Why Even Small Businesses Need A Brand
Having a unique and relevant brand is often overlooked or taken for granted by business of all sizes, even though it is vital to success.
Today’s consumers demand more than a crafty logo and a slick ad campaign. Businesses now need to develop and maintain a brand that engages its customers in a relevant and meaningful way. Your brand not only needs to be consistent across every aspect of your business, it must also reinforce your purpose and the core message you want to deliver to your customer.
How do you create an effective brand for your business?
For any brand (big or small) it is necessary to answer two critical questions:
1. What makes my company different and stand out from the crowd?
2. What do I offer that none of my competitors offer?
Your brand behavior should impact every aspect of your business, from the way you answer your phones and the sign above your store, down to the signature at the end of your emails. Positioning yourself as a strong brand puts you in the forefront of your customer’s mind.
5 tips small businesses can use to improve, and build their brand:
1. Create and maintain an effective website and social media presence. A website will allow your customers to find information and news about your business, while social channels (like Facebook and Twitter) provide platforms for two-way communication, feedback and direct customer service. Executed strategically, social media also has the potential to grow your brand through referrals, third-party endorsements and positive customer rankings and feedback.
2. Discover what your customers are saying about you online and in the social space. Improve your bad reviews, respond to customer questions and enhance your company’s perception by becoming a proactive web and social media communicator.
3. Develop and share a mission statement that details your reason for being in business and the value you provide to your customers. This should not be complicated and should be something memorable that any member of your company, or even your customers, could recite.
4. Communicate to your potential customer base through the methods and technologies that are most relevant and used by them. This may mean that you need to expand the channels you are currently using. You should also develop a plan and approach to make sure your messages are aligned and integrated across all channels.
5. Ensure your business name, logo, slogans, artwork, colors and all customer connection points are uniform in their branding. The first step to making this happen is often a brand audit.