What does “brand” mean to small businesses? Webster defines the word “Brand” as a class of goods identified by name as the product of a single firm or manufacture. I define “Brand” as a complete customer experience created through words and visuals. Your brand is your promise to your customers; it lets them know what to expect from what you’re offering, whether it’s a product or a service. Your brand transcends your industry; it separates you from the competition. Remember your brand is who you are and who you are striving to be.
Business owners often find it difficult to prioritize brand development because they’re simply trying to address the going concern of their business, manage inventory, and find talented business professionals to employ. However, it is imperative to allocate time to brand development as it is vital to the growth and success of your business. Please consider these five steps when attempting to build a better brand!
Step 1: Developing Your Brand Voice
Make sure your customers can hear your brand voice loud and clear. Develop a message that is a strong representation of your identity, your corporate identity, and brand identity. Your brand language will be an important part of what connects you to your customer. As you engage with a diversified consumer base, your brand voice must be consistent across all of your Brand’s platforms such as website, social media, business cards, one sheets, etc.
Step 2: Share your Story
Your story reveals your passion! Your story should include why you got started and why you chose your particular industry. Your product or service is a bonus when customers buy into your story. This creates brand loyalty as customers are more likely use your product/service if they believe in it as much as you do.
Step 3: How does my Brand Look?
A strong brand represents your product/service creating a complete customer experience through words and visuals. Visuals for your brand must bring your organization’s vision to life and introduce customers to your corporate identity. Artistry, colors, and materials are important components of developing solid brand visuals.
Step 4: A Dynamic Logo
In a social media driven society, a prospective customer will view a company’s logo before reading their profile. Make your brand’s first impression a lasting impression! Customers can potentially fall in love with your brand by simply looking at the logo. Employ competent, professional graphic designers to work on your branding and marketing concepts. Be sure to budget adequately for these expenses.
Step 5. Establish Brand Pillars
Pillars represent strong supports and strong support creates strong foundations. As such, branding involves establishing brand pillars that support the brand foundation. These pillars should be ‘set in stone’ as they support every aspect of your business.
Remember ‘shortcuts are for suckers’! Allot adequate time to brand development and remember “Brand before you Market!”
The Marketing Coach