If you run a business, your branding is one of the most important elements. It makes no difference how big or small your business is; without the proper branding and marketing, you will not make the profits you deserve because not enough people will know you exist. Your branding works as a promise to your customers, showing them what you stand for and how you operate. It also shows them what you can provide. Your branding sets you apart from the competition and is the thing, more than anything else, that will persuade customers to come to you and not another company. How can you create an unforgettable brand?
Define The Brand
When you define your brand, you are looking deep into the inner workings of your company to discover what it is exactly that you want to achieve. How do you want to be perceived? What is important to tell your customers about through your brand? Every company will have a mission. Some of those missions aren’t of interest to the customers, though. If, for example, your company’s mission is to simply make lots of money, your customers won’t want to know about it. Don’t mention it in your branding! Instead, you will need to work out what you can offer your customers that no one else can. That is your mission. You should also know the features and benefits of your product or service and what qualities you want your customers to think of when they see your logo or your advertising. These things together help to define your brand.
When you think of your brand, you should also discover its voice. Every brand has a certain tone associated with it, and that tone should be reflected within the company itself. Depending on what you sell, that voice can be caring and welcoming or brash and loud. It can be anything in between as long as it doesn’t alienate people and as long as it is what those people who your market research determined were your ideal customers want and need to hear.
When designing the brand for your independent small business, it’s important to be yourself and to be unique. Don’t try to mimic what the larger chains and more famous stores are doing; you could get yourself into trouble, and, perhaps worse, you could drive customers away. Right now, there is a huge upwards trend towards shopping in independent stores and boutiques. People actively choose to do this rather than spending their money in the larger stores. They like the personal nature of independent businesses, and they like that they are putting money into someone’s college fund or vacation savings rather than into a big, corporate black hole. If you try to be too much like the bigger chains, those seeking out independent stores to shop in may steer away from you. Being independent is a big pull for many customers, so play on that in your branding and stand out for being totally different.
What Is Your Elevator Pitch?
Do you have an elevator pitch? The elevator pitch is your company’s brand message put succinctly into one or two sentences. It should use the brand voice you have chosen for the rest of your marketing efforts. It may be that no one ever sees this ‘pitch,’ but if you always remember it and stick to it, it will make branding – and running the business in general – a lot easier. This ethos will be the backbone of the company. It needs to communicate on a human level, without any technical jargon or sales spiel. It should be easy to understand, and ideally, it should strike at an emotional level. This can be a particularly hard thing to understand, so it could be worth learning more about business in general on a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt course and then using that knowledge to help build your pitch.
When you build a brand for your business, it needs to be professional. If it is not, customers will have difficulty trusting you. There are so many companies and places to buy goods these days that trust is essential; if a customer doesn’t feel it, they will move onto the next website or across the street and buy their items elsewhere. One way to look professional is to have a consistent look across all of your marketing material and your company in general. Once you come up with your logo, make sure that the same fonts and colors are used in all of your other marketing. Ensure that the colors of any uniforms also match this scheme. Being consistent means that as soon as someone sees your colors, font, or tagline, they will immediately be reminded of your company. It will boost sales because you become much more part of the advertising landscape.