Branding is just as important for small businesses as it is for the big, well-known names. It’s not just a logo or how a business is perceived externally, successful branding is at the very heart of the business.
It is a way of defining your business to yourself, your team and your external audiences and should embody the core of what the business is and its values, not just what it looks and sounds like. Customers are extremely savvy today and can see through companies trying to gloss, spin or charm their way to sales.
Here are our top branding tips:
1 Define you brand
Review the product or service your business offers, pinpoint where it sits in the market and really get to grips with the needs and concerns of your customers. Your brand needs to stand for something and make sense, to connect with your customer base and differentiate you in the marketplace.
2 Think of your business as a person
This includes the beliefs, values and purposes that define the business and who it connects with. Understanding your ‘personality’ will help to determine how you operate, what you say and even how you look.
3 Aim to build long-term relationships with your customers
Don’t dress up your offering and raise expectations that aren’t sustainable, create trust with honest branding. Always aim to do what you say you’re going to do as nothing leaves a bad taste like missed expectations.
4 Be consistent
Find your voice and speak to your customers with a consistent tone without repeating the same message in the same way over and over again. Aim to make your key messages work together to build a coherent identity.
5 Be recognisable
Use your logo consistently on every piece of communication. Put it on business cards, letterheads, envelopes, invoices, adverts, signage, newsletters, and also across your online presence.
6 Be unique
Don’t try to mimic chains or big brands. Be yourself and carve out your own distinctive identity. Smaller companies, without the layers of bureaucracy that big business has, can be more innovative, bold and daring.
7 Branding from the inside
Branding is as much about your employees as anything else. Engaged employees build strong brands and can be very powerful brand ambassadors for your company. It’s as simple as listening to them, making sure that you play to their strengths and helping them to fully understand the brand.
8 Stay fresh
Regularly update your website, schedule posts on your social media pages, send out newsletters and keep printed material up-to-date. Allowing communications to become stale is very damaging and if you find it difficult to keep everything going, it’s better to do fewer activities well.
9 Empower your customers
You are not in full control of your brand. You can set your brand’s direction, but how it’s perceived is determined by others. Branding isn’t a one hit wonder; it’s an ongoing plate spinning act of marketing, research and conversation. You need to tap into what your audience is saying to know how to evolve.
10 Branding, branding everywhere
You can work hard to stamp the right image on stationary, website and marketing efforts. But you can’t stop there. It is essential that all customer ‘touch points’ are positive and in line with your desired brand image.
Need more information on branding? Please contact us at our state-of-the-art commercial print facility, located between Telford and Bridgnorth.