17 Feb Building a Brand
Ten Ways to Build a Brand for Your Small Business
Planning to start your own business, big or small, involves major investment. Of all the concepts, branding is critical and small businesses should definitely give more thought to it. It is that tool with which you communicate to your customer who you really are. It is more than just a logo. To put it simply, your brand is a promise you make to your customer; by defining your business to yourself, your internal team, and to the larger external audience. You tell them how your business is different from that of your competitor and pull your customer towards your product. Based on your branding, your customers know what to expect from you and so you should think seriously about it. The foundation of your brand is the logo you decide and these should be complemented with your Website and promotional materials.
Many small business owners understand that branding is vital, but surprisingly many don’t know why. Strategically defined branding helps customers connect with you emotively. This in turn automatically leads to higher sales, loyalty, and protects your price at a time when competitors use promotional discounts to lure customers.
Branding, therefore, is crucial so let’s look at ways to build a brand for your small business.
- Define Your Brand: First decide how you want to communicate your brand. Research on the emotive and rational needs of your customers, their habits, and desires. Think like your customer. Think about—what are the benefits and features of your products, how do you want them to associate with your company? Remember, your brand should make your product stand out.
- Think Of Your Brand As a Person: Just as beliefs, values, and purposes make up an individual’s character, branding should define your business and convey its personality in a way that you want others to see it.
- What Drives Your Business? This is an important question you need to ask before you set out to create a brand. How do you want your business to look in future? What is the purpose of your business? Who are its brand heroes? Answers to these questions will help you to identify the character of your business for brand communication.
- Build Long-term Relations With Your Customers: Always remember—don’t make false promises; you will lose more than you gain. Don’t raise your customer’s expectations and fail to deliver. Be very clear on what your company is and be true to those values that your company stands for. Being honest will help build lasting relationships with the customer.
- Maintain a Consistent Tone: Make sure to maintain a consistent tone in all your communications with your customer. That way even your customers know what to expect from you. It will also help reinforce the character of your business.
- Don’t Repeat and Bore Your Customers: Remember, innovation is the key to a successful branding. Don’t repeat the same message over and over again. Instead, combine several key messages to build a coherent identity.
- Have Your Own Identity: Always remember that for a brand to be successful, you need to be unique. Don’t copy big brands or chains. Try to carve your own identity. Your innovation in this field will make you original and authentic and will automatically attract more customers.
- Stand for Something: Be bold. Stand up for what you believe your brand has to offer. Be innovative but never say what your customers want to hear; rather tell them what you want them to hear. Be flexible to react to the changing needs of your customers.
- Communicate Your Brand With Pride: Be proud of your brand. Whenever you communicate, whether with your customers or suppliers, always keep your brand in mind. Never dilute your brand with discounting that you don’t believe in. Offer more if you have to or go in for promotions to reinforce your brand.
- Be Innovative in Your Approach: Try out new approaches to reach out to people. Its old fashioned to let your logo do all the talking. You need to create hype and let people discover you. The future of branding lies in engaging the customers. Successful brands are those that realise that if they help their customers succeed, their customers in return will help their brand succeed.
Think of all the successful brands and the strategies they have used to climb the ladder to success. That will give you some ideas and inspire to do better. Think different, have a good logo, be consistent, deliver value, make promises but stand for something, empower your customers and deliver. Always keep in mind—Branding is not just the logo; it lives in your day to day interactions with customers; in short it’s your company’s story.