As a new business owner it might be very difficult for you to understand the Branding process.
Reason could be many :
- Over loaded information
- No experience
But, Branding has evolved as an important part of businesses today. And before you start branding for your small business or start up its vital to understand certain facts.
- Naming your Brand –
Name is an important part of business. While naming a brand keep few things in mind
- Keep it simple
- easy to remember and
- matching with your company products
Naming your brand is an easy process if you know your goals very clearly. An article by Entrepreneur has some great points to look at while defining name.
- Prepare your Logo –
Brand building is not only about designing a fancy logo with multiple colors. But it’s about choosing an identity that speaks about your company values and virtues.
It’s a myth to get a good logo you need to invest heavy amount. There are agency in the market who charge handsome money for slight variation in the available logos in the market.
As a beginner you might fall with their name and fame
Do you really understand that their work is unique or genuine?
If I would be in your position, I would be doing same mistake.
But let me show you few reasonable priced options you can choose for designing a logo
- Fiver- a marketplace for getting your graphic work done. You can choose a gig with highest number of reviews. There could be some fake reviews too but you should be able to differentiate between fake and real ones. Best part is you can get logo for as low as 5$
- Behance – This is a place where graphic designer put up their creativity portfolio online. You can check their previous work done and choose from the 1000’s of available gigs.
- Freelancer – You can post your budget and description about the kind of logo you need. What I like about this portal is you pay only when you like the work. There would be atleast 20-30 submissions and I think it should be the ideal number to choose the best one from them.
There are many creative agencies too doing work above and beyond the client expectations. But you will need to find such agency with their work information before you proceed with the contract. Especially when there are many options available in suitable budget.
- Choosing a tagline – A tagline / slogan is a message you want to get remember with. A good tagline can help you in making relationship stronger between your brand and your audience.
Tagline helps you build trust and capture user attention.
Some great examples of tagline are
- Nike – “Just do it.”
- Subway- “Eat Fresh”.
- McDonalds: “I’m lovin it.”
- Apple: “Think Different”
You can refer this article to read how to get rock solid tagline.
- Be consistent with Brand – While making your brand launch in social media or offline advertising be consistent in the message you spread across all channels.
A biggest beverage company “Coco-cola” is a great example to be discussed about brand consistent message.
They use similar pattern in their logo, packaging, advertising and all marketing materials.
With launch of new products, Coca‑Cola can and bottle is maintained with same style branding with different colors to distinguish each variant.
Branding tips for small business
- Be specific When you are just starting out pick a niche and market to the specific segment. You can gradually scale your product range after building success and trust with one products. Good example about this would be Apple
Apple when started, the only product It had was Apple computers which was named as Macintosh. There were lot of variations done in the model based on user experience and expectations. After a successful market capture, they then innovated mobile, accessories, tv, etc.
- Have a distinctive productA great product has to be marketed just once and it gets picked up again and again with its sales and support.
McDonald is known for its French fries and burgers. Inspite of facing a great competition their products is always selling more and more. In this many years they have maintained their product quality and service standard with every franchise they open.
“It’s easy to launch a company or Products but what is difficult is to maintain its value”.
- Educate your audienceIt’s always ideal to have a Faq or customer support online or offline on the website. Your customer should be easily be able to reach you for complaints, services or use of products. This will not only build trust but also make your user stick to the company.
- Be trustworthyPizza hut or domino’s pizza when speak about delivering pizza in 30 min they maintain the trust of user with their services.
Always keep promises that you make. This will help you gaining loyal and referral customer always.
- Never follow big brandsDon’t ever mistake to follow the strategy your competitor or other big brands are using. What would be working for them may not work for you. And new and innovative ideas are given more value than the same old methods.
You can study few big successful brands and add some additional tweak of your own before making a launch.
If you follow rat race you may only get some share of the market but will never be called as a leader.
The biggest revenue market I have known is social media channels like,
Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn.
All of these social media are made with different message. And when we check their user stats , we know how powerful they have become with the coming years.
Mistakes to avoid when branding your small business
- Following competitor footsteps – As mentioned above if you follow your competitor steps and don’t innovate there’s a big chance of your brand failure or getting less success .
- Not connecting though social channels – Today major of the companies are active on social media, those who are not shall be following it in soon in coming future.
Take any restaurant industry and see how well they manage social tabs.
Social media is not meant only for service industry but for all type of companies. It helps in making easy connection, spread the message faster and build a trust.
But company fail to keep their presence on social media for 2 reasons:
- What is the need?
Need I explained you before and for budget you don’t need to hire professional if you have less budget. You can just maintain all your accounts by yourself by replying and thanking to each customer on purchase.
If nothing to do, then you can atleast be active on social media to wish your clients. This way you can always be in their mind for their next purchase.
You can read some more helpful points here.
Branding ideas for small businesses
Some small and easy steps you can follow to increase your brand virality :
- Run a contest
- Creating viral content or video
- Running social media advertising
- Joining hand with a celebrity to be a Brand Ambassador
- Offer freebies like a trial of product or visit to a company in exchange to spread your brand name.
Did we missed anything in the subject ‘Branding for small business’? . If yes, please mention in the comment.