Just because you are the owner of what is defined as a small business doesn’t mean that you need strong branding any less than a big firm. Branding is more than a snazzy logo and smart business cards; it’s every aspect of a business that makes customers connect with it emotionally, because the brand shares their values and beliefs. Strong branding also delivers customer loyalty and invaluable word of mouth recommendations. There’s a lot to consider, so we’ve put together some tips on how to successfully implement branding in a small business.
1. Brand personality
Think of your brand as a person. What values and beliefs does the brand offer and what is its purpose. Your brand character should promote your business, connect with your customer base and differentiate you in the market.
2. Define your brand
What space does the product or service you offer occupy in the market? Also research the emotional needs and concerns of your customers.
3. What drives your business?
Define what your brand believes in and look at your ‘brand heroes’. This will help you to establish an identity and tone of voice for your communications.
4. Look for long-term relationships
Businesses that over-promise and under-deliver are taking a short-term approach that will ultimately lead to disaster. It is better to establish a trustworthy brand environment, because a brand that is true to its values has the key to long-term success.
5. Don’t imitate big brands
It is a mistake to try and emulate a bigger, well-known business. The current consumer trend leans towards independent businesses, so you will gain more from establishing a unique identity. Originality and authenticity are the watchwords for small business brand building.
6. Be bold and innovative
Big brands are burdened by large layers of bureaucracy, preventing them from being flexible and reacting to the ever-changing needs of their customers. Take advantage of the fact that you are not constrained in the same way, so you can afford to be much bolder.
7. Old school thinking won’t cut it anymore
Simply putting your logo on everything will not build a customer base these days. You must respect your customers’ intelligence, be fluid and engaging and find ways to encourage your customers to find out more about your brand, rather than giving the whole story away up front. Creating a bit of intrigue and mystery is a good branding strategy.
The team at Mint on the Rock has lots of expertise in building a brand, so give us a call if you are starting a new business, or feel your current branding could do with being refreshed. We’ll be delighted to help you!