A good brand is a product of a well thought out and strategic plan… It doesn’t just happen. Whether you are starting from scratch or planning a much-needed rebrand, there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind. In doing so, you’ll be acting strategically and placing your business in a much better position to succeed in the long term. But what exactly does “branding” mean? How can you be successful at branding in your small business?
Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
To groom a successful brand, you must consider the following: must or should?
The whole point of a brand!
You are not in control of your brand. You can set your brand’s direction, but how your brand is perceived is determined by your customers and potential customers. People can become your brand’s ambassadors – spreading your ideas and brand to their own networks. Spend time nurturing relationships with such people That way, not only will you be able to change what you’re not doing right but you might also pick up some amazing ideas on which direction your company is supposed to go.
Your brand identity is the language and personality you and your employees use to deliver your branding message and reach your customers. A company that sticks to a solid message and tone has a strong brand identity. It knows who it is and this gives its audience confidence in agreeing to that. The way you present your business overall, as well as the tone you use, can either strengthen or weaken your credibility.
Your brand is a reflection of the values it stands for. So the branding and brand building strategies should be aligned with your brand values. It should also come across in the vision and mission of your brand. It’s refreshing when customers see a brand that focuses on certain values that represent what they are for, or even against. This can help you immensely in your marketing because you can then communicate those values to your customers.
Identifying who your company is and who your competitors are, becomes essential as you look to find your niche within the landscape that you operate and compete. Be distinct, but also understand that it’s okay to learn from those who have succeeded. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. The key is to take effective patterns and strategies and make them your own. This will enhance your value proposition, really showcasing what sets you apart. And that’s the whole point of a brand!
If you’ve decided to start a business, you’ve probably managed to come up with a product or service your customers love. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be looking for something new your business can offer. Even a strong brand will suffer when it creates an average or below average products or services. In fact, When you have a loyal brand following, your customers will often be interested in your new products and even anticipate them being released.
The best way to make your message clear and confident is by weaving it into your content across all mediums. Major marketing now takes place online and if you want to attract a lot of web users to your business, you’ll need to provide them with quality content they’ll come back for. Each piece of content you produce should back up what you’ve already stated about your core values, your mission, who you cater to, what you hope to do for them, talking about their pain points, writing relative tips and so on. The more you emphasize these things, the stronger your brand becomes. They become what you’re known for and by.
Social media is one of the most popular means of staying up to date with any type of news no matter what industry you’re in, and small businesses have many opportunities to build online and offline communities. For example, you can build online communities on Twitter, Facebook, your small business blog, on Instagram, or on other social networks. Actively engaging on social media will also build your brand but remember that you can’t be in all places at once. Pick one or two places where you can focus on building your community and invest your time and resources there.
Your brand is only effective if you keep everything unswerving. Creating a branding style guide will help keep everyone on the same page so that your visual message and voice are steady across every platform, project, marketing effort and promotion. The key to branding is to create fresh content on a regular basis and establishing your brand style guide. Lack of consistency can lead to confusion, or worse, discrediting of your brand; while consistency leads to familiarity, and familiarity leads to trust.
Follow these recipes and there will be nothing stopping you from making your business a success. Just don’t forget to work on improving your skills and developing new habits for success and you’ll have nothing to worry about.
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Nectar is part branding powerhouse, part consultancy, and part digital marketing agency based in Manhattan.