Branding Small Businesses
Branding small businesses can be challenging, why? because most brands are associated with larger companies such as Apple, Nike, Coke, Mercedes Benz, just to name a few. But what is branding?
Branding is ‘the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.’ It’s what consumers think of your product / image / company.
Branding is how you want your audience and everyone else to view your company. Branding is what your audience can expect from your services or products.
But how do you create a brand?
Step 1. Define your brand
Before you create your brand you must first define it. Work to define the following to focus your brand:
- Company mission statement.
- Characteristics of your company.
- What are our company goals?
- Characteristics you would like your company to have.
- Who is our target audience?
Step 2. Create a identity through logos and colour
Colour schemes may not seem like a urgent important decision for your brand; but let me assure you that it is. The human mind is extremely responsive to visual stimuli. However, colours play a major contributor in this response, which you may or may not have known.
Each colour can affect your brand differently, there are underlying messages behind each one. The tone and shade of your colours will affect your brand.
Meanings associated with differing colours:
- Red: Passion, Power
- Blue: Loyal, Clean, Trust, Peace
- Pink: Love, Tranquil, Feminine
- Orange: Energy, Warmth, Excitement, Health
- Green: Soothing, Money, Nature
- Purple: Creativity, Royalty, Magic
- White: Simplicity, Purity, Cleanliness,
- Black: Power, Sophistication
- Brown: Outdoors, Masculine, Rural
You need to take your time when creating your logo, with a professional graphic design agency. Your businesses logo is a crucial piece in creating an effective brand in the market place. Think of your logo as your businesses face. Your logo is what your customers will learn to associate with your business and its services or products.
When creating your logo, think for the long term. A good question to ask yourself is ‘what logo would I like to see my business still have in many years to come?’
How you are going to use your logo? On websites, billboards, stationary, vehicles etc? You want to create a logo that is adaptable to each and every possible way.
Step 3. Create a slogan
What is a slogan? A slogan is a unique phrase that links your name to your brand.
Slogans are tricky to come up with and more work that one might think. But, don’t get so focused on creating the perfect slogan that you just can’t think or enjoy the process!
Instead, focus on what your product or service is that your brand represents, focus instead on the benefits of your services or products. This is what your slogan should ‘say’ to your audience.
Examples of famous slogans:
- Nike: “Just do it.”
- Coke:“The Real Thing”
- LG: “Life’s Good”
- Apple: “Think Different”
- Lego: “Play on”
- Disneyland: “The happiest place on earth.”
Step 4. Integrate your ‘Brand’
Your brand is now ready to be implemented into every aspect of your business. Small businesses have a leg up in this area, because with fewer employees comes the opportunity of being more personal with your customers.
You need proper training with your staff that ensures that everyone is on the same page with your brand. Why is this so important? I will explain using an example of a cleaning services business. If the business is trying to portray their brand as being ‘clean’ and ‘professional’, then the employee who is wearing a dirty uniform will confuse your customers. This is where proper training of your employees will considerably help with any of these issues.
Step 5. Be Authentic and Consistent
Last and importantly, make sure every communication you send out in regards to your business is consistent and in line with the brand you have created. A confusing brand will deter rather than attract your customers. This is usually done by asking your graphic design agency to create a style guide.
Branding is essential in creating a successful small business. Follow these steps to create a brand that develops the essence of your business and (hopefully) reap the rewards that come along with it. Stick with it. It pays off.