To build a brand is to build the essence of your company through the eyes and ears of your customers, colleagues, and even your competition. It’s not an easy task in any environment but it can be exceptionally difficult to do a proper job of building a brand in the small business environment without the aid of big budgets and extensive personnel. There are, however, some simple guidelines to follow that will help ease the process and make your brand building efforts ultimately successful.
Focus on What Differentiates Your Business
This may sound simple but many small businesses make the mistake of branding their companies the same way the competition does. Don’t fall into that trap. Identify what factors set your company apart and accentuate those characteristics within your brand. Your brand should tell the marketplace exactly what makes you different from the competition. Whether that be your all-in-one offering, leading product innovation, or fast delivery, your brand must fit the strengths of your company.
Make Your Message Consistent
Branding is a process that never ends and the marketing of your brand must remain constant and consistent. Your message and accompanying logo should be present throughout all collateral materials you provide. That includes business cards, pens, letter head, website, signage, even the packaging of your product. Keep your brand at the front of your customers minds at all times.
Keep Employees Involved and Active
Your employees are the front line of support for the brand you create and must be active participants in your company message. Spend the time to educate and sell your workforce on the brand you are presenting and the importance of their support. A brand is no good to you if your customers get one message from your marketing and another from your employees.
Long Term Marketing Campaign
Building a quality brand doesn’t happen overnight so you need to plan for the long haul. Put together a strategy that includes constant reminders of your branding message. This can include advertisements, scheduled press releases, blogs, articles in industry publications or the local newspaper, even educational seminars. Keep your brand at the forefront for the long term and you’ll reap the benefits.
Branding a small business requires proper planning and the discipline to enact an integrated strategy within the confines of a tight budget and narrow focus. Execute effectively and your business will reap the rewards.