Often branding is considered something that only large companies need to concern themselves with.
On this basis it is extremely common for small businesses to design a logo and matching business cards and consider this as their branding complete
Branding communicates to your customers that you are trustworthy, that they have a reason to connect with you and that you are completely inline with the customer's wants and needs.
Follow our five step branding guide on how you can effectively brand your small business.
Trust is the most important factor when building relationships with new customers. Consumers are hard wired to trust visible brands.
It's common for businesses to be so focussed on pushing any marketing material on either social media or other channels, that they forget their core branding.
Building and maintaining trust in your brand is crucial. It can take a long time to establish that but small mistakes can take the trust away.
These can be things like consistent grammar mistakes, not responding to customer's messages or comments on social media can start the downward spiral of mistrust.
Consistency is often hand in hand with trust. For example your brand needs to be present consistently. Posting on your social media platform(s) consistently each day proves that you are present.
Deliver on your promises as a businesses, consistently keep your marketing inline with your core values and targets, be as responsive as you can be to customers through social media, email or phone calls and trust will naturally follow.
2. Gaining New Customers
As obvious as it would seem, effectively branding your business brings in new potential customers.
Think about it, if you wanted someone who had seen an advertisement they had seen of yours to recommend your brand, how will they do that if your brand isn't memorable?
This is why you need to make sure your brand has an identity. It's not simply enough to publish a website and own social media platforms. Your brand needs to be one that your customers and potential customers remember.
Try not to exactly mimic well known brands. Apple for example have an extremely well known brand which works for their customer base and offering but that may not necessarily work for you. Create your own unique identity. This can be by creating useful videos on your services which can often quite quickly rise in popularity. Or by posting hints and tips on life hacks that are related to your service.
3. Inspiring Employees
Key branding increases the value prospects of a company which will automatically motivate employees long term.
It can provide them with direction on the travel of the business in the next few years. It can motivate them to promote a brand and business that they believe in. It can also encourage them to sell your brand to customers directly therefore improving your customer service.
People need goals to work towards so if you involve your employees in all or part of the branding journey they can instantly be motivated to maintain that positive brand.
If your internal brand isn't on focus then it's unlikely that your external one will be.
It's tempting to write an email, message or even a social media post with the intention of engaging and motivating staff maybe to discuss a new direction of the business. But remember, nothing is as valuable as speaking to employees face to face.
4. Emotional Branding
Forming an emotional connection with your customers past, present and future is vital to the logevity of your brand.
In 2019 more consumers than ever define themselves on the brands that they wear, use and view.The key to emotional branding is to establish a human connection to your customers.
This can be achieved by first understanding the exact needs, wants and desires of your consumer base. You can then build your core brand around what you have discovered to ensure it is inline with this.
Connecting to the positive emotions of your customer base can also lead to an increase in your social media account's popularity.
Human's love stories so telling the story of your company can really help to emotionally connect with your audience. Generating positive emotional responses such love and laughter through your brand marketing can be a huge key to success.
Don't take your consumer's emotional responses for granted!
5. Beating the Competition
In a world where the competition in any industry is stifling, ensuring your brand is perfect is now absolutely key to success.
Why are you better than the competition? Why can consumers trust you more? Why does your brand stand out from the crowd?
The clear answer is credibility. Consumers that find companies credible and trustworthy (going back to point one) are more likely to use them than their competitors who are not focussed in their branding.
You give consumers a valid reason before turning to another company. A reason to recommend you over another company is what brings in new customers
Companies now, more than ever, need to realise that you are no longer competing on a local level. The majority of companies, whether they realise it or not, are competing on a national or global scale.
Competing to bring your brand to the forefront is probably as difficult as it's ever been but being consistent and present is the best way to beat the crowds!