What Every Small Business Should Know About Branding
Successful branding sounds like a complicated process, but it’s really all about helping your customers know, like, and trust your business. Achieve those aims while delivering on your promises and you will have paved the way to high-levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, two nearly priceless rewards that can ensure steady cash flow and consistent word-of-mouth referrals for any small business.
Ready to get started? Here’s what you need to know:
Branding is more than Just a Logo
Start talking about branding and within a few minutes, someone will start talking about logo design. In a way, those folks have a point. Your logo can communicate a great deal about your company. It’s also often the first thing a prospect will see when they check your website or glance at one of your print advertisements. So there’s no doubt it’s important. But it’s not your brand. Your brand is the entirety of the impression you create. It starts with your logo, but it extends to the way you speak, the way you dress, the level of service you deliver, the pricing you offer, and the way you stand behind your work.
Branding is more than Window Dressing
Your brand must go deeper than a certain look or feel. It has to inform everything you do. Remember, your consumers face more marketing messages in a single day than previous generations may have faced in a year. If you fail to achieve a professional look and feel, prospects will never give you a chance. But once you have earned the right to do business with a consumer, your brand stands or falls on the way you deliver, so make sure that honoring your brand is at the core of everything you do.
Branding Should Be Focused
Consumers face a dizzying number of choices every day. For a perfect example of this, grab your phonebook and look up pizza places, or do a Google search of pizza places near your zip code. If your city is like most, you’ll find a vast array of restaurants, each just waiting to take your call. If you’re new in town, that freedom to choose can almost be paralyzing. As consumers, one way we cut through that clutter is by seeking service providers who offer a unique selling point. If we want a pizza quickly, we select the restaurant that’s built a brand around speedy delivery. If we want to impress our friends, we might look for a shop that bills itself as “gourmet.” Find your unique selling point and focus your branding around it. Doing so will help you stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Branding is About Repetition and Consistency
If you want to destroy your brand, there’s no quicker way to do so than delivering inconsistent service or products. Consumers want to know what they’re getting into when they make a purchase. If you defy their expectations, your business relationship could be at an end. That’s why everything you do must be consistent with the brand you are trying to create. Additionally, once you’ve established your brand and marketing messages, you need to repeat them constantly. Changing your messages or actively re-branding yourself is something you should only undertake when major changes are afoot. At all other times, rely on repetition and make your brand the first thing consumers think of when they need to purchase something in your market.
Branding doesn’t have to be a mystery. It’s really all about understanding your business philosophy and translating it into consistent action. It’s one of the best small business tips you could ever act on. Do that, and to a large extent, your branding will take care of itself.
February 20, 2020