Branding is more than a recognizable logo or an ‘about us’ page on a website. Instead, it is a well-thought out business plan that considers the overall cohesiveness of a company’s marketing and the features that allow it to be distinctive—and therefore profitable. Developing your brand through creating a strong identity will resonate with customers and encourage conversion to your services. The right branding for your business will generate awareness, promote loyalty , and serve as an integral aspect of any well-conceptualized marketing plan. In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of branding as well as go over some key ways to grow and develop your small business brand.
Your brand is your business’s identity, so it is important to constantly be cultivating and curating it in its multiplicity of facets—which can entail anything from managing social media accounts to engaging in in-person interactions. Whether your business is well-established or just getting started, the right brand will provide guidelines that allow business owners to tailor their marketing strategy and sell their products and services.
Your business brand is present in every aspect of your business, so it can be overwhelming as to where to start with building your brand. Below are some steps you can take to get started.
Embracing your local community can be an invaluable asset to the operation of your business. People love to support local businesses and often make the conscious choice to frequent them over large chains. As a local company, you are also in the unique position of being able to associate a face with a company, thus humanizing your brand and product, which is something large corporations struggle with.
Personally connecting with customers has a twofold advantage. Firstly, it is an excellent way to build relationships and a reputation that will encourage loyal customers to then share their experience with your business, becoming a brand advocate. Secondly, the more you engage with your customers, the better you will be able to gauge and address their needs, which allows you to provide more attuned services and make them happier as a result.
To initiate this involvement beyond your business’s physical location, think about connecting with other small business, attending town events, featuring customers on your social media pages, placing ads in local newspapers, and sponsoring children’s sports teams from nearby schools. All of these strategies will bring you closer to your customers while incentivizing them to support your business.
Your social media accounts are an accessible means of representation for your business. This provides an excellent opportunity to distinguish your brand from first engagement, whether it be through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or another platform. Implementing a cohesive voice and visuals ensures that your followers and potential customers are being met with consistency and reliability that they would then expect to attain if they were to engage with your services.
A well-maintained business blog can incite a number of benefits, including improved SEO and increased business, but it can also be a surefire way to develop your brand. At its core, a brand is about having an identifiable voice—and blogging is an excellent way to communicate the personality and intent of your company.
Make your posts easy to read, adding images for increased visual interest and digestibility, and don’t be afraid to integrate the occasional relevant humor with the rest of the information you’re relaying. Think about how you would personally converse with a customer about your business or a specific piece of advice, and try to maintain that conversational rhythm when writing your posts.
Related: Business Blogging 101 eBook
Catering to a niche market, whether through specialized services, target audiences, or specifying a product to appeal to the unique needs of your customer, is a strategic move to advance your business and ensure that you maximize the money and effort invested into outreach. It also allows you to structure your development towards both wide and narrow niche markets, which in turn allows you to curate your brand content towards specific demographic audiences while leveraging your personal expertise to differentiate yourself from your competition.
Narrowing your focus means you’ll be putting energy into what really matters, rather than expending energy trying to provide everything for everyone, a sure way to exert time and money. However, that doesn’t mean that you should only focus on one target group. Businesses can successfully cater to several different niches within their larger target audiences, and different scenarios will demand specialized actions. With this in mind, fine-tune your marketing strategy to emphasize focus towards a certain product, service, or population, leveraging your expertise and considering on what you enjoy doing most with your business to produce a more concentrated brand image— and to generate stronger marketing results.
Fantastic customer service is an integral aspect of any strong business brand. The satisfied customer will become a mini-marketer for your business, spreading the word about their positive experience and recommending your services.
As aforementioned, being relevant and responsive to customer inquiries will strengthen your reputation, giving your brand name a positive association. Think about optimizing your website to provide unique features that lead to positive consumer experience that your competitors may lack. For example, if you have the time and bandwidth, implementing a live chat option to respond to customer inquiries as soon as they arise could be an excellent option for any business with high website traffic.
Make it easy for your customers to share their positive experiences online through providing helpful links on your website, a reminder plaque by your cash register or in your office, or by simply making sure you are updating your Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook pages so that they serve as easy and well-maintained points of access.
Whether your business is large or small, formulating and strategizing your marketing to account for a strong brand identity will pay off in customer trust, an improved company image, and increased revenue—making it one of the most valuable aspects of any small business plan.