Small Business Brand Development
Your brand is more than a logo.
It’s more than your vehicle wraps.
It’s more than your ads, website, and messages. It’s how people view your business and share their views with others. In the age of social media, review sites, and instant messaging, customer perceptions are critical to your brand.
According to Statista, 33% of US adults have used social media to call out a brand or its customer service. That’s over 66 million social complainers (and who knows how many complaints)!
Good branding and customer relations can help you guide the narrative.
The Benefits of Branding for Your Small Business
A strong brand will help you attract new customers, retain existing ones, and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Many small businesses don’t invest in branding because they view it as a luxury or something reserved for multimillion-dollar corporations.
This couldn’t be further from the truth!
In some ways, small businesses have more to gain from branding than their corporate cousins. Here are a few of the benefits:
- Increased name recognition and awareness
- A stronger connection with your target audience
- Higher customer loyalty and satisfaction rates
- Improved employee morale and motivation
- Greater market share and profitability
Bear in mind that the value of your brand is relative to the size of your business. A local coffee shop has a much smaller brand than Starbucks, but it’s still valuable to the business.
How to Brand Your Small Business
The process of branding boils down to four steps:
1. Defining your brand.
2. Developing your brand identity.
3. Spreading the word about your brand.
4. Staying consistent with your brand.
Let’s take a closer look at each step.
1. Defining Your Brand
Your brand is the total of everything your business represents, from its products and services to its values and mission statement.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What does my business do?
- What are our core values?
- How do we want our customers to feel?
- What sets us apart from the competition?
Be as specific as possible. For example, “providing excellent customer service” is too vague.
A better statement would be, “We guarantee same-day service if you call before noon.”
2. Developing Your Brand Identity
Your brand identity is a visual representation that includes your logo, color scheme, typography, and overall design aesthetic. It reflects the values and personality of your business.
If you’re a fun and friendly business, you might want to display bright colors and playful fonts in your branding. If you’re an electrical company, steer clear of warning colors like orange and yellow.
Your brand identity should be consistent across all channels, from your website to your social media accounts, business cards, and marketing materials.
- What colors best represent my brand?
- What style of imagery will I use?
- What typeface will I use for my logo and other branding materials?
- How can I make my brand identity unique and memorable?
3. Spreading the Word about Your Brand
Now that you have a brand definition and identity, it’s time to share them with the world!
Some of the most effective ways to do this are:
- Creating or updating your website
- Curating your social media accounts
- Creating new marketing materials (e.g., business cards, flyers, etc.)
- Emailing promotions and newsletters (if you have a good opt-in email list)
- Writing blog posts or articles
- Issuing a digital press release
- Participating in local events and tradeshows
4. Staying Consistent with Your Brand
It’s not enough to create a brand — you must nurture it over time and keep it consistent.
Re-evaluate your brand identity every few years to ensure it’s still relevant. Use the same colors, fonts, imagery, and overall design aesthetic across all channels.
A brand guideline document can help keep your marketing team on track. It should include your brand definition, core values, color palette, typeface, and more for consistency in all marketing communications.
Branding doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Culture Cube can create an affordable branding package for you — and incorporate that professional branding into your marketing communications and collateral.
How We Help with the Branding Process
Culture Cube specializes in digital marketing for local area businesses. We’ve worked with some small business owners for over a decade.
We’ll meet with you to develop your brand and carry it through in a first-rate website redesign, newsletter campaigns, press releases, blog posts, and anything else you’d like us to do.
Please call us to learn more.
Branding Refresh & What It Entails
A dated and shopworn brand calls for a brand refresh. It may be as simple as a logo and website redesign or a more involved process with focus groups, customer surveys, etc.
As our client, you can sign up for some or all of the following services and packages.
- A graphics package, including a logo redesign or update
- A use guide for print, the website & email
- Customer surveys: in-person, phone, online, or video conferencing
- Website redesign, including content updates
- Trademark & copyright registration
- Press kit design
- Periodic brand review
There are no annual contracts or retainer fees. If you choose us for your continuing marketing, our flexible monthly plans let you adjust your spending on each marketing activity so that you’re never stuck with a massive bill.
Common Branding Mistakes
- Bad Company Name. A strong brand is easily recognizable. It isn’t generic.
- Poor Design. Your branding should reflect the quality of your products or services.
- Inconsistency. Haphazard branding confuses customers and looks unprofessional.
- Lack of Research. Understand your target audience and what they’re looking for.
- Not Staying Relevant. Re-evaluate your brand identity to ensure it’s up-to-date. Don’t cling to your logo from 1975 — unless it’s the evergreen Coca-Cola logo.
- Not Keeping Your Promises. Nothing aggravates customers more than broken promises and guarantees — and they’ll tell all their friends how you wronged them.
Don’t let these branding mistakes define your business. Let us help you build an exceptional brand that will last for years.
Get in touch with us today.
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