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Small Business Brand Building 101: Sidebar

Small Business Brand Building 101: Sidebar

7 Ways to Start Growing Your Brand Today

In 10 Tips to Help You Build and Grow a Stand-Out Small Business Brand, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers these strategies that small organizations can use to kick off their branding efforts. (Read the full list of tips here.)

  1. Define Your Brand. Understand that your brand is much more than your logo, merchandising, or products. It is about the sum total of the experiences customers have with your business.
  2. Stand Out. If your brand is going to be strong, you need to be able to pinpoint what it is that makes what you do unique. What differentiates you from others in your industry? 
  3. Have Great Products and Services. Word of mouth is often a small business’s greatest lead generator, so having great products and services that people talk about is a critical part of your brand and why you are in business. 
  4. Make Sure Your Customers Know the Face Behind the Product. Without an actively engaged owner, employees lose motivation and structure, which can quickly lead to sloppy service, a poor product, and customer churn. 
  5. Get Your Name and Logo Right. This is essential to brand recognition and it’s important to get it right the first time (changing your name and logo can be costly down the road). Your logo and name should be easily recognizable and reflect the nature and tone of your business as well as appeal to your target market. 
  6. Have a Distinct Voice. Focus on how you and your employees interact and communicate with customers – in-person, on the phone, and on social media. 
  7. Have a Value Proposition. Value, not to be mistaken with price, can help define your brand and differentiate you from the competition.

 

8 Ways to Spread the Word About your Brand   
 
In Defining Your Brand, John Williams of LogoYes.com calls brand definition a “journey of self-discovery,” and advises business owners and managers to use these 8 tips to get the word out about their brands:

  1. Get a great logo. Place it everywhere.
  2. Write down your brand messaging. What key messages do you want to communicate about your brand? Every employee should be aware of your brand attributes.
  3. Integrate your brand. Branding extends to every aspect of your business–how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, and your e-mail signature.
  4. Create a “voice” for your company that reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. 
  5. Develop a tagline. Write a memorable, meaningful, and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
  6. Design templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, and look and feel throughout. You don’t need to be fancy, just consistent.
  7. Be true to your brand. Customers won’t return to you–or refer you to someone else–if you don’t deliver on your brand promise.
  8. Be consistent. If you can’t do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail.

McCrea is a Florida-based writer who covers business, industrial, and educational topics for a variety of magazines and journals. You can reach her at bridgetmc@earthlink.net or visit her website at www.expertghostwriter.net.

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