When you think of a good brand, what comes to mind? McDonald’s golden arches perhaps, Apple’s silver bitten apple, or Nike’s checkmark and slogan that we all know and love, “Just Do It.” Given these examples, branding is important because it reminds you of a business and its services and/or products. Branding makes businesses memorable and creates customer loyalty. As a small business owner, you might say, “Well, that’s great, but I don’t have the money like those big brands.” That may be true for now, but remember, even those big brands that we see today started small, plus branding is not only for small businesses. You can do it too with the resources you have!
Do not be intimidated by the term branding; it is not as scary as it seems. Branding, in short, is defining your business. Defining your business is like defining a word. Like any word, “What does it mean?” is a great question to ask about your business. You want to define your business so that customers will not have to wonder that same question. To start, ask yourself, “What three words describe my business?”, “What do I offer?”, or “What do I want to be known for in the marketplace?” These probing questions may take some time to think about. It is important to make sure that your definition is as clear and simple as possible so that it will read to customers that your business is just what they need to meet their needs.
Next, you would need to put those answers to work in a logo and a message. A logo is the face of your business in the form of a creative mix of colors and symbols. Creating a logo that speaks for you is a pretty big deal, so you want to create a logo that has an image or word and colors that best represent your business services, products, and purpose. Besides a logo, you want your business to have a message that does all the things your brand and logo do. What do you want your business to be known for? For example, Nike’s slogan “Just Do It,” may make you feel empowered to work out or accomplish an athletic ambition. You want your customers to feel like they can trust your services or products to help them meet their needs; Nike’s slogan does just that: empower people to perform and to trust their brand to help them achieve their best performance in athletics. Once you have a message and a logo, you have everything set in place to brand your business to the public. As mentioned before, those big brands have a simple and unique logo and slogan that resonates with anyone that comes across them. The goal is to have that same effect on customers and to set your business apart from competitors that offer the same services or products.
After you have your brainstorming questions answered, your logo and message, you want to reach out to customers and tell them about your brand. Research what type of person or groups of people would be interested in your services or products. Find out information about your target audience to find how to best meet their needs with gaining information on what age group you are targeting, location, interests, etc. Narrowing down your target audience will help you market your product or service to the right people. Doing so also adjusts your marketing strategy, so that you can best meet them.
Lastly, after you have defined your business and found your targeted audience, all you have to do is get the word out about your brand. Getting your brand out to the public can be in many forms: social media posts, billboards, websites, emails, and more. For financial reasons, let’s just focus on what we can attain now: a website, social media business accounts, and emailing lists. These three are the least expensive ways to get the word out about your brand. When creating any of these, the task at hand is to make your business stand out. Apply your logo and message on your website, social media, and emails. Doing this will make your business stand out as all that come across them or scroll through their social media will recognize your brand. One thing to keep in mind is to stay consistent with your brand over time. For instance, you want to keep your colors consistent in your social media posts and the content you share that repeats your defining message. Consistency is key. Staying consistent will build customer loyalty, which also benefits your business’s reputation. Now that these things are in place, you have become one of the future big brands in the making!
Branding is not only for those businesses that make it big like Apple or McDonald’s. Branding is for everyone, including small businesses. Defining your business is something all businesses should do, whether big or small. We understand how hard it is to run a small business with limited resources, that is why we offer those resources you need to succeed at a cost that is affordable for you. To help you get that website, social media accounts, or email lists up and running, we offer services that can help with all of those and more! Get in touch with us, check out our services page, or give us a call at (229) 269-4108.