• Zoe Watson

6 Key Tips for How to Brand Your Small Business

Updated: Dec 31, 2019

Here are 6 tips to help you create and begin to build a valuable brand that stands the test of time.



Branding your business is an exciting and important exercise that all business owners should go through early in their business’s lifecycle.


It can be challenging to know where to start though; there are many moving pieces to be considered, and business owners frequently start in the wrong place. Here are 6 tips to help you create and begin to build a valuable brand that stands the test of time.


Tip #1: Start with understanding your target audience.


The purpose of creating a brand is to appeal and generate incremental value from a selected audience, whether it be increased sales, loyalty, or both. In order to create a brand that appeals to your audience though, you need to know them. There are three main parameters you need to understand about your audience in order to create a meaningful brand:


Geographics: where do they live and shop?


Demographics: are they young or old, male or female? What is their cultural background?


Psychographics: how do they think and feel? What is their worldview that informs how they make decisions?


Any lasting brand starts with a thorough understanding of the audience it is being created to serve.


It can be challenging to know where to start though; there are many moving pieces to be considered, and business owners frequently start in the wrong place. Here are 6 tips to help you create and begin to build a valuable brand that stands the test of time.


Tip #2: Knowing your competitors is equally important.


Brands shouldn’t be created in a vacuum. When you’re thinking about what your brand should represent, be sure to research competitors in your market space. Pay attention to their look and feel, their tone of voice, and the specific audience they seem focused on serving.


When building your own brand strategy, be sure to choose one that will allow you to distinguish your business from the others that are already out there. Creating a brand that mimics an existing competitor is a recipe for trouble.


Tip #3: Once you know your audience and your competition, know yourself.


What does your business stand for? What are the values you hold dear? These values will form the bedrock of your brand’s voice and values; after all, if you try to create a brand that conflicts with your company’s values, there’s a strong chance it will come off as inauthentic, and you’ll have a hard time sustaining it – not to mention that your customers will see right through it.


A brand is designed to communicate who you are and what you stand for to your target audience, and the only way to accomplish that is to first have a firm understanding of those two things.


Tip #4: Establish your brand’s mission statement and document its key personality traits.


If your brand were a person, what would they be like? How would they act? How would they talk? Again, the answers to these questions should largely be driven by the work you did from tip #3.


For example, a company that values trust, professionalism and safety should look and sound very different from one focused on trend-setting, breaking the norm and pushing boundaries.


Your mission statement is the starting point from which all other aspects of your brand will trickle. From there, actually envision your brand as a person. What tone of voice do they use? Who do they associate with? How do they dress? These are helpful analogies that will inform the way your visual design and copy shape up.


Tip #5: Have your brand’s visual identity professionally developed.


Unless you’re a graphic designer, don’t try to create the visuals for your brand by yourself. It’s well worth your money to hire a professional to handle this for you.


Not only will you get a more professional-looking finished product, but a professional visual designer understands the nuances that lend consistency to all of the different visual elements of your brand – which as we’ll see next is the glue that holds your brand together.


Tip #6: Be consistent in the brand experience you want to create.


Your visual identity includes all elements of your visual design, from your website, to your logo, to your advertising, your social media presence and your brochures. It’s important to document your design standards so that, when you create advertisements in the future, you have a written reference guide that forces you and your team to be consistent.


It’s not just your visual identity that requires consistency, either. It’s any area of your business that touches the customer in same way, from customer service to your on-hold messages. Every instance where the customer interacts with your business should create the same feeling in the pit of their stomach.


If your advertising is cool and casual, your customer service team should speak in a similarly relaxed tone to callers. This consistency is how you build a brand that lasts.


Conclusion.


Brand-building isn’t easy, but it’s definitely worthwhile. A strong brand can increase your customers’ willingness to forgive mistakes, make them more loyal to your company, spend more with you, and increase positive word-of-mouth that will allow you to grow your business without breaking the bank on advertising.


By following the tips outlined in this article, you’ll be off to a great start in building a brand for your own business,



#branding #graphicdesign #brand #smallbusiness #marketing #advertising #socialmedia

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