“Branding is for big businesses. I’m just small, I don’t need it.”
Working with small businesses, we often receive this comment when talking about brand building. But branding is not just writing a name and drawing a circle around it. Branding is a business’ identity and it lives in everyday interactions with customers, the content you share, the images you put up, and your core values.
Branding is important for small business as it is for giant names. Much of a business’ success is linked to strong branding—not just a logo or colour scheme but putting the brand at the heart of the business. We’ve seen how this works for big names, like Coca-Cola, Nike or McDonald’s. What we at Brand Shack strive to do is to help you build a brand that dazzles across different traditional and digital channels and make customers fall in love with you. Sounds fun? But really, it involves quite a lengthy but worthwhile process.
Perks of Building a Brand
- Recognition. Strong branding builds customer recognition. Customers are less likely to support a brand they don’t recognise.
- Competitiveness. Your brand is what sets you apart from your competitors. This is not simply being the “best” in everything. Your brand highlights the standout services you provide or your uniquely sourced products.
- Customer loyalty. Branding creates customer loyalty when your customers connect with you because you share the same values with them
- Having a strong brand fosters credibility and a good reputation. Remember, people want to buy from businesses they like, know and trust.
How Small Businesses Can Build A Brand
1. Build your core values
Think of your brand as a person who lives with a set of beliefs and values. What are the values you hold? What are your beliefs as a company? What does your business stand for? All these concepts come into play when creating your brand identity and are expressed creatively and appropriately across your various marketing materials.
2. Create your visual brand
Your brand colour isn’t selected at random. Keep in mind that different colours are associated with varying psychological reactions, which is why it’s important to give your colour schemes a thought to invoke the right kind of emotion from your customers. Visualise the look and feel of your brand in signages, banners, business cards, letterheads, flyers, folders and other materials.
You should also give some thought about your logo. Your business logo is a visual representation of your brand and it’s what people will remember the most about your brand. A strong, well-designed logo will pull your brand together and drive brand recognition. It’s your business’ first impression, one that can impact a customer’s perception of your brand and influence purchase decisions.
3. Find your brand voice
Your brand voice is the unique and distinct expressions your business uses to communicate with your customers. It shows your business’ predominant personality through your marketing materials, your website, your social media posts, your ads or any content you produce.
Having a clear and well-defined brand voice will help differentiate your brand from the rest and establish a more personal relationship with your customers, as this will help them get to know you more beyond the products or services you offer.
4. Grow your community
Many well-loved brands invest heavily in building and improving their communities. When customers trust a brand’s community, they are able to extend their trust to the business as well. Social media sites and blogs are among the best avenues for small businesses to build online communities.
5. Know your audience
As branding experts, we believe that the ultimate goal of branding is to make your target customers choose you over the rest and see you as the only solution/product they need. Strong branding requires that you know your target audience well—what they want, what will make them respond to you and what will make them buy. Building a brand is a process,
6. Get help
Last but not the least, don’t be afraid to consult the branding experts. Really, they’re called experts for a good reason. Branding firms follow a series of marketing exercises to come up with the right elements for your brand and get a feel of your business. Your brand is a vital piece of your small business, therefore it takes a great deal of time, attention and research to come up with a strong brand.
Are you getting the results you want from your branding efforts? Let us help you create a strong brand for your small business.