Yes! Branding is critical because it reflects the true identity of a business and helps to focus all messaging and customer engagement activities around a powerful idea and voice. An effective brand represents the unique qualities that set your business apart in the competitive marketplace. It also influences consumer perceptions and helps to guide/motivate your staff.
What is a brand?
It is a promise to customers as to what they can expect from your core products/services. The best brands are based on authenticity. They are derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. They ultimately represent the feelings you want to reinforce when people think about your business.
How do you create a brand for small business?
•List: Write down all of the characteristics that describe who you are and how you would like to be perceived. Each should support how you differ from your competitors and clearly represent what you’re known for and capable of delivering. Note: Be selective and specific, as it’s impossible to be all things to all people.
•Logo: A visual representation of what your business aspires to be is the foundation of any brand. Develop a professional-quality, engaging logo and use it online, in your email signature and on all print materials.
•Tagline: Draft a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand. Together, logo and tagline stand out in crowd.
•Key messages: Use your company’s attributes to identify what you want to communicate about who you are and in a way that reflects your brand. Customize for different market segments, if desired. Be sure to share with all of your employees so you present a unified voice.
•Integrate: Extend the brand to every aspect of your business to reinforce your identity. Use the logo and tagline everywhere. Ensure a consistent look and feel by using design templates and establishing standards for marketing materials (from color scheme and font choice to size and placement of the logo/tagline).
Developing a brand is only the first step. Evaluating its effectiveness periodically is critical to maintaining a loyal customer base. For videos on branding and other small business topics, follow the link here.