Small Business Branding
As a small business, we understand the difficulties of branding. Getting your name out there and competing with big-name competitors can be a challenge. However, we at aha! believe that a brand is a promise of an experience. So, you need to ask yourselves, what are you bringing to the table that these other big competitors aren’t? Does your small business make customers feel like they are more of a priority? Are your products unique rather than mass-produced or do you use products from local vendors, supporting your community? Whatever it is, you need to find your angle and use that towards your brand identity. Many people tend to find comfort in small businesses and prefer them over larger ones. So, the question is, why do small businesses tend to have trouble connecting with their target audience?
10 Small Business Branding Tips for 2021
# 1 Know who you are.
This branding tip may sound redundant, but many companies don’t really know or even have a company culture. You need to know not only what you do but why you do it. What is your purpose and end goal for you and your customers? Once you formulate and deeper understanding of your company, the brand will begin to come naturally.
#2 Know Your Target Audience
Who is your ideal customer? What does he or she like to do for fun? Where do they live? What kind of job do they have? Are they single or do they have a partner or family? Knowing the lifestyle traits of your customers can help you determine purchasing patterns and figure out how to target them more accurately. A brand should always be about who you are, but you want something that will resonate with your audience. Here’s a good branding tip: Instead of forming your brand around your ideal customers, create your brand first and then begin to think of what kinds of consumers would gravitate towards it.
#3 Make sure you have a good name and logo.
It’s hard to build a brand out of something that doesn’t sound or look nice. You should be proud of your name and logo. They should be easy to understand for those who are unfamiliar with your company, and they should be eye-catching and ascetically pleasing. A good branding tip is to also make sure your website is up to date, easy to use, and ascetically pleasing since that will be the first representation of your company for many viewers.
#4 You have to stand out.
Being unique is so important, as that is one way you are going to have a chance against bigger businesses. Think of the characteristics that make you different from others and think about why a customer would choose you over similar businesses.
#5 Research competing brands.
You should know how your competing businesses are positioning their brands, as well as their brand strategies. You can then see what is working for them and was isn’t. You can also make a better determination on how to differentiate from what they are doing.
#6 It’s all about client experience.
Branding is founded on core values that are surrounded by touchpoints. These touchpoints are going to be what customers will remember you by. Touchpoints can include entering your store, browsing your website, the purchase experience, delivery, post-purchase experience, customer services, and many more. How was their experience? Was it east, fast, and enjoyable? If your core branding values are on making an experience easy and worry-free for a consumer then the touchpoints must resemble that
#7 Brands should have personality.
Your brand is your voice. The content you put out should always be spoken in that voice. The words you use and how you use them are important because they give your brand an identity. However, it is equally as important to be consistent. If one social media post is written in a quirky, informal way and the next is very serious and formal it will be hard to have a consistent brand.
#8 Logos and themes!
Going off of point 6, repetition with logos and themes is also important to your brand identity. Have 2 or 3 fonts that you use to keep things consistent. It is also a good idea to stick to a color scheme. However, the most important visual is your logo. You should place it in as many places as possible. That constant recognition is what will get your brand into people’s heads.
#9 Grow your community.
Small business branding is more than just products and content. If you want to compete with bigger businesses, it’s all about growing a community. This is twofold. You want to build a community of followers and supporters, that will not only have a strong customer lifetime value but will also recommend you to their friends and family. Another aspect of community is your local community. Small businesses are all about locality. A great branding tip is to integrate your local community into your brand identity. Get your employees to volunteer at a town fundraising event and put it on your website. Donate your products or services to schools and recreation centers. The possibilities are endless but one thing is for sure: when you put your brand at the heart of the community, the community will want to support your business.
#10 Customer is king…let them know that!
You can create your brand with a motive and set its direction using research and strategy, but you cannot control how it is perceived by the public. Therefore, you should make your customers feel empowered. Let them know that you value them and that they are important. Good experiences will resonate positively with your brand.
These branding tips are great for small business branding. A brand is who you are and goes much deeper than what you do, so make sure you take the time to develop it. If you are not proud and confident in your brand, it is going to be hard to promote the business. As a small business in 2021, we need to make sure that we have a solid foundation and promote what makes us a cut above the rest.