[List]Branding Strategy: How Can A Small Business Do It?
Every business needs a branding strategy. Making a business work is no easy task – it’s something you have to practice at, and have a bit of work savvy on your side to help soothe the way. You need to have the right working model on your side, and be surrounded by the right kind of people, all to ensure you’ve got a future beyond your first year in the market!
And one of the hardest things to do when you’re a first time business owner, just setting out on your journey to make a name for yourself, is getting your brand together.
Branding is a big deal, for any business out there. Whether you’re a small operation or a worldwide corporation, you need your brand on your side! You’ve got to ensure you’re recognizable to the customer, and that they think of you when they want a product just like yours.
All in all, it’s time to get your branding strategy on, and make sure you’ve got the right messages, images, colors, and logos on your side to make things work out for your small business. So, if you’re in need of a little branding inspiration, or some how-to tips and tricks, feel free to keep on reading for some interesting points below.
Connect With Your Customers First
If you want to build a brand, you’ll need to build it around your customers. And to do that, you’ll need to connect with them and understand them. You need to know what they want from the gap in the market that you’re planning to bridge, and you need to know their price ranges and the quality they’re looking for in the product.
Once you understand all of this, and work it into your business plan and the marketing campaign you’re aiming to run, you’ll be able to build a sustainable and viable brand for the market at your fingertips. Instead of muddling along trying to sell to anyone you may have a lead to follow on, try to focus your effort and energies.
- So, what does your average customer look like?
- How do they spend their time?
- What kind of responsibilities do they have on their plate?
- When they walk into a shop like yours, or similar to yours, what do they want from it?
Build yourself a marketing persona, or two or three if you can, and use them to establish what your brand needs to say, and how it should look to catch the typical eye.
Focus On Your Visual Identity
A brand is most recognizable by the way it looks. That means you need to focus on your visual identity at this point in time – there are millions of small businesses out there, and there’s a good chance a few thousand of those are your direct competitors. How many of those are in your local area, ready and waiting to swallow the local market up whole?
So do your research, first of all. Your visual identity is the first thing the majority of your customers are going to come across, and you need to make sure you’ve got the right information on your side to back it up!
- Keep some relevant questions in mind.
- What do your competitor brands look like?
- What messages do they give off, via the use of image and color?
And when you can answer those questions, and use them to help paint the right picture of what your logo is going to look like, make sure you use a professional graphic designer to get the job done.
Put your money in the right place. You don’t want to come off horribly homemade or unprofessional in your start up stages. You’ll need a corporate worthy looking brand on your side, to draw customers into something that looks and feels legitimate, even at a glance.
Put Your Stamp on It!
Putting your stamp on it is something that takes a lot of care and consideration. After all, your brand stamp can’t just go anywhere; you can’t just start selling hats with your name on them in a local clothes shop, as it wouldn’t be relevant and you cannot be sure anyone will even pay attention.
But for a small business, it’s one of the best ways to brand yourself.
Following on from the point above, you’ll need to make things personal to you and your business. Anything you put your stamp on, and any merchandise you might make and release, needs to make sense to your business and to any customers that may come through your door. Think about it.
For example, a bank that puts it’s brand name and/or image on pens for customers and clients to take home makes sure that the bank’s brand is useful in everyday life. Who doesn’t need a pen? And who doesn’t need to use a bank? And pens are cheap to make, easy to pass out to customers, and then for customers to pass out to a friend or colleague who may need a pen at that moment too.
But there are some items that work, no matter what kind of business you’re running. Key chains, for example, personalized with your logo can be given out to both staff and customers alike for use in their everyday life. We all have keys and key chains we need to use, and they’re more of a novelty item that’s nice to receive, rather than a specific necessity.
Branding is Important; Have You Got the Science of It Yet?
Branding strategy can be a science – it takes a lot of ingredients, and the right mixing, to pull off the right reaction. When you’re a small business that needs to make sure your brand looks and feels right, it’ll take a lot of mixing and refining!
So don’t worry if you haven’t quite worked out your branding strategy as yet – there’s still a lot of research, legwork, practice, and effort that needs to go into finding the right branded look for your small business. Really, what’s in a brand?
Images courtesy of Pixabay, UnSplash and Pexels.
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