Just because you’re running a small business doesn’t mean you have fewer responsibilities than a large company’s CEO. In fact, it’s even more difficult. You’re constantly putting out fires left and right, and most of your time is dedicated to business survival. You also don’t have an army of executives and consultants at your beck and call. That’s why you can be forgiven if you think that branding is the least of your concerns.
Many small business owners think that branding is only for corporate giants. But all businesses, regardless of size, stand to benefit from a proper branding strategy. It might even give you the boost you need. While you may not have the marketing budget of a billion-dollar company, there are lots of things you can do to get the word out about your brand. You may also work with a brand-consulting company to get your business off the ground.
A brand is more than just a logo and a typeface. It’s how you present your business to the world. If done right, it should also embody what you and your business stand for. Customers today demand authenticity more than anything, and a strong branding strategy can serve as the foundation of your business.
Before you start your branding journey, let’s look at a few tips and tricks that will help you create a successful brand for your small business.
Know what you stand for
For many entrepreneurs, their business is an extension of themselves. You pour your heart and soul (not to mention your life savings) into your new enterprise, so it should only make sense that it reflects your values and beliefs. But before you can start building your branding strategy, first, you need to take time to think about your business’s core identity.
Even businesses need to do some soul-searching. Start by listing down words that would help you describe what your business is as a brand. A clear understanding of what you’re about should help you craft a branding strategy that your customers can identify with. Remember that customers can always see through the smoke mirrors, so it pays to be true to yourself.
Know who you’re targeting
Many small business owners are so preoccupied with making a sale that they completely forget who they are trying to sell to. If your target market is anyone with a wallet, you’re doing it wrong. It’s better to focus your energies on a particular niche than waste your resources on accommodating everyone.
Your business’s nature should help you define your target customer, but things get a little a bit tricky for some entrepreneurs. Let’s say you make a living selling packaged meals. Everyone has to eat, which makes finding your niche all the more challenging. In this case, you have the freedom to choose a target audience. For instance, you can create a branding strategy that targets busy parents.
Highlight your differentiator
No matter what industry you’re in, there’s always a bigger and better competitor around the corner. If you want to grow your business, you need to find a way to set yourself apart from the pack. A successful business always has something different to offer. Otherwise, their customers would flock to their competitors.
What makes your business special is also known as the differentiator. If two identical businesses sell the same line of products, the customer will almost always choose the one that has more to offer. Make sure to highlight your differentiator in your branding strategy and marketing material.
Check the competition
A branding strategy only works if it’s unique and different. Sometimes, we subconsciously model our own branding and marketing after our competitors. While that may work to an extent, you shouldn’t replicate everything they do. That said, it pays to keep an eye on market trends and what your competition is doing.
You may not have the budget to pay for an expensive consultant, but you can always piggyback off your competitors’ research. If your larger rivals are revamping their logos or refocusing their marketing efforts, it might be a good idea to follow their lead. Obviously, you don’t want your customers to think that you’re stealing your competitor’s ideas, so you also need to infuse your own style into the branding.
A final word
These things will help you kick-start your company’s branding and give your business the boost it needs. You don’t need to spend a small fortune to create a good brand. With a proper branding strategy, More people will recognize your business and what it stands for.