As a small business, you have likely heard the word branding thrown around a lot, and you know it's essential, but it's not as straightforward as you may think. Small business branding is what your company represents and the unique value your business offers. When it comes to small business branding, there are different aspects to consider. Still, you want to make sure that all elements work together to form a cohesive image for your brand.
Unique Small Business Branding Identity
The first central concept for small business branding is determining who you are as a business. Different elements play a role in your unique brand identity formation.
The more inventive and expressive your name is, the more you will stand out from the competition.
Your business needs a name that reflects the core of the company. Think about words associated with your industry, geographical location, or founders. The business name should be different from your competitors. It would be best if you always tried to get the exact match domain name for your business.
For more on how to get the best domain name for your small business, check out our tips for choosing the right domain name for your brand.
Your logo should be a visual representation of the brand image.
A strong logo will give your brand a recognizable presence if you use it consistently. You want to make sure your logo is something you will be proud to use for years to come. If your logo is hard to recognize or challenging to understand, it can be hard to establish brand recognition.
Check out our article on the seven most common logo design styles to learn more.
The tagline or slogan should be hard-hitting and straightforward.
The tagline should be no more than five words, and it needs to be original. It should also be a part of what makes your brand special. It can be as important as your logo, so you don't just want to slap on something. Take your time and think it through.
When choosing brand colors, they should align with your image and not just stand out.
Pick specific hex colors, not just general shades, so you can keep colors consistent on all messages and advertising. We have a great article on choosing the right brand colors that can help you get started.
Another important factor of branding is to not just focus on the image but also the personality.
“Image” is how your brand looks, but “personality” is the way it sounds.
Every brand is going to have a unique voice. To start thinking about your brand's personality, ask some questions.
- If your brand was a person, how would they sound and look?
- What qualities match your products or business?
- What is your brand mission?
Researching your target audience and their personalities can help you come up with a stronger brand personality. The attributes should match your target audience, or you won't be connecting with the right people.
Small Business Branding with Original User-Generated Content
One way to brand your business is by gathering free content from your followers and customers (also known as “User-Generated Content”). User-Generated content can boost your awareness organically and quickly. User-generated content brands your business as one that is real, liked by people, and credible. It would be best to make this content part of your brand by sharing on social media pages and your website. It helps make your current followers feel special and draws in more users.
A big part of what will make your small business branding efforts a success is content.
Your customers expect content.
It can be a great way to brand your business as an authority in your industry. Whether it's a video or blog post, content is the most effective when it is relevant. The content needs to deliver a strong message to get your customers to react and then support your brand. Remember that a lot of the content online is clutter, so you want to stick with what matters and don't have any irrelevant content to cloud your brand.
Social listening involves following your social media platforms and looking for conversations and mentions that show your customers' thinking. During social listening, you should monitor mentions from social accounts, keywords, and competitors and then not only respond to reviews but also understand them. This monitoring and responding go for both positive and negative reviews and can give you insight on how customers view your brand.
It's not about how many mentions your brand is getting but instead the perceptions about your brand. This way, you can appeal to more customers and correct your messaging if one hits poorly.
Small Business Branding Means Showing Your Expertise
There are several ways for your brand to foster your authority. The brand should show that you know your stuff.
Use blogs that reveal your level of expertise. Have a consistent tone and work toward creating a blog focused on keywords. Your small business blog should evolve into a customer resource.
In today's world, social media is essential. Social media is not just for entertainment but is there to help establish your brand as credible.
Video is playing a larger and larger part of how customers consume content online. Some video examples include how-to shows, video interviews, and a live Q and A.
We have a great article on video branding for small businesses and how to get started.
Podcasts are designed to be informative. The other benefit of podcasts is that people can listen from basically anywhere. If you can record an intelligent discussion that your customers can listen to, you can help foster your brand credibility. Exciting topics and guests will boost your expertise and standing among your followers.
Consistency in Small Business Branding
Your branding needs to be consistent.
With a consistent brand, you can have something called brand equity. This “brand equity” allows you to charge extra for products just because you are the ones that produced them (think Apple).
If you want people to support your brand and pay for your products, you need to be consistent. Pick some robust strategies for brand awareness and stick with these instead of jumping all over the place.
No matter the size of your business, the critical factors for small business branding come in handy. Building a brand takes some time, but with more consistency and the right decisions, you can have a brand that your customers will recognize and be proud of.
To get more information about branding for your business, contact us.