The world’s most successful companies know that products are more than just products. They know that offering the customers who interact with their products and services a unique experience is critical. That’s where brand comes in.
From the colour palette on your posters to the language in your social media captions, everything you use to market your products or services should extend beyond your business’ face value.
This post will share with you all you need to know about small business branding and offer you a few tips on how to go about it.
What Is a Brand?
A brand is a set of features that distinguish your business from another. It typically consists of a name, logo, tagline, design, and more. A brand can also refer to the overall experience your customers get when interacting with your business’ products or services.
Branding involves researching, developing, and applying distinctive features to your business so that your consumers can associate your brand with your services or products.
Why Is Branding Essential?
Your brand is one of the most important assets your small business has. It gives you an identity, makes you memorable, supports your advertising and marketing, and encourages consumers to choose your company.
In a global survey conducted in 2015, nearly 60% of shoppers said they choose products from brands they know. On top of that, 21% said that they purchased a product simply because they like the brand.
Essentially, branding acts as the face of your business. It gives your consumers something to connect and relate with beyond the products or services.
What Are the Characteristics of Strong Brands?
Though there is no one formula to building a successful brand, there are a few characteristics that every strong brand has in common.
Organisations that manage to stay true to who they are and what they do tend to create lasting connections with their consumers.
For your brand to stand out from the rest, it needs to be distinct. Standing out from the crowd is one way you can establish a recognisable and memorable brand.
Your products or services should matter to your customers. If your business solves a specific need, it shows that you understand your consumers, allowing them, in turn, to develop an emotional connection with your brand.
Your business’ identity and how you implement that identity must remain consistent. If you keep changing your brand, your customers will never get to know you. Audiences need consistency to connect.
Creating a Brand for Your Small Business
Though the world is more familiar with prominent brands like Apple and Coca-Cola, branding can be just as crucial for small businesses, especially in today’s age of niche marketing. The following are the general steps you should take when creating your small business branding.
1. Identify Your Target Audience
The first step to building your brand is to understand to whom that brand will be speaking. This step is where target market research comes in.
Knowing your target audience allows you to develop your brand in a way that would resonate with them, eventually leading to the recognition, awareness, trust, and revenue you desire.
2. Establish Your Mission Statement
Your mission statement seeks to answer one main question—why did you create your small business? What is it that defines your passion and purpose as a business? The mission statement encompasses why your business exists and why consumers should care about your brand.
3. Identify Your Unique Qualities, Values, and Benefits
Chances are that there are other businesses in your niche. However, there has to be one thing about your business that no one can mimic. Take time and list the things that set you apart from others. Look at how your services or products promise to improve the lives of your consumers.
4. Create Visual Assets
Creating your brand’s visual design is one of the most exciting parts of branding. Once you get to this point, you should have a clear picture of your target audience, mission statement, and unique qualities.
Visual assets refer to your brand’s visual components like the colour palette, logo, iconography, and fonts. To create these assets, start by creating a brand style guide that will govern the composition of the visual components you make. Doing this helps you achieve a consistent design.
5. Find Your Brand’s Voice
How you communicate with your audience is another part of small business branding. It is normal to return to step one to remind yourself who you are talking to so as to ensure that your brand voice resonates and connects with your audience.
Your brand voice could be fun and entertaining or more official, depending on the demographic of your audience. You should also ensure that your tone is consistent throughout all your written content, from your blog posts to your social media captions and advertising campaigns.
6. Integrate Your Brand
After creating your brand, integrate it into every aspect of your business. Display your brand on the platforms your target audience interact with, such as:
- Company website
- Packaging (if your business deals with physical products)
- Social media
Tips for Small Business Branding
Since creating a brand for a small business is not the same as creating one for a large corporation, here are a few tips to keep in mind when dealing with small business branding.
Treat Your Brand Like a Person
Think of your business’ brand as a person. It should have an identity, personality, and experience. Ask yourself:
- How would your brand describe or introduce itself?
- What tone would it use when talking about your services or products?
- What would a person say about your brand after interacting with it for the first time?
Nothing undermines your brand more than inconsistency. When your brand has a unified presence across all platforms and mediums, it allows customers to recognise and become familiar with it.
While analysing your competition provides you with vital information regarding where they are excelling and failing, be careful not to fall into the imitation trap. You might see the branding success a competitor has had and be tempted to implement the same strategy but remember, your competitor succeeded because it aligned its brand with its goals.
Instead, always try to focus on what your small business brings to the table. New, provocative, and unique brands are what consumers remember most.
Professional Branding Agency in London
Your brand is one of the ways consumers differentiate you from the rest of the pack. Having a solid brand that is memorable and connects with your target audience is critical to achieving your business goals. Let the professionals we have here at Yasmeen Creative help you develop tailored branding solutions that will help you connect with your target audience while distinguishing you from the competition.
We are a full-service London branding agency that focuses on start-ups and small businesses with big ambitions. We offer value, experience, free support, and a personal team that adjusts its approach according to your preferences.
Whether you need new branding, complete rebranding, or a simple brand strategy, turn to Yasmeen Creative today. Contact us at +44 20 451 90 900 for your free one-hour consultation.