If you own a small business, having a great brand image is essential to attracting and gaining loyal clientele, but unless you are a marketing or brand specialist, creating a brand is an intangible target that is hard to grasp.
A business’ branding is also referred to as its “brand identity”, as it is the embodiment of the principles and values that make up the company, in addition to the product and the outward facing image. Consumers are adept at picking up the real charector of a business, a shallow attempt to use lipstick and rouge to give your business a hip brand image is generally transparent and poorly accepted. To create a sustainable brand image that your consumers can hitch their wagon to, we’ve put together a list of effective branding tips from experts in the marketing industry.
Seven Effective Branding Tips for Your Small Business
- Define yourself. Start by taking a long look at your business. What demographic is your target clientele? What emotionally drives them to use your product or service? What challenges does your target demographic face? One of the most effective branding tips that we can offer is to create an image for your company that the customers in your market space can relate to, but that stands out against the other businesses in your industry.
- Define your mission. When you take the time to understand the factors that drive your business and the ideology and principles that your business subscribes to, you’ll be able to create a concrete brand identity that really represents your business’ character. After you’ve defined your business mission, it will be easier to make sure your marketing communications really represent the heart and soul of your business.
- Define your long-term goals. Your brand is going to follow you for the life of your business. If you give every product and promotion a perception of being too good to be true and gimmicky just to attract attention, you might get some immediate buzz, but eventually, your business will lose momentum and credibility. Think of businesses that constantly have a “door buster” sale going; the value of the product in consumers’ eyes becomes equal to the slashed rate and eventually the promotion just cheapens the company’s branding instead generating excitement. You want to create a brand that portrays an honest image and promotes customer loyalty in the long-run.
- Be consistent. When you’ve created the brand identity that follows your character, your mission, and your long-term goals, make sure that every communication that represents your business, all the way down to your personal interaction with your customers, follows your branding strategy. Being inconsistent with your branding will do more damage to your customer’s faith and loyalty in your company than not having a great strategy to begin with.
- Don’t let yourself become a one trick pony. While you want to be consistent with your branding identity over the course of time, try to find diverse ways to coherently follow the same mission with every marketing approach you take. If you just repeat yourself, your brand will become stale and your clients will lose interest.
- Be a trendsetter, not a follower. Yes, this sounds like it belongs on one of those cat posters that have inspirational quotes. Let the sentiment resonate though. Be bold and creative with your branding. Be yourself with it. Your target market is savvy enough to know which branding is the real McCoy and which is a cheap knockoff.
- Tell a story. A good brand is worth a thousand words. Let your brand be a great book that lingers in the minds of your consumers long after they’ve come across a marketing piece. Make your branding concept engaging, piquing the interest of your target market. Creating a brand that leaves the consumers with an emotional sensation that drives them to your business is far more effective than slashing your prices so that you get business, as long as you’re giving it away.
Do you have anything to add to our list of effective branding tips? We would really like to hear your input in the comment section below.