Small business branding is often overlooked, but incredibly important. It's a marketing tactic that can help your small business thrive and compete with brands both large and small.
When most people think of branding, they think about dollar signs and a considerable investment in advertising. This doesn't have to be the case!
Today, almost anyone can build a brand both offline and online.
There are some simple tactics to help you achieve your small business branding goals. Just read on to find out...
Last week we discussed Branding 101: What Every Small Business Must Know, so if you haven't read that article, I'd highly recommend doing so first.
With that said, here are some small business branding tips you can easily implement in your business right now!
We've gathered some small business branding tips that are foundational, effective, and simple to implement. I personally believe that if you are smart and consistent in your branding strategy, you will build a great brand over time.
The single, most important key to building a brand is consistency. You must be consistent with your branding efforts because brands are not made in a day.
They are built over time. However you decide to build your brand, just make sure you do it consistently and don't ever stop.
To create a great brand, you need to know who you are trying to serve first.
Understanding who your ideal clients are, what they want, what problems they have, and how you can solve them is critically important.
What makes your company unique and why should a customer buy from you instead of a competitor.
When you have a compelling USP, it almost makes the competition irrelevant. Here's a great article on how to create a USP if you want to dig in a little deeper.
Branding is deliberate differentiation. - Debbie Millman
This is closely related to tip# 2 and tip# 3.
You must know the most significant problems your customers face as it relates to your products or services and how your company can uniquely solve them.
Then, you need to talk about these problems in your marketing consistently. Whether you like it or not, people don't care about you. They care about how you can help them!
Brand awareness starts with a logo.
Your logo alone can tell a whole story without sentences and paragraphs. It's the type of content that can radiate brand identity in just a few seconds.
There are a lot of brands that have become highly recognizable because of their logo - Apple, Mcdonald's, and Starbucks to name a few.
Check out these Tips For Creating A Brand Identity With Your Logo Design to help you with this vital task.
This is related to your logo too. You need to choose the colors your brand wants to be associated with. Choose wisely, because you will be using them everywhere!
The power of choosing and sticking with consistent colors is that people will begin to associate your brand with those colors over time. I'd recommend sticking with no more than 2-3 colors.
Check out this article on the psychology of color in marketing to help you decide what colors to choose.
Choosing the fonts you will use for your company will help you be consistent over time. You can use multiple fonts, but I would recommend selecting fonts that complement each other.
Is your company funny? Laid back? Conservative? Professional?
There is no right or wrong answer here, but whatever you are, you should consistently use that tone in all your communications. This plays a big role in how customers will view your company.
A Talk Trigger is a tool you can use in your business to drive people to spread word of mouth about your business.
Have you ever stayed at a Doubletree Hotel and received their hot chocolate chip cookies? That's a talk trigger. Can you think of something like this you can implement for your business?
When done correctly, a talk trigger can be a fantastic tool in your brand building efforts.
Determine who you are and what your brand is, and what you're not. The rest of it is just a lot of noise. - Geoffrey Zakarian
One of the most significant problems with public companies is they manage their businesses based on the current quarter. All their focus is on how to make the financials look as strong as possible this quarter.
Why is that a problem? Because often times short term decisions negatively impact the company long term.
Instead, I want you to focus on the long term for your business. Building a strong brand takes time. Have the resolve to make the decisions that will benefit your business and brand in the long run even if it's painful in the short term!
"Birds of a feather flock together."
When you can associate your business with other strong brands, your brand will naturally acquire some of the strength and credibility of those brands.
Find strategic partners you can work with so that everyone wins.
Remember what I said in tip# 10?
If you can focus on adding value to prospects and current clients your brand will undoubtedly be viewed positively. But, if you "do everything to make the sale" even if it's at the expense of the customer, then your brand will suffer.
Help your customers be successful. Be invested in the growth of their business. I guarantee your business will win in the long run if you do.
And that's a wrap!
The essential elements of small business branding really have not changed over the years. The fundamentals still work, and I hope you find these branding tips helpful.
Do you have any other tips you'd like to share? I want to hear your thoughts, so please post in the comments section below.
We'd be honored if you feel this article is worth sharing too!
Creating a solid marketing strategy is a must for effective marketing? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Marketing Strategy to learn more.
Header image courtesy of Pexels.
Tim Fitzpatrick is the President of Rialto Marketing. At Rialto Marketing, we help take the guesswork out of marketing so your small business can grow. Marketing your business shouldn't be a constant challenge. If you are ready to eliminate the uncertainty and confusion of marketing your business, we can help.