-By: Kayla McDonald
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any type of business, regardless of size or location. An effective brand strategy gives you a competitive edge within a crowded marketplace. But what exactly is a “brand”? Can it be developed online? How does it affect a small business like yours?
A “BRAND” defines the core values of your organization. It expresses what YOU do and how YOU do it – both from within the company and in dealings with customers, business partners, society and the environment. In other words, a brand is an identity developed from within the company And it is expressed by how you conduct business. Your brand identity follows you online and offline. It is not based solely on what is said but how others perceive the business.
For instance, are you an early adopter of the newest technology in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product known to be the expensive and rare option or the low-cost, easy to find option? Contrary to popular belief… you can’t be both and everyone is not your customer! Your brand identity should be based to some extent on fulfilling the wants and needs of your target market.
Branding is the action taken to build upon the promise you’ve made to your audience. Your branding creates lasting impressions and tells consumers what they can expect from your products & services and How to distinguish it from your competitors. As a result, small businesses can build credibility, increase recognition and gain appreciation with their customer base.
If you are new to branding, this process can be intimidating. But if you relate it to your everyday life, do some research and be authentic, you can find the resources and support to launch a reputable brand. Whether you’re starting from scratch or reinventing a brand, I’ve outlined the steps below to help you get started.
Defining Your Brand
“Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery.” John Williams, LogoYes
The first step to developing a brand in the digital age is defining your brand. Reflect on your business or idea and ask yourself the following questions:
Do I have a mission statement?
What are the features and benefits of my products or services?
How is the company perceived by customers or prospects?
Which qualities do I want consumers to associate with my business?
Some research and development may be required to effectively answer those questions. Do some research on similar products/services. Survey people who already buy. Keep an open mind by learning their wants, needs and buying habits. Don’t be afraid to seek the guidance of an expert!
Once you’ve defined your brand, then it’s time to spread your message!
Identify brand standards for your marketing materials. Select fonts, text sizes and colors to be used consistently on business cards, logos, flyers etc. Try not to complicate things, just keep it simple.
Get a logo designed. Add it to your apparel, website, social media accounts and everywhere your brand is represented.
Develop a tagline. Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
Keep your promise. Customer loyalty develops overtime and requires businesses to deliver on its brand promise.
Be consistent. Last but not least, this point involves doing all of the above on a regular basis. Reputable brands develop habits that customers trust.
One of my favorite tools to create marketing materials is Canva! It’s a user-friendly design program full of pre-built templates and images. Follow this link to create a Free account. I’m excited about your Brand development journey. This process will highlight your uniqueness and attract supporters.
Feel free to leave a comment and tell me where you are in developing a brand for your business. What challenges are you having? If you’re tired of doing this alone, visit my website to book a Free discovery call.