Marketing Monday: 3 Simple Steps to Branding for Small Businesses

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Creating this strong business essence helps inspire loyalty and trust in your customers, and provides a level of familiarity to engage...

Branding is often something that comes naturally as you discover your customer base, product, and strengths. However, eventually you need to find tune this into what will become your brand.

Creating this strong business essence helps inspire loyalty and trust in your customers, and provides a level of familiarity to engage potential customers.

If you're not sure where to start, let us guide you with these 3 simple steps.

Related: Hire a marketing agency to fine tune your brand

Decide on Your Brand

The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a "name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers." So, the trouble then, is finding how to fit everything you do into this one symbol of your entire company.

  • Decide on the message that you want your company brand to impart -- do you make the best cakes or provide the most courteous taxi service? -- and find ways to express it in every interaction you have with the public.
  • A strong brand will delivers your chosen message clearly, target your audience's emotions, emphasize your credibility, and motivate the viewer to become a loyal customer.

Related:Branding for Success: How to Create a Sold brand Identity

Give it a Face

You may not be a celebrity, but the face of your business needs to be visible; this is even more important to small businesses, which often depend on personal contacts between business owner and customer in order to create sales.

SocialMediaToday.com suggests, "Building brand personality and showcasing the people who make your company tick is essential..." Customers want to know who they are doing business with -- and their confidence in your business relies on that being understood.

  • Be your own brand advocate: You're not only selling your products and services, but also advocating for your business to current and potential customers, making connections and inciting loyalty.
  • Be present in your business's office, store, and day-to-day interactions with clients and customers. Represent your business at community events, while networking with clients, and when interacting with the public. Always be talking about your business -- at the networking events you attend or in line at the grocery store, you never know who you could be talking to.

Related:The 4 Step Formula to Unleash Your Brand Voice

Deliver it Consistently

Once you've developed your company's brand image, you need to present it consistently at every point of contact with the public. With the rise of multi-channel business, you are being represented in a variety of places, from online and social media to the employees who answer your telephones. Your print advertisements, online accounts, and in-store procedures should all reflect your brand.

  • Although consistency in images, font, and language is an important part of your branding, it's not everything. Even more than your visual brand, you need to develop your company's message and internal motivation and project it to the public constantly and consistently. If you're branding your taxi service as the most courteous in town, then that message should not just be ad copy -- it should be proven in the demeanor of your drivers, the comfort of your cars, and the quality of your customer service.
  • Bring your message into your social media communities by engaging your customers, monitoring and responding to your audience's reaction to your brand, and fine-tuning your message based on this information.

Once you have developed your business's message and added your face to its brand, you need to present it to your audience in a consistent manner. A consistent and coordinated branding strategy can help you connect with your customers on an emotional level, encourage them to trust your message, and ultimately convince them to choose you and your products over any others.

Photo credit: websitejungle.com

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