A business thinking about their presence in their customer’s mind should be also thinking about Branding. In the competitive market where there are hundreds of players fighting for their market share, an effective brand strategy can provide you an edge over your competition. Now you may wonder what is branding, and how does it affect small businesses.
In simple words, a brand is the promise that you make to your customer. It differentiates you from rest of the world and tells your customer what to expect form your organization/product. End of the day, your brand is what your customer perceives you to be; and it’s your job to present yourselves in best way possible.
Is your product representing high quality/high price or cost effectiveness? Are you an innovative genius or you are the reliable one with experience? Representation of your product/service should be according to the customer you are targeting. You can’t sell to everyone! No one can!
The foundation of your brand start with the logo and colors you choose. Rest of the materials, like your website, packaging and other materials all will have the same theme as your logo. Thus becoming a unified brand image.
The strategy for your brand will be the brand messages that you communicate. It starts from how, what, where, when and to whom you are targeting. Other parts for your brand strategy involves, advertising channels, distribution channels, visuals and words.
Strong brand equity can be gained by consistent brand strategy across channels. This means you will be able to charge more for your branded products than your unbranded competitions. The best example would be the brand equity for Coco-Cola. Because of the powerful brand messages and brand equity, they charge more than the other regular soda brands. Sometime the quality of the product is the same, but the brand equity makes all the difference, so the customer is willing to pay more.
How to define Your Brand
Defining your brand can be difficult, uncomfortable and time consuming, yet is a journey of self-discovery for the business. The business should define their mission foremost, which would be the first step towards self-discovery. Think for these pointers while defining your brand.
- The features of the products/ services that your provide.
- Do you already have a following in the market ?
- What are the characteristics for your existing customer pool?
- What kind of qualities your customer pool associates you with?
Try to figure out the needs and desires of your current and prospective customers, with survey and research. Don’t assume! Ask!
The process of branding is complex, so try contacting brand strategist who will be able to help you out with defining your brands and to leverage the market that you were not able to touch before.
Once you know what your brand is, your next task would be to let the public know. Creating a good marketing strategy would help you to broadcast your brand image. Before jumping in to the market, try the following
- Create an amazing logo and showcase it everywhere.
- Create a tagline as amazing as your logo and push it along with the logo.
- Integrate all your branding material into the same theme; this means the mail templates, the color scheme of the office and office material. Your brand visuals and messages should be consistent everywhere; even while answering the call.
- Be honest – Keep your promises as much as you can. Small businesses have their limitations. So be honest with your brand promised.
- Go digital – start with your digital brand awareness campaigns.
So before you get on the brand wagon, think strategy, create authenticity, be consistent and let the world see you grow.