The majority of marketing causes clients’ eyes to glaze over. Branding, on the other hand, does not. This is due to the fact that branding for small businesses is a lot of fun. It is the time when you define your company’s goals, mission, vision, target audience, and overall aesthetics. Here are some pointers to help you improve your branding so that you can attract qualified customers and achieve your objectives.
branding tip for small businesses #1. Determine Your Target Audience
This holds true for all aspects of marketing. Always begin with your intended audience in mind. Assume you want to market to men and women aged 60 to 75. You’ll most likely need semi-conservative messaging and visuals. When marketing to millennials, you can be as creative as you want. It is much easier to build a brand when you base it on your target audience’s culture, voice, and tone.
BRANDING TIP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES #2. When it comes to branding for small businesses, start small.
It is acceptable to begin small with your company’s branding. This entails first establishing your key messaging: mission, vision, and brand guidelines. The foundation of your brand is establishing who you are and what you stand for. Do not omit this step!
How to Create an Effective Mission Statement
Your mission statement is what your company is doing right now and why it is doing it. Ask yourself the following questions to help you create your mission statement.
- What services does your company provide to its customers?
- How does your company affect its employees?
- What services does your company provide to owners?
- What impact do you have on the community?
- What does your company do to help the world?
Once you have these answers, construct your mission statement using three to six sentences. This can be used on your website, in your external marketing communications, and internally as a staff guide.
How to Create an Effective Vision Statement
Your vision statement will be remembered in the future. It all boils down to what your small business hopes to accomplish for people and the world in the long run. To create a vision statement for your company, consider the following questions.
- What kind of influence do we want to have in our community/industry/world?
- How will my company interact with its customers?
- What is our company culture like, and what is it like to work for us?
A vision statement should be no more than a couple of sentences long. After you’ve answered the previous questions, weave your vision together. Use this internally for your employees. It motivates everyone to work toward common goals.
How to Develop Overarching Principles for Your Small Business
Consider guiding principles to be your company’s creed. For example, what you believe in at your core. Assume that “integrity” is a guiding principle in your company. Combine this trait with an explanation of why it is important to you and what integrity looks like in action. For example, always being truthful with customers, no matter what.
Create a list of guiding principles, select the best ones, and incorporate them into your messaging for social media, website copy, and other channels.
BRANDING TIP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES #3. Involve Key Decision Makers
When there are too many cooks in the kitchen, it is nearly impossible to define your brand. Designate one or two people to sign off on final branding so you don’t get stuck in a rut of indecision.
Of course, conducting a survey or soliciting feedback from a diverse group of employees is acceptable. Sometimes the most creative results come from a creative brainstorm. You’ll be able to choose the best branding elements for your small business as long as you have a team leader.
BRANDING TIP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES #4. Maintain Your Brand’s Identity
Just because you want to be a certain way does not imply that you are. Stay true to yourself. Developing your guiding principles will make it easier to identify and maintain your brand’s personality.
BRANDING TIP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES #5. Employ a Branding Designer
After you’ve nailed down your messaging, you can move on to your visual style guide! Having said that, branding for small businesses is an art form in and of itself. Look for a branding designer, branding agency, or employee who specializes in this type of work.
A great branding designer will create your visual style guide, which will include your logo, typography, and color palette. In the first round, a better designer will provide you with at least five logo variations to choose from.
Make a mood board to help you translate your vision into design. These are visual snippets of your brand’s colors, logos, typography, and photos. It is acceptable to draw inspiration from others. This type of sampling will give your branding designer an idea of the vibe you want to achieve. It will also assist you in determining how you want your branding to appear.
BRANDING TIP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES #6. Create a Brand Style Guide.
Once you’ve completed your editorial and visual style guides, it’s time to create a brand style guide. This document, also known as a brand book, serves as your brand bible. It compiles all of your visual and messaging specifications into a living, breathing branding document.
Creating one of these takes time and money. However, handing off a polished brand book to new hires, freelancers, influencers, and referral partners is far more convenient than telling everyone the same thing over and over. You should not skimp on this branding component for your small business.
BRANDING TIP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES #7. Make Your Style Guide Mandatory
Branding is essential for any business. Branding is even more important for small businesses. This is due to the fact that you are most likely competing with other businesses, struggling to build a following, and aggressively attempting to grow your business. Your branding must be precise, easily identifiable, and, most importantly, consistent.
To onboard each employee, use your brand’s style. In every social media post, use the editorial style guide messaging and visuals. Distribute your brand book to influencers so they can properly talk about your company. Use it with referral partners who need to know how to pass on your information in a way that is authentic to your company. Make it your guiding light in everything you do.
Everyone will be on the same page as a result, and your marketing will never waver from channel to channel. Customers will recognize your brand whenever they come into contact with it.
BRANDING TIP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES #8. Create a Press Kit
When it comes to the press, incorporating your branding into a press kit ensures that every publication and blogger accurately represents your company. A press kit should include the following items:
- Messaging PNG logos
- A brief description of your company and each product or service it provides.
- Press contact—someone who the press can contact for quotes or additional information.
- Photographs of your employees, products, or services
- Facts about your business
- Press releases are linked here.
A press kit is essential. Because don’t you want what the press says to be true to you when you work hard to build links or generate organic ones?
BRANDING TIP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES #9. Develop Specific Branding for Each Marketing Channel
Small businesses’ branding relies heavily on voice and tone. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. As your company grows, your branding for small businesses must evolve as well. This entails developing brand guidelines for each marketing channel.
Create a set of rules for social media, email, website content, video, guest posts, and any other type of content you create. For example, your tone on Instagram may be much more casual than it is on LinkedIn. You may also prefer to use a specific stylized treatment for each video you create. Make a list of your preferences that support your branding!
BRANDING TIP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES #10. Make use of branding in User-Generated Content Contests and Hashtags
Customers are the most difficult aspect of branding for small businesses. But you can get the hang of it. Direct your customer base and social media followers in the right direction to ensure they promote your branding as you see fit.
This includes developing branded hashtags and contests that reflect your company’s identity. For example, if you have an edgy, outdoor brand for CBD supplements, you could hold a contest featuring extreme sports performed by people who are fueled by your product. Make use of branded hashtags that reflect your tone and voice. Set your audience up for success in order to strengthen your brand.
BRANDING TIP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES #11. Before rebranding your small business, test your ideas!
If you’re not starting from scratch with small business branding, you’re probably considering a rebrand. It could be the right time. It’s possible. The best way to reband is to first test the waters.
Try out new messaging and visuals on social media. Check to see if certain imagery, design, and posts increase engagement and likes. Make a poll with your company’s new logo options if you want feedback. Don’t invite too much feedback, but make your audience feel like they’re a part of the process.
Determine whether you need a complete rebrand or just a few tweaks here and there. It’s probably time if you have new competition, a new demographic, and/or stale aesthetics. However, you may be able to make changes to your editorial style guide while leaving your visuals alone. Likewise, vice versa. Just make certain that the market warrants and desires a rebrand before investing time and money into it.
BRANDING TIP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES #12. Develop a Strong Brand Identity
In today’s ruthless business environment, brand image is everything. It is more than just an eye-catching logo on your website. It represents who you are, your values, and your objectives. As a result, before proceeding, it is critical to establish a strong brand identity. But how do you create a strong brand image? Here are some pointers to help you succeed:
- Perform a brand audit
- Determine the mission statement and values of the company.
- Create the brand’s look, feel, and voice. Implement strategies to establish a brand identity.
- Examine and improve the overall brand image
- Creating a recognizable brand identity helps your business be more successful in this way.
BRANDING TIP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES #13. Create a Vibrant Visual Brand
After conducting a thorough brand examination, which includes knowing who you are, what your customers expect, defining goals, and understanding what’s going on in the industry, it’s time to design your brand.
Your website is the first thing a customer sees. As a result, the website’s look, feel, and design should be consistent. Creating an engaging logo, descriptive business cards, and a well-defined brand style guide also aids in the development of a winning visual brand.
Overall, consistency is the key to successfully branding your small business. According to Inc.com, consistent branding boosts revenue by 23%.
It’s now your turn!
Having a clear vision of your expected customer base increases the likelihood of your company’s success. Here are some things to think about when defining your target market.
- Examine the competition.
- Take a look at your product/service.
- Consider the demographics you want to target (age, location, gender, etc.)
- Make a mental note of psychographics (personality, attitudes, values, etc.)
- Make a detailed customer profile.
Once you’ve identified your target market, tailor your marketing efforts and services to those individuals.
BRANDING TIP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES #14. Establish a Vibrant Online Community
Creating a community around your brand is beneficial to the growth and success of your small business. In today’s digital world, there is a growing desire for unique and relatable communication/interaction that connects with others. Having an online community allows your customers to express themselves, share their experiences, and learn more about your company.
When you create a community, you invite potential customers to become involved with your brand. You can easily convert your marketing efforts into sales by focusing on community building. Furthermore, communities promote customer success, brand loyalty, and much more.
Here are the steps to creating a thriving online community for your small business’s branding:
- Take the time and make the effort to create a community around your business.
- Create a team of members and share a clear vision of the brand with them.
- Donating to people in need helps a social cause while also extending customer impact.
- Create strategies for a value-driven social media presence.
- Provide additional information about your company to customers via email or blogs.
BRANDING TIP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES #15. Form a Daily Blogging Habit
When your company expands, your customers benefit. Blogging on a regular basis can help you increase traffic to your website and attract more targeted customers. As a result, you can generate leads while growing your small business by blogging. According to one study, “69 percent of businesses attribute their lead generation success to blogging.”
Posting a blog on a daily basis can help you increase your online visibility, establish expertise in your industry, and improve your Google and other search engine rankings. It is the most effective way to reach out to more customers for your small business. Begin blogging to achieve your company’s success goals.
Don’t Stop Here; Continue!
Many factors can help your company stand out. However, branding is the only low-cost and effective way for small businesses to get ahead in a competitive market. Implementing the above branding tips for small businesses will help you capture customers’ attention and establish your company’s reputation without breaking the bank.
Furthermore, due to the rapid and frequent changes in digital technology, you will need to work hard and be creative. It is also critical to track and measure your branding efforts, from customer awareness to engagement. This way, you’ll know what’s working, what isn’t, and why.