Branding is an essential part of small business marketing. However, the details of how to successfully brand your business may get lost in the shuffle of setting up your business.
If branding your business hasn’t been a priority (or you’re just unsure where to start), it’s not too late to get started. Branding your small business could lead to long-term success by building awareness, recognition and trust. And with hard work and a little luck, it could lead to more revenue too.
What is branding?
A brand is what identifies and sets you apart from the competition. This includes elements such as your business name, logo, and brand voice. It also refers to the overall experience that customers have when they interact with your business. Everything from customer service to social media posts are also part of your brand.
Branding is putting all of this into action. By applying brand features to your website, communications, advertising, and other areas, customers start to associate the brand with the products and services you offer.
Why is branding important?
Branding can put your small business in customers’ minds. It gives your business an identity for customers to connect with. Done correctly, branding will hopefully make your business the first one people think of when they’re after a certain product or service.
How to create a small business brand
Here are key steps to creating a new brand—or rebranding an established small business. Remember, creating a strong brand takes time. Set aside enough time for research and brainstorming to help your brand really take off.
Know your target audience
You want your brand to resonate with the right people. If you don’t know who they are, there’s a chance that your brand won’t work as well as hoped.
Get to know your target audience by creating buyer personas—fictitious representations of your ideal customer. These should be as detailed as possible, not broad groups (such as “consumers” or “men”). Really think about who will be buying your products or services: Where do they live? How much do they make? What do they do in their spare time? Answer these and other questions to figure out who you are selling your brand to.
Decide what makes you different
What sets your business apart from the competition? The values, benefits and qualities that make you unique should be a big part of your brand.
This is not about describing your products or outlining the services you offer. It’s more about how your products and services improve your customers’ lives. Think about what makes your small business special and use this info to help inform the rest of your branding effort.
Write a mission statement
A mission statement defines your business’ purpose and goals. It’s typically short, just a single sentence or a brief paragraph, that broadly describes who you are and what you do.
Once you’ve written your mission statement, you can apply this spirit to your entire brand. It can motivate your employees to work towards a shared goal or become part of your advertising. For these reasons, it’s important to keep your mission statement clear and avoid using complicated jargon or unrealistic goals.
Create your visual look
This is the part you’ve probably been waiting for. How your website, communications, social media and more look is the most obvious part of branding—and often the most fun!
If you don’t have design experience, you may consider hiring a graphic designer to help create a logo, choose a color palette, pick brand fonts, and more. Once you’ve decided on these elements, create brand guidelines to help keep every part of your branding consistent.
Find your brand voice
How you “talk” to your target audience is part of branding your small business. Deciding the tone your communications will take—from your website and social media to emails and advertising—helps you reach those customers.
It may help to think about your brand as a person. How would they speak: are they formal, casual, friendly, funny? Whatever voice you choose, be consistent using it. This will help customers get to know your brand and maybe even enjoy engaging with it!
Put your branding to work!
Once you’ve created your brand, apply it to all parts of your business. This includes obvious areas, such as your website, social media, advertising, and emails. It also includes areas like hiring, customer service, and sales.
The key is to be consistent. Refer to your brand guidelines to help ensure that you are always using the right colors, fonts, and language. Inconsistency confuses customers and makes your brand less recognizable.
Protect the brand you’re building
A well-crafted brand can help set your small business apart from the pack. It can help customers get to know you and build recognition. Over time, the trust this helps build could lead to greater success for your business.
Building a brand and a small business takes time and effort. Consider protecting your hard work with business insurance. BizInsure makes it easy to get quotes for different types of insurance from multiple top small business insurance carriers at the same time. Click to buy and receive your policy documents instantly!
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