What is branding? How does branding work? How do you create your business into a brand?
These are questions that would be going through your mind as a small business owner.
Branding is basically the procedure of creating an identity of your product or company through the means of logo, symbol, tagline, image, etc. It enables people to differentiate your company or product from the rest.
In order to develop your brand, you need to focus on certain areas like advertisement, promotion, logo, customer service, and so on. By using these elements, you will be able to form your unique brand image.
But creating an effective branding strategy is not going to be easy. You need to have a clear idea about the purpose and goal of your brand. What will be its branding style and who are its preferred audience? These are the questions you need to focus on answering.
In this article, we are going to provide a few tips and advice on how you can formulate a sound and effective branding strategy, which will definitely help you boost your brand.
Businesses must be branded like livestock
Branding makes the business unique. When done right, it separates the business from the competition while simultaneously attracting the customer closer to the business.
The branding campaign must speak to target markets, but it’s easier said than done. The challenge is keeping the message specific, but broad enough to blanket a wide range of potential customers.
Branding is different from marketing
It’s easy to wrap these up in one, especially when it comes to a small business. But it’s important to keep the concepts separate.
The brand identity is the passionate story behind your business. Marketing is how to tell that story to the world.
“A brand is much more than a name, a logo, and a color palette. It’s an expression of your mission, values, and vision. A plan to achieve your goals and ambitions. An experience that connects you with your customers, clients, employees, investors and other stakeholders. A system and the tools to build that connection over time.” Councils Member– David Feldman, Forbes
How do you create your business into a brand?
Start with a personal story about why the business loves what it is doing. This story can be told through video, blog, or series of articles. The key is staying consistent. If the story changes, then the business branding may not be as believable.
People of the business
It’s important to think about who the people are and how to tie them into the business because that’s what the audience will remember. That’s what people want to put their own hard-earned money into – to believe their money is going towards a company that believes in themselves and their business.
Research with a sample size
Anyone who has taken a statistics class or two will tell you a sample size is a great indication of the entire population. Peer reviews of the branding plan is crucial to the health of the branding campaign.
It’s always a good idea to also run it by the people closest to you, or even some of your favorite customers. They will give the best advice anyone can give because they know your business better than anyone else. Adding market research and feedback will go a long way.
Express what you’re about
Your logo as well as your company name should give a glimpse into the idea behind your company, its products, and services. Sure, stunning graphics and cool names will grab people’s attention, but what’s more memorable is that your brand has a story they can relate to. If people can easily understand what the company is about, you need to use less resources on explaining the simple stuff.
So, your branding should be something personal as well as give people an insight into your company.
Your branding should be consistent
You have to make the most of it when you engage with the customers. This is why a consistent brand strategy is so important. It gives people a clear picture about your brand.
There should be a form of consistency and harmony in your messaging, be it from your website or any social media platform. For example, if you create a lighthearted identity around a certain product, that same tone should persist throughout all the channels. So, when someone gets exposed to your branding from different channels, they will easily relate to the identity of your product. This amplifies your messaging and enhances your brand value.
When Twitter and other social media platforms are filled with toxicity and hatred, you brand can bring in a breath of fresh air with its positive branding. It doesn’t have to be motivational quotes or poems. Your brand strategy should make people optimistic, make them feel good about themselves.
Beardbrand, a company which sells male grooming products, does this job remarkably well. Maintaining and cutting a beard is a hassle for many guys. Tools required to manage your beard are costly too. So, it is understandable that a lot of guys don’t have too many positive things to say about beards. But Beardbrand uses words like “keep on growing” on their newsletter and other positive messaging across their social media platforms, which set them apart from the rest.
Identify Your Audience
Before creating your business into a brand, it is important to know who your target audience is. Your product probably is not for everybody. So, you should tailor your strategy keeping in mind who wants to buy your products. Narrowing down your customers will help you to conduct your branding more effectively.
Here are a few examples:
- You can target single moms than going for all moms
- Target retired people looking to get back into the job instead for “unemployed people needing a job.”
Focusing on a niche group will give you an edge among your competitors. Your intended audience also gets a clear idea about your brand.
You can ask for your customers’ opinion during rebranding. Invite them to your office and take advice about different features and identifiers of the brand. Try to keep their opinions and advice.
Have a mission Statement
Every top brand has a mission statement that outlines the goal of their brand and what they are passionate about. If you want your brand to stand out among the rest, you need to have a mission statement as well, which will define the purpose of your brand. Your logo, messaging, tagline, and other identifiers should be consistent with the mission statement.
For example, Nike’s mission statement is “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” It also adds a footnote saying “If you have a body, you’re an athlete.”
Nike is a global brand. Through its statement, they are not just focusing on athletes but normal people as well, thereby expanding their audience.
But remember, during the initial stage of your business, concentrate on your target audience. Then expand on it.
Create Brand Awareness
You can promote and create awareness about your brand using the following ways:
- Build a referral program
- Provide premium content for free
- Associate with other brands and business
- Create events in different social media platforms
- Make infographics
- Host podcast
- Invest in a marketing campaign.
Also read “How often do I need to market my business?”‘
It will take time to create your business into a brand
Branding campaigns need planning, adequate strategies, and well thought out content. Answering the prospects concerns while earning their trust is a challenging task. Wrapping it up in a few sentences while capturing their attention is a rewarding feeling.
But with highs come lows. There will be marketing campaigns that are flops. It happens to all businesses. The beauty is that there are no rules to this game. The floor is open to all suggestions and the only way to know which road to choose is with the help from others.
“Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.” – Mark Cuban
It’s okay to get frustrated. It’s actually a great sign because it takes time to answer the hard questions. It may take years to get your branding right. But you truly must continue to work on it because it is a key attribute for your company to grow strong into the future.
A successful branding strategy is essential for the growth and sustainability of a company. It can alter people’s perception of a brand. It not only brings recognition and generates new customers for your company but also increases pride and satisfaction within your employees. So, you can’t afford to take it lightly.
I hope my tips will help open your eyes to the power of branding and what it can bring to your company. Moreover, if you already have a branding strategy, these tips will help you further improve it.
If you are interested in brainstorming ways to create your business into a brand, shoot me an email! I love to talk about this topic.