How to Effectively Brand Your Small Business Part I : Branding is MUCH More Than Your Logo
What is Branding?
Your brand is much MORE than a logo, color choice , or trendy tag-line. Your brand is your company's personality, and the visual message that is intuitively communicated to your audience. If done correctly, your branding messages should convey the following:
Who your company is
What it does (benefits of the products/services)
What the company's goals and values are
Good branding is the result of a well thought-out strategy, and will vary based on the type of business you have:
B2C brands focus on telling stories surrounding the benefits of their products (Dove does an excellent job of doing this)
Not-for-profits focus on their aspirations, and the progress they are making towards attaining them
B2B companies focus on telling stories about the business benefit of their services
The quality of your employees, layout of your workspace, and the way you choose to interact with your audience are all a part of the" face" that you show to the world, and should be carefully selected. Finally...YES...branding is also our logo! As a basic guideline, elements of a good logo include: unique font choices, non-literal symbols and color choices based on customer demographics and brand promise.
So Where Do You Start?
Here are some tips on how to develop an effective branding strategy:
Get a thorough understanding of what a brand is (and isn't)-Hint: see above
Analyze the trends in your specific industry and position yourself within the industry (SWOTs are great for this)
Uncover your current brand : take a poll of how your target audience feels about your brand, describe in depth your products and services
Define your desired brand: all small businesses are aspirational, so it is important to definitively know what you hope to become in 5, 10 or 15 years should you still be in business
Based on the results of the above, develop a branding strategy and action plan
Make sure that your messaging is consistently delivered at every customer touch point through: the quality of your product or service, your packaging, logos, tagline, the interaction with your employees and all of your marketing materials
Stay tuned for my next post on "How to Brand Your Business to Make It Appear Larger Than It Is!"
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