Besides the fact that they are multi-billion dollar businesses, all of them have a unique brand identity. While a small business like yours may not have the huge marketing budget like theirs, you can – and should – pursue branding efforts across all platforms.
There are practically hundreds of thousands of brands out there, so consumers have endless options. Yes, it can be challenging to establish yourself in the competitive business landscape. But with the right approach, you have as much chance of getting ahead as any other business.
It all begins with developing a brand identity.
Your brand is your stage to tell a story to your customers. According to CMO Council, 90% of US marketing leaders say brand persona is the key to retaining customers.
As a brand, you must use every opportunity to develop your brand’s identity so that whether a customer sees your logo or hears your name, they already have positive expectations about the upcoming experience.
While marketing aims at pushing consumers towards a specific product or service by developing interest, generating demand, and promotional strategies, branding focuses on building and showcasing the brand’s underlying values to create a lifelong relationship with customers.
Branding, therefore, has the potential to take your business to greater heights. So even when a particular product is discontinued or replaced, customers will continue to interact with your brand. And that encourages a constant generation of leads and revenue.
What does branding entail?
When you mention branding to small business owners, many believe that it’s merely about creating a memorable logo.But branding is more than just a logo.
Branding includes all the actions you take to generate an image of your brand. It’s reflected in every aspect of your business, from the stationery and packing material you use to your website to the customer service you provide, and everything in between.
Maintaining finesse and professionalism in all elements of your brand is the high road to success.
Your brand defines you as a company.
Various aspects of your brand help concoct a distinct image into the customer’s subconscious, such as who you are and what you stand for. It’s built on their perceptions as well as experiences.
So whether it’s the tone in your emails or the way you manage your social media profile, everything you do or say reflects on your brand values. More importantly, it sends a message about how much you care about your customers and business. Thus branding is crucial for small businesses.
The importance of branding in today’s age
Customers today are tech-savvy. They do comprehensive research before committing to a purchase. But consumers are also impatient, judgmental, and unforgiving. If your brand doesn’t appeal to their tastes or doesn’t offer a solution to their problems, they can instantly label you as unprofessional.
Not only will they refrain from interacting with your brand in the future, but they will not hesitate to share negative reviews with others, either through word-of-mouth or on social media platforms. With the fiercely competitive market, you can’t afford that.
As a small business, you need to be remembered fondly at all times. More importantly, branding efforts can help your business to stand out in the crowd.
According to Circle Research, 77% of marketers feel branding is a crucial factor for future growth. Branding helps a companyto gain recognition and curate a positive image in the eyes of the customers.
Aspects that significantly impact branding
- Unforgettable logo design
Your logo is often the first aspect of your brand that a customer interacts with. Therefore, it needs to be memorable. A logo design that is unique, easy to remember, and associates well with your brand, make the biggest impact on consumers.
One smart strategy to create a memorable logo for your brand is to involve your customers in the process. For example, if your logo design company has created a new logo for your brand, you can ask your customers to review it.
The reviews will tell you whether your customers liked the new logo or not. If you can get a nod from your customers, then you know you have got the perfect logo for your business.
- Catchy tagline
Walmart’s slogan “Save money. Live Better.” and Nike’s “Just do it.” are messages that consumers everywhere can conveniently relate to. Taglines like these can help evoke an image of your brand in the minds of your customers.
They can promote brand awareness, carry your brand’s values and promises, and help connect with a broader audience as your business grows and evolves.
- Top-notch website performance
Almost all businesses have transferred to the digital arena. Today, customers demand a smooth online experience. Any aspect that hampers the customer buying journey is detrimental to the bottom line of your business.
Therefore, a fully functional website is crucial for the survival of a business in today’s cut-throat competition.
- Exemplary customer service
Customer service is an excellent way of making customers feel heard and appreciated. I mean, who doesn’t like to be pampered? So it’s not surprising that 73% of consumers hold customer experience as a big factor in their purchasing decisions.
When it comes to pleasing your customers, the sky’s the limit. But the one thing that sways customers towards your brand is when you offer them a sense of belonging.Friendly customer service and support, helpful shopping recommendations, and effortless exchange or refunds are just a few things to focus on.
- An engaging brand story
Storytelling has been an essential part of human society since its inception. So it’s no wonder that you need to tell your brand story as well. Customers feel valued when a brand makes an effort to connect with the.
Thus, a focused and consistent brand story can help consumers acquire a clear understanding of what the brand stands for. Moreover, it can inspire, persuade, motivate, and ultimately convince them to become your loyal customer.
Branding goes well beyond logo design and color schemes. It is the feelings you evoke and experiences you provide to consumers that make you unique.
With the right branding strategies, you can successfully differentiate your business from others. More importantly, they can help change people’s perception of your brand, increase brand awareness, and drive new customers to your business.
But depending upon the niche that you are in, you can employ a variety of branding tactics to draw people to your brand. I’ve only mentioned a few, so let us know how you’re implementing branding strategies for your business in the comments below.