Branding is critical for every business, large or small. It is a widespread misunderstanding that small business branding is unnecessary and that many business owners do not need it. However, branding is critical for small organizations just as much as it is for large ones. Choosing the proper brand for your business can make it or ruin it.
Your brand identity encompasses more than your logo, signs, and other tangible objects used to promote and sell your products or services. Your Brand is a commitment to your consumers explaining what they can anticipate from a small business and what sets you apart from the competition. Branding is about who your business is, its brand identity, voice, and mission, and is therefore separate from the word "marketing."
"One of the most common mistakes companies make is implementing a brand strategy that isn't aligned to the organization's overall business goal."
-Maliha Aqeel, Director of Global Communications at Fix Network World
The biggest challenge is to brand your business with a small budget, minimal resources, and limited staffing that small business owners face.
In addition to a small budget, small businesses also face various other branding challenges such as:
Inability to correctly describe your brand's mission and how it differentiates itself from competitors
Failure to maintain brand consistency
Failure to have a brand personality and voice
Overcoming these challenges to the best of your brand’s ability will determine your customer’s interest in your brand and your business’s success. After all, without your customers, you can’t survive in the industry. However, one might wonder how branding connects with your customers? This blog highlights just that by focusing on few branding tips for small businesses to help you overcome these challenges and establish a long-lasting relationship with your customers.
Before figuring out the different ways to brand your small business you need to understand the significance of branding.
"A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well".
- Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.
Why and How Branding is Important?
Often, small businesses believe themselves to be businesses rather than brands, yet it is essential to brand your business. Small business branding enhances their worth, provides direction and incentive for staff, and simplifies the process of gaining new clients.
According to Reboot study, employing a distinctive color may boost a consumer's awareness of your brand by up to 80%.
Correct branding gives you some control over how people identify your business. Small business branding enables more people to recognize your firm, fosters confidence, enhances advertising and marketing
efforts, cultivates loyal consumers, produces additional income, and, most importantly, inspires staff.As per the Fit Small Business survey, 59% of consumers prefer to purchase from familiar brands. Hence it is crucial for your business to invest in certain Brand Development activities.
Crucial Steps Involved in Brand Development
Below are few branding strategies for small businesses to stand out.
Outline the Purpose of Your Brand
Brand purpose is the first step and the most essential for small business branding. A brand's purpose establishes a stronger emotional connection with customers. Brand's purpose help to build a strong brand identity for your small business.
Here are few questions that you need to ask yourself before defining your brand's purpose and be clear about:
How is your brand unique?
What issues do your services or products address?
Why should customers care?
Does the purpose of my brand align with the specific brand promises I'm making?
Having a brand purpose results in higher sales and loyalty.
Figure out Your Target Customers
Determining your target audience helps you build a strong brand identity and is crucial for small business branding. Determine specific consumer habits and lifestyles to determine your target customers and further narrow your target audience emphasis. By focusing on a specific client segment, you will develop powerful and successful branding strategies and a crystal-clear brand message.
It plays a key role in branding a new company with limited resources. Small company owners may identify their niche by examining demographic data, comparable or competitors' brands' target audience, sales, marketing statistics, and existing consumer surveys.
Researching your competitors' brands is very necessary and one of the best branding tips for small businesses.
Researching your competitors' brands provides you with knowledge on how your competitors' brands are being positioned and the branding tactics they are employing. Additionally, it aids in identifying and establishing your brand's positioning.
Choose 2-4 competitors for the comparison and aim to Benchmark your brand against the competition. Differentiation from the competitors is a primary brand-building objective. Finally, convince a consumer to choose you over another vendor.
Decide Your Brand Voice
The "voice" of your business is the language and personality that you and your staff will use to communicate your branding message and connect with consumers. It is, however, frequently missed. The brand voice covers everything from the words and language you employ to the personality and image evoked by your marketing collateral.
You must select a brand voice that makes sense and connects with your target audience.
Here is the finest illustration from a prominent brand on how the decision-makers enabled their brand voice to increase brand awareness and sales. Pedigree, a well-known pet food brand, ran a campaign called "The Mutual Loyalty Program" that focused on the adoption of homeless dogs from shelters. Here is a page from their success story.
The brand used this social awareness campaign to target its music streaming users using an array of innovative and interactive audio advertising strategies. By drawing attention to a prominent social issue- the plight of the homeless dogs, the pet food brand was able to demonstrate its support to shelter dogs. Through their ad campaign, Pedigree assisted the owners willing to adopt stray dogs by providing a welcome home care kit as a gift. The advertisement concluded with a query about the listener’s interest in the campaign. If the listener expressed interest in learning more about the gift’s contents, they shared extensive information and routed those customers to the landing page. At the same time, others who picked a different response were briefed on learning more about assisting shelter dogs.
Thus, this campaign proved to be successful by increasing the product’s sales, helping in brand identification, and assisting in creating a social-inclusive brand image.
“The campaign tone and style reinforced the brand's long-running commitment to the importance of pet adoption using an approachable-but-energetic voice,”
-Stas Tushinskiy, CEO, Instreamatic (the interactive audio advertising platform used by Pedigree).
Small business branding plays a vital role in today's digital market world. However, for the future success of the small business, it is a need of an hour to build a strong brand identity and stand out among others. This blog provides the details of branding tips for small businesses; read and effectively implement them to brand your business.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How important is branding for small businesses?
Branding for small businesses is important because it creates trust, differentiates you from the competition, supports your marketing efforts, generates new revenue, gives recognition, adds value to your company, and builds emotional ties.
How can a small business create a strong brand identity?
There are various techniques small business owners can utilize to create a strong brand identity.
Outline the purpose of your brand
Figure out your target customers
Decide your brand voice
Choose an impactful slogan