If you own a small business, it's important to attract and retain customers. They are what will keep your company profitable year after year. Branding is one important step you can take to help keep your business running smoothly. This is a way to help your business stand out from the competition, making it unique so that customers connect with it. Here are some ways to make branding work for your business.
Understand what branding is and why it matters
If you've never dealt with branding before, you may be wondering what it is. Oberlo explains that branding is all about creating a strong perception of your company in the customer's mind. It includes elements like your logo and slogan, as well as things like the verbiage you use in your marketing materials. Done right, branding helps your company's message and image resonate with customers.
Learn about the different types of branding
There are many different branding methods. 99 Designs explains some of the techniques businesses commonly use, from corporate branding to retail branding, service branding, and product branding. For example, corporate branding might be linked to a company's vision and mission. Meanwhile, product branding might be linked to how a certain product is perceived and why people might buy it. For example, Coca-Cola and Pepsi basically sell the same product. However, their sodas are perceived differently by consumers.
Identify your target market and how to reach them
The entire point of creating a brand is to connect with your target audience. For that to work, you first have to figure out exactly who your target audience is. This includes characteristics like where they live, their age, their gender, and their hobbies. You can identify your target audience by creating a fake customer profile and filling in these details. Another best practice is to survey existing consumers who champion your business. Then, figure out what traits they share to define your ideal customer.
When you click on this link, you'll find specific ways to target your market and what are some of the main tasks to focus on. (INSERT a blog about target market from my blog here).
Take steps to create a consistent voice and image
Branding is all about consistency. You want customers to easily recognize your brand because you continually use similar images and verbiage. One way to accomplish this is to create a so-called "brand bible." This document outlines what imagery, wording, colors, fonts, and more to use in marketing materials. It also provides rules about communicating about projects and clients. Here's how to make one.
DIY what you can and outsource the rest
You can DIY some branding steps, like identifying your target audience, as described above. However, for technical tasks like creating logos and copywriting content, it's best to trust a pro. Miri Lenoff can help with tasks like email copywriting. For your logo, hire a graphic designer. When working with your designer, use a free PDF editor tool to help communicate your wants. For example, you can compile images, highlight them, and add drawings and text to your PDFs. It's easier to collaborate on visuals this way than by sending emails back and forth.
Further your education to improve your branding know-how
If you're still feeling overwhelmed at the thought of branding, it may be time to hit the books and get some further education. A business degree can help teach you marketing basics, boosting your confidence in your branding abilities. Business degrees also teach other valuable skills, from accounting to communications. This may help your business thrive as a whole. An online degree is ideal because you can study alongside work with minimal stress.
Branding is a valuable investment and can help support long-term business success. By taking steps like furthering your education and identifying your target audience, you can make branding work for you.
Learn more about branding and other steps you can take to help your business succeed via the blog.