If you are like many small business owners, you may have the misconception that branding is for corporations with endless marketing capital to burn on building their brand. Nothing could be further from the truth, renumber, many of those corporations built their brand as small businesses, which in turn helped them to grow to the size they are today. They adhered to a brand message, that along with a quality product or service, helped them stand out from the crowd. Here are some tips that can help your small business down the road to greater brand awareness.
Tip 1 – Know Thyself, Business.
In order to establish your brand, you have to decide what your brand message is before anything else. What are the values that your business has and what you want to convey to your target customers? It needs to be organic; it has to grow out of what the business does well and what the company stands for as a whole. Does your company specialize in quick service? Maybe you sell a hard to find product. Be sure to emphasize why your business is unique and better than your competitors. Whatever your company’s brand identity is, it is imperative that it is authentic.
Tip 2 – Establish Brand Guidelines.
Once your company has a brand identity, its time to come up with brand guidelines. The best way to keep everyone in your company on the same page when it comes to your brand is to use a brand style guide. A brand style guide unambiguously states what should be used in conjunction with your brand and what should not. It makes sure that your brand remains consistent and authentic. Here are some things that will be controlled by your brand style guide:
- Writing Style
- Uniformity among business cards, headers, and signage.
Having a brand style guide makes sure there are no discrepancies in the way your company presents itself to the world and makes sure that your brand is stated loud and clear.
Tip 3 – Use a Logo That Stands Out.
A strong logo that imprints itself on a customer’s memory is essential and falls right in line with your brand style guide. The logo should reflect your brand identity and be faithful to the spirit of your company. When it is seen on signs, company vehicles, or stationary, it will help reinforce your brand. Why is a memorable logo so important? According to studies, it only takes seconds for a logo to make an imprint on someone’s memory. It takes longer for something spelled out in words to make an impact. Using glyphs or a visual in your logo can help it to be remembered. When a brand is easily identified, it has a higher chance of having return customers; your logo is a vital part of that identity.
Tip 4 – The Customer is Always Right.
If you want to know who your target demographic is, you have to look no further than your customers. Your paying customers choose your business for a reason; it is wise to find out what their reasons are. Asking customers to complete a survey is an excellent way to find out what they see in your brand. You can either use a survey when the customer check’s out online or set up a survey online that can be printed on a receipt. Enticing the customer to complete the survey with a free giveaway always leads to more completed surveys. Once you have collected the surveys, then you will find out who your customers are, their income, interests, demographics, and preferences. Once you apply the data to your branding, it will be sure to bring greater awareness and an improved bottom line.
If you follow these suggestions for branding, then your small business is on its way to building better brand awareness.