Branding is a crucial step when starting a small business. It provides much-needed clarity to potential consumers and makes your company recognizable in the minds of your customers and clients. Below is a guide you can follow when branding your small business.
What is Branding?
A brand is a design intended to identify a business and differentiate it from the competition. Think Nike, and you think Just Do It. Or consider how Tiffany & Co. means luxury and elegance to shoppers. The idea is to create something unique and memorable so customers keep returning. In short, brands are all about reputation. So, how do you build one?
How To Build Your Brand
Five main stages of branding can help grow your business. With each of these types, you must consider who your target market is and how you’ll differentiate yourself from other brands in your niche:
Awareness-building is to get new customers to recognize your brand through marketing tactics and word-of-mouth praise or criticism. Identity-building helps establish what your brand stands for. Here, you’re looking at creating a unique personality around your brand to set it apart from competitors and make it memorable. Relationship-building involves fostering positive relationships with current customers by giving them incentives to keep coming back, like discounts on purchases or loyalty programs. Reputation management addresses the public perception of your brand: if something goes wrong with one of your products or services, how will you handle it? Finally, extension building means expanding your brand beyond its original scope. Extension building might include complementary products or services, such as t-shirts with your logo.
How Branding Affects Consumers
When you brand your business, you tell a story to potential customers about what your company is and what it stands for. So, let’s say your brand is about being fun. Your branding will reflect that through your website design, social media presence, and marketing material, giving consumers that feeling.
Do it Yourself or Hire a Professional?
There are pros and cons to both DIY projects and hiring a professional. Hiring a pro will likely save you time and give you the best results, but with a professional comes additional costs. When interviewing designers, consider their portfolios and ask about past projects similar to yours. This will give you a sense of how capable they are of handling your project. Also, be sure to read reviews from other clients.
If you're conversing with a designer and have a large PDF file with many images, you can try this PDF editor for free to add text, sticky notes, highlights, drawings, and more, to PDFs. This allows for quick expression of ideas without having to write long emails.
Building Awareness and Trust
One of your biggest priorities as a small business owner is to build awareness and trust among potential consumers. The best way to do that is by crafting an impactful brand that exudes professionalism, strength, and personality.
Join your local chamber of commerce today to help build your brand.