Business branding is the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol, or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products. With just a few elements, your brand communicates who you are, where you’re heading, and how you hope to be perceived. No matter what kind of business you run, building a brand is a highly effective way to stand out from the crowd and develop a unique presence both on and offline. A strong, unique identity will give you the opportunity to make an impression on potential customers even before they commit to your company.
The key steps involved in brand building are to make your brand memorable and to maintain consistency. It is crucial that you consider how people will perceive your business. Let’s take a look at these seven (7)effective branding tips that will help you set up a memorable and consistent identity:
- Define your brand identity
Your brand is your business personality, and like a human personality, it can be expressed in multiple ways. It should be reflected in your logo, your brand colours, your graphic style, and your tone. Then there’s your brand values – the traits that characterize how you do business and how the people within your company think, feel and behave. You can define your brand identity by asking yourself the following questions:
- What three words best describe my company? If you’re customer-oriented, innovative, and eco-friendly, your branding should reflect these values. You can achieve this goal through content that explains your latest news while showing your nature-evoking logo. You should pair this content with a company culture that prioritizes swift and thorough customer service.
- What should come to mind when people think of my company? If you are going for a brand image that evokes a helpful, knowledgeable team, use photos of smiling, relaxed employees in your ads. If you want to evoke regality, logos with sleek lines you can achieve this effect with your target audience.
- What is the company’s mission statement? You don’t need to explicitly state your mission in your content creation, but you should make sure that your materials and customer experience reflect your goals. For example, if you’re making certain products or services newly accessible to a certain demographic, set your prices accordingly and make it clear how you’re achieving these lower prices
2. Know Your Audience
Your branding should appeal primarily to your target audience as you have a higher chance of converting likely audience members to customers than you would appealing to everyone out there. For example, if you’re starting a B2B digital marketing firm, your branding should appeal to small business owners, not every business owner. Small business owners value professionalism, confidence, and expertise, as such your designs, including your logo, website, social media presence, and other content should reflect these values.
3. Be Unique and Consistent
Successful brands stand out from the crowd – and they do so around the clock. Marketing strategies that differ from your competitors is just one piece of the whole pie. The other is ensuring that all your marketing campaigns are predicated on the same visuals, values, and tone. A standout branding approach that rarely shifts in shape is key to properly branding your small business.
4. Connect brand strategy with marketing
Branding isn’t entirely about how your company looks. It’s also about the value you offer that your competitors can’t provide. That’s why thought leadership marketing can be a powerful part of your brand strategy. Blogs, social media posts, white papers, and other content that positions you or your key employees as one-of-a-kind experts in their field brands your company as knowledgeable and trustworthy. These attributes are valuable for businesses in all fields. There are many ways marketing can influence how your brand comes across. For example, the design of your marketing materials, the frequency of different kinds of communications such as emails or tweets, the topics you cover in content marketing activities such as a blog or video channel, and the tone of voice you use.
5. Differentiate your brand from competitors
Your brand is a reflection of who you are as a business, so it’s going to be uniquely you. But there’s no denying that certain industries tend to develop a common brand ‘language’, where certain colours, fonts, illustration styles, or even a tone of voice are typical across multiple businesses. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but it’s definitely something to be aware of and make a conscious decision about when devising the brand strategy of your small business. You need to decide whether you want to tap into your industry’s brand trends or break out from the pack with something truly unique.
6. Forge partnerships
People like to do business with brands they trust. But if you’re a new brand, establishing that trust can be time-consuming. But a great way to speed up the process? Look for partnership opportunities with other brands your customers already work with. Think of it as trust-building by proxy; if your customers are introduced to your brand by a brand they already know and trust, they’re much more likely to extend that trust to you—and give you their business as a result
7. Monitor and evaluate results to keep your brand in tip-top shape
Once you have developed your brand and your business has been up and running for a while, it is important as part of your brand strategy to check in regularly – monitor and evaluate your results with a brand audit every six months or every year. A brand audit is an internal process that helps you keep track of how consistently your brand comes across, how well it aligns with the way you do business, and how it’s perceived by your customers.
These are some effective tips that can help small businesses with their brand-building efforts. It might seem impossible to build a brand with a limited budget, but as an entrepreneur or small business owner, you’re able to decide how to spend your budget so nothing goes to waste. These tips can help put your brand-building budget to good use. Remember, your brand is a reflection of how well you operate, and all being well, your business should blossom into something bigger, bolder, and brighter over the space of a few years.