You know that you need branding for your business. It’s one of the most important parts of building a successful business. Establishing a proper brand identity can be daunting even for seasoned marketers. That’s especially true when it comes to small business branding with limited resources. So, how do you make the most of what you’ve got to create powerful branding for your business?
What is Branding for Your Business? A quick recap
Effective business branding is more than your logo, marketing materials, and website. Branding is a reflection of your business’s identity. It’s a promise to your customers letting them know what to expect as a patron. And, it can help you stand out from your competitors.
As a small business, you face several challenges when it comes to branding for your business. To make things worse, many small businesses wait for a long time before working on branding. Instead, they choose to focus on other, more pressing aspects of their work.
The longer you go without defining your brand, the harder it becomes to do so. Without an effective brand identity, standing out from competitors becomes a challenge.
Small business branding challenges are not small.
Unlike larger brands, your small business will have fewer resources for effective branding. Identifying the key branding challenges that you face is essential. Let’s look at nine common branding worries and how to overcome them.
1. Establish Brand Guidelines
When creating a brand identity, brand guidelines are important to defining your brand. These guidelines ensure that your branding is consistent everywhere you use it. And, your brand will allow you to create recognition between your brand and your business.
Your brand guidelines don’t only include elements such as your logo and brand colors. They include your brand’s purpose and key differentiators from your competition. A strong purpose will help you make decisions when branding for your business. It will ensure that all aspects of your business are working in cohesion towards a single goal.
Consistent and purposeful branding helps establish credibility for your brand. It helps your customers understand why they should choose you over your competition.
2. Create a Brand Voice
Businesses often overlook the need to create a brand voice and personality. But this is a part of establishing brand consistency.
This voice and personality will help guide your approach to many activities. For example, social media, marketing materials, newsletters, and other communication with your customers. Creating a distinctive voice and personality involves making it relatable. An impression that makes consumers want to return to your brand and to your business.
Your brand voice helps communicate your values to your customers. Effective branding for your business means you align this voice with your brand. You avoid creating mixed messaging.
3. Better Brand Management
Often, small businesses do not understand brand management. Maintaining your brand is an important part of attracting and retaining customers.
On task is to create an effective social media strategy. Another is to establish a plan to respond to online reviews. This makes consumers feel included in your business. It allows them to create a more personal connection with your brand.
Another element that small businesses should concentrate on is the brand name. Often, the name of a small business is not the same as the name of your brand. This makes it harder to gain people’s attention and create a link between business and brand.
4. Lack of Resources
As a small business, you have limited resources compared to larger brands. You likely feel this pain in the time you have available to dedicate to branding for your business. Not to mention the budget available to spend on it.
There are many ways to grow your brand on a limited budget. These include dedicating more of your efforts to online and influencer marketing. Micro-influencers are usually more affordable for smaller brands. They help you target a narrower and more specific segment of the social media audience. This allows you to target your audience at a reasonable cost.
It can be tempting to add extra elements to your brand to distinguish it from competitors. But, this can make recognition and remembrance of your brand challenging for consumers.
Simple, clean, and relatable branding is best. It will allow your customers to relate to your brand. Avoid using vague and generic terminology. Instead, communicate your business aims and how you can benefit your consumers. This will distinguish you from the crowd.
6. Lack of Measuring and Metrics
One thing is critical to branding for your business. You need to know what part of your approach is working and what isn’t. Without tools to measure the success of your branding, you may make costly errors. And, you won’t have a clear understanding of what to fix.
Another important tool to keep up with is competitive analysis. You need this at the start of your branding journey. It will tell you how to position your brand against those of your competitors. And you do need to revisit this every once in a while.
A competitive analysis will help keep you on top of what your competitors are doing. It will allow you to focus on branding for your business to establish your uniqueness. It can also help you revisit your product and identify to see where you can add value.
7. Police The Branding For Your Business
Once you have established an effective brand identity, you have to manage it. Retaining your brand’s effectiveness is a challenge faced by many small businesses.
One of the parts of doing so is to watch how your brand is being used. Brand elements shouldn’t be on materials that are antithetical to your brand values. And, be sure competitors are not creating similar logos and marketing materials.
Without monitoring and policing your brand, its effectiveness may soon get diluted.
8. Fear of Rebranding
Businesses often hesitate to rebrand. After all, they’ve spent time and effort on building their brand. But, sometimes it may be necessary to rebrand. You may need to change the impression that a brand has already created in a customer’s mind.
Before rebranding, make sure that the benefits outweigh the risk. You will be losing your existing brand identity. You run the risk of reducing the connection you’ve made with customers. Make sure that you are communicating any changes with existing followers and customers. And, include your reasons for doing so where appropriate.
Rebranding can help you maximize your product’s value by linking it to a new, more targeted brand. Make sure that you approach any and all alterations with a clear purpose in mind
Using branding for your business is key to creating recognition. Your marketing plan should include how to handle your branding efforts in the long term.
One low-cost way to do so is to turn to digital marketing and social media. Content marketing, especially via blogs, allow businesses to create a consistent brand voice. It can create engaging material keeping the brand front and center in customer minds.
Social media also allows customers to engage with a business in a direct way. It allows customers to feel as though they are getting a glimpse behind the curtain. This, in turn, allows them to feel like they are an essential part of your business.
Both social media and content marketing are tools you can use over the long term. They allow you to build your brand identity in a sustainable way.
Give it your best shot
Creating branding for your business takes time, effort, and money. A cultivated brand is a differentiator that makes it stand out from competitors.
We designed this checklist to remind you of 9 ways to strengthen a small business brand. But, the fundamental brand driver is … passion. Consumers will forgive many branding mistakes if you are authentic and passionate. You’ll win every time with branding for your business that combines passion and planning.