This guide takes you through the importance of branding for you small business as well as:
- How effective branding can be to retaining customers
- How you can use branding strategies to raise awareness
- How branding helps reflect the values of your small business
- How a brand identity can set you apart from your competitors
Your company’s brand shows customers who you are. Therefore, it should go much more in-depth than being just a logo or a catchy name.
After all, your brand can tell people a lot about your business. It can tell them what you stand for, where your priorities are, and who you are as a business.
A well-developed brand is not a measurable investment. Instead, you can see the benefits of branding through customer retention. After all, brands build customer loyalty. And through that customer loyalty, you can see your business take off.
There’s so much that goes into branding that it can be hard to find everything. So, we’ve collected all you need to know about small business branding right here!
What is Branding in Marketing?
Your brand is a promise you make to your customers about what they can expect from your small business. When people see your brand, they know certain things about your company.
Think about your favorite companies. They can be small businesses or major corporations. Whether it’s Starbucks or a mom and pop store, you know what the company is about when you see their brand.
A great brand goes far beyond just a logo. The logo is, for all intents and purposes, the “face” of your company. But when people see that “face,” they know the values and reputation behind it.
So, what is brand marketing? Brand marketing promotes your products or services and does so in a way for people to know your overall company. It communicates to your audience your identity, values, and personality.
All that gets wrapped up in your brand, which makes it pretty important.
Do You Know Why Branding is Important for Small Business?
Your brand doesn’t just promote your services while showcasing your identity, values, and personality. It does so much more than that. The importance of branding comes from how the public perceives it favorably. Here are some ways it accomplishes that:
Brands Create Trust
Again, looking back at your favorite companies, think about why you like them. Do they uphold the same values as you? Do their products or services appeal to you? Are they reliable?
Your brand is a bond between you and the customer. Customers become repeat customers because they trust the brand small business owners promote. It’s why more people go for recognizable brand name products over generic. They believe that a certain brand means quality.
Brands Improve Awareness
A small business’s brand is the content you produce for your website. It’s your social media posts and the print marketing materials you distribute. In short, it’s any media you use to get the word out about your small business.
The more trust customers have in the brand, the more likely they are to recommend it. Those recommendations shine through social media shares and likes, word-of-mouth, and Google search rankings.
Through these recommendations, your brand reputation increases. Consequently, more people will find your small business, especially if they see others have recommended it.
Brands Separate You from Your Competitors
You might have an idea for a small business that’s been done before. But you’re going to do it better, right? How do you convey that to your customer base? The answer is through branding.
Building trust and awareness gives you leverage over your competitors. You can separate yourself from the pack of other similar businesses by branding your company as different. You can do this through your personality, the quality of content you produce, or what your company values are.
Brands Motivate Your Employees
Finally, brands have a tremendous impact on the internal company culture. No one wants to work for a company whose values don’t align with their own. Fortunately, a good brand gives employees something to strive for. They’ll aim to uphold the values, personality, and keep the reputation of well-branded business going.
A small business brand that inspires employees also works to increase brand awareness. If your brand is known for having a good work environment, that word will spread fast.
Do You Know Why Brand Strategy is Important?
When you first started your business, you probably came up with a strategy for how to implement your idea. Developing a brand is no different. Your strategy should examine how you will accomplish conveying what you stand for, the promise you’re making, and your personality.
A well-developed brand strategy also allows you to communicate more clearly with customers. If you follow your brand strategy guidelines, that will come across better as you promote your small business. A clear message helps customers determine why they like your small business, and that promotes customer loyalty.
Do You Know Why Brand Consistency Matters?
Wherever your brand is shown, it should have a consistent message. That consistency can be in voice, tone, or values.
The reason for this is consistency develops trust. Customers won’t go for a small business whose brand is all over the place in terms of voice or tone.
Did you know that two-thirds of shoppers use more than one channel to make purchases? That means they are looking at your social media pages, your website, your blogs, and everything else that has your brand.
How do you strike a consistent tone or voice? One easy way is to go with an outside marketing company like Frontier Marketing! With talented writers and graphic designers, Frontier Marketing maintains the authenticity of your small business across all platforms.
Frontier Marketing also manages your brand status by monitoring reviews and what people are saying about your brand. We promote glowing testimonials and see how to fix anything that doesn’t line up with your brand’s values. After all, we know how important your brand is for your small business and want to uphold its values and goals.
Do You Know How to Create a Brand Identity?
You want your brand identity to reflect your small business’s values, culture, and personality. But how do you go about creating that brand identity? There are a few ways to get started.
Design a Captivating Logo
While your brand isn’t just the logo, it does play a huge role in how your business is perceived.
Your logo should appeal to your target audience. This is where looking past just general demographics helps.
You should find out what your audience likes, dislikes, how they spend their free time. See if there is a way to incorporate any of that into your logo.
Your logo should also reflect what your company is. Don’t be afraid to use universal icons if appropriate. Those icons can be useful in conveying the mission of your business.
Coordinate Brand Colors
Color plays a big part in how we see businesses. Color can bring out emotion and set the tone for the business itself. If your target audience is partial to a certain type of color, go with that. But whatever colors you use, make they are coordinated and consistent.
Clashing colors, like blue and black, can have a negative effect on people. If you go with colors that complement each other, like yellow and purple, it will have a positive effect.
Your colors should be consistent across all platforms as well. When you decide on what colors you will use, stick with them. Sudden, inconsistent changes can confuse customers, which won’t reflect well on your brand. Instead, whenever possible, use your brand’s colors. They represent your company, so show them off!
Match Fonts Well
Fonts come in all shapes and sizes, and picking out the right ones is important for your small business.
One best practice is to keep fonts limited to two different styles. Otherwise, if your brand has too many fonts, it can confuse your customers.
Fonts can also convey tone for a business. Is your business a place for children? Then you should probably use a more cartoonish and fun font. Is your business something in the professional field, like accounting? Then your font should be more professional.
What are Small Business Branding Strategies?
Small business branding is no easy feat. It takes time and work to get a brand that people recognize, value, and love. But that work will pay off in the long run with customer loyalty and good word-of-mouth.
Still, how do you get there? Here are a few small business branding strategies to get you going.
Determine Your Target Audience
Who will your brand appeal to? Whom is your small business for? Your target audience should cover more than just basic demographics. You should also explore their habits, needs, and any problems they face.
Use Emotion in Your Messaging
Emotion is a powerful way to speak to people. Therefore, establishing an emotional connection with your customer base is a great way to maintain loyalty.
Is there an emotion you want to be associated with your business? One way to inject that emotion is by using power words that create emotion in your content. If you consistently use that type of language, people will begin to associate that emotion with your brand.
Show Off Your Authority
People usually make buying decisions based on reputable information. So, one way your business can endear itself to your customers is by providing them with helpful information about your industry. To do this, you can create high-quality content that is packed with useful tips and info.
Your website should have a blog dedicated to the ins-and-outs of your industry. Each post should be about a different industry-related topic and provide valuable information to customers.
Reward Customer Loyalty
The whole point of branding and brand marketing is to bring in and retain customers. And the best way to retain customers is by showing them appreciation.
You can show appreciation by sending out discounts and coupons, or by offering them exclusive deals, or just by thanking them regularly.
Do You Want Your Small Business Brand to Really Stand Out?
Developing and implementing a successful branding strategy can lead to success for small businesses. The benefits of branding can include customers and a better reputation.
Need help taking your brand to the next frontier? Frontier Marketing can help you design a brand that people will be talking about! Our talented writers and graphic designers have years of experience with branding in the Fox Lake, IL, and McHenry Country region.