin or other branded merchandise; opt for something that stands out and will spark conversations.
#5. Stand for Something That You Believe In:
Big brands tend to be encumbered by huge layers of bureaucracy, which prevents them from adapting to the ever-changing needs of their customer base. As a small business owner, this issue won’t affect you, so do something daring with your brand and stand for something that you believe in. Research shows that customers today are quickly starting to prefer brands that stand for something good, whether you support environmental issues, women’s rights, or improving living standards in your local area.
Did you find these ideas helpful? Let us know in the comments.