This is good advice! From: http://www.andrewspenceonline.com/small-business-tips-building-a-brand/
Do you as a small business owner feel that building a brand is only something needed by large businesses? If yes, then you need to think again!
Your small business is in an exceptional position to create a great customer experience. Your services are niche, your target market is defined and you create your own rules. So you feel you are a brand already?
When you market your products, you also market your brand. Similarly, when you market your brand, you market your service. Impactful branding is important for you to enable you to stand out in the crowd and target potential clients. You need to create your unique identity in the vast ocean of competitors, just so that you can sail efficiently and get ahead of others.
Here are some helpful tips on building a brand.
Define Your Brand
Your brand is much more than a logo, it is the value that you create for your customers, the experiences that you create, the way your customers see you! Do you understand what differentiates you from your competitors? What makes you stand out and what is your USP? Do your customers see that?
Create your simple and clear branding message
You know how your products and services are different from your competitors; do your customers know this? Can they understand the differences through your branding message? Is your message too technical, does it have the minute specifications of your products, is it in a language created for the technically savvy only, can a layman understand your product? Think about this from a customer perspective – they will only come to you if they understand what you have to offer! Your branding message should be clear and simple – something that your customers can understand and relate to! There should be no dictionary or struggle involved here – because if your customers need to refer to somebody to understand what you are offering, they might as well go to somebody whose message is understood by them without any external help!
Your brand should have a consistent voice
What comes into your mind the moment you think of Apple? Can you not visualize Steve Jobs excited about the simplicity of the product and talking about how it is better than the other players in the market? No doubt, Steve Jobs was (and people still see him as) the voice of Apple. All brand messages from Apple supported the image that Jobs created – simplicity above cutting edge technology! All key note addresses by Steve Jobs captured these points. He made it a point that everybody at Apple spoke the same language – the language that made people believe that Apple is the simplest smartphone possible, it is sleek, it is classy, it is beautiful, it is advanced and yet – so simple! People buy it for its simplicity, and become loyalists on a single purchase! They see what was promised to them has been delivered, there were no fake promises made and that is what makes Apple an authentic brand people like to associate with.
Does your small business brand have a consistent voice? Do all your customers see you as you would want them to see you? Do they believe in your voice? Do they trust you and think you are authentic? Your voice is a consistent part of your brand marketing package. Use it to your advantage!
Let your customers be reminded about your brand:
Customers need to know your brand. Do not assume that if they have visited you once, they will remember you. Create a catchy slogan and a logo that they can associate with. Choose the colors and the words carefully, so that they resonate with your customers. Include these in all your publicity materials. If you are sending an e-mail to a potential client, make sure your signature has the brand logo and slogan. What does ‘Just Do It’ mean to you? Would you not think about Nike? Sometimes, people remember you because they love your slogan. Do all it takes for you to make people remember you and associate with you when building a brand.
You can also brainstorm with your loyal customer base on the slogan that you are thinking of developing – this will show that you care about them and they will feel a part of your business!
Dream big, think big
Just because you are a small business, does not imply that you should not be considered a serious player. Small businesses consistently out-perform even big businesses in all areas of marketing. Think big, make your brand stand out and let the world consider you as a great player wanting to take on the world, ensuring that you win loads of potential customers.
Incorporating all these tips will help you create your unique identity. However, the key to success is consistency. Work on nurturing the brand that you have created with passion through innovative marketing tips, authenticity and consistency.