How can your small businesses create a brand that stands out? In this post, I would like to explain the importance of small business branding and how it can improve your business to new levels.
Some might think that branding is something left to the big corporations, but as a small business, this is something that you should devote time and energy to in order for your customers to know who you really are.
Creating a brand is not just about having a pretty logo and a flashy website. When it comes to your small business, Your Brand Identity is one of the most important aspects that you need to focus on. Your brand should be something that your target customers will identify with, it’s the whole being of your business personality.
What Is Branding?
It might be an obvious question, but surprisingly many small business owners think branding is about their logo, website and the colours that they choose. But branding is so much more!
Branding is an impression people have of your business. It is a way for them to know who you are and what you are all about. When people encounter your business whether by seeing your logo, hearing your name, or visiting your website – how does it make them feel? What do they think of you?
Branding is a way of communicating with your audience by using specific designs, colour schemes and actions that represents your products or services.
Branding For Your Small Business
Before you approach a graphic designer or a brand consultant I want you to think first about what makes your business special.
Defining your brand is not just a case of picking a font and choosing colours. Before you start your branding process, it’s important that you really think about the message you want to convey. People buy from brands they can connect to, resonate with and love. If you want to be different from your competitors, you need to set yourself apart and focus on what makes you unique.
The internet is saturated with startups and wanna-be-preneurs. Many fail because they think more about the end result rather than building a relationship with their audience. As a small business, it’s hard to be heard especially if you start off trying to be like everyone else.
The best way to approach branding for your small business is to be focused. Determine your target audience, figure out what matters to most of them, and get rid of anything else that is not important.
Why Is It Important?
Branding is about how you communicate your business core values and personality. It’s an effective way to stand out and let your audience know that you care about them, and to let them know what kind of business you are.
It is a consistent way to share your story and highlight the things that you believe in. All of these points are important for connecting with people in a more intimate and emotional level.
Do Small Businesses Need Branding?
As a small business, branding starts with yourself. Many small businesses overlook their personal story and how it can be integrated into their brand strategy. Think about how you went through the process and tell your audience how you manage to get to this stage of your business.
When you are an expert in your field, whether you’re a creative, coach, freelancer or a consultant, the idea of building your personal branding strategy will come naturally to you. Most people are interested in following people they can relate to. Your story is what distinguishes you from your competitors, therefore, will help to form a good impression, lasting relationship and build trust with your audience and customers.
What Is A Brand Strategy?
Your brand strategy is a structure that guarantees that your branding efforts take you to your main goal. Which is to have a solid understanding of the needs and wants of your audience.
Before starting your brand strategy make sure you think about the following:
What is the aim of your business and why? It’s not just about lining your own pockets, but what positive change can your business make to your customers?
As a small business, you might not think that your purpose is to ‘change the world’, but you should have a goal to improve people’s lives in some way or another. Whether saving your customers time or make their life easier to finish a certain task.
This stage is about the whys and hows, think about what you want your brand to be remembered for and what problems do your customers face that your business can solve.
2. Your Core Values
The values you offer as a business should be unique, important and relevant to your audience. It will influence the way you run your business and the way you build your brand. Your core values should be the foundation of your brand. This includes your look (design), message (voice) and relationships (customer service).
Having strong core values will help your business to build trust and worth, which is important in making a successful and memorable brand. Along with Your Vision, it creates a strong message that will stand out from the rest.
3. Your Brand Foundation
Creating a strong brand foundation is critical to the success of your business. If you see your brand as a person, ask yourself these questions. Who are they? What are they like? What values do they believe in? How do they make you feel?
It’s your brand personality that shows your audience what you are about. Giving your business a personality is the key to make your brand personable and relatable. It’s all about building relationships and together with Your Vision and Core Values, it will bring your brand altogether.
Once you have an understanding of these important strategies you can then implement them with any branding decisions you make starting from now and the future. Use these strategies to determine whether the decisions that you are making is right for your brand personality. This can apply to when creating new content, social media post, or putting together a new marketing campaign. Always ask your self these following questions:
- Is this going to get me closer to achieving my goal?
- Does it meet the needs of my customers?
- Does it match my brand values, purpose and personality?
If yes is the answer to the above, then you know you are on the right track in creating a successful brand strategy.
Creating an effective brand identity for your small business is an important stage of building a successful business and it is something that is worth investing your time in.
Being a small business does not mean you have to keep your ideas small. With a little bit of thought and originality, you can give your business a bigger presence, setting yourself aside from the rest of your competition. Having a good understanding of your brand personality can help further the creative process and new ideas that can make your brand truly unique!
I am a web designer, graphic artist & illustrator in Valencia, Spain. I am also the creative director for Tucanoo Solutions Ltd, a software development company specialising in legal, financial and healthcare applications.