Branding can be elusive for some small business owners. It is important to understand what it really is so you can leverage it. Take these quick tips to heart and if you need further assistance in your branding, reach out to me to learn how YOU can harness the power of branding.
1. Understand What Branding Really Is
First, it’s important to understand that your brand is much more than your logo, merchandising or products. It is the sum total of the experiences your customers have with your business. This includes visuals, as well as what you do, how you do it, customer service and your marketing messages. All these elements help establish the trust and credibility of your business.
2. Distinct and Consistent Message
A great way to ensure your distinct brand message is delivered consistently across your business is to focus on how you and your employees interact and communicate with customers – in-person, on the phone, via email and on social media. Not sure what your “voice” should be? Look to other brands for guidance. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Take note of what they do that makes you feel good about doing business with them.
3. Be Reliable
This goes back to branding not just being about your logo and colors. Don’t let your customers down by failing to live up to your promises and brand standards. The foundation of brand loyalty lies in great service – a happy customer is a loyal customer. So make sure you aren’t making promises that you can’t keep – whether you run a food business and pledge to only use local ingredients, or a consultant who promises to complete a project on a Monday at 9:00 AM sharp. Have capabilities to supply services on the fly. Stand by your promises.
4. Get Your Name and Logo Right
This is essential to brand recognition and it’s important to get it right the first time (changing your name and logo can be costly down the road). Your logo and name should be easily recognizable and reflect the nature and tone of your business as well as appeal to your target market. Ensure that the name and logo you are using (or intend to use) are unique to your business. Do a basic trademark search for your company name and mark at uspto.gov to ensure you are not infringing on a trademark of any kind or seek professional legal advice.
When in doubt, seek the help of a professional branding expert to help you define your brand message, look and feel.