A recognizable, well-known brand is one of the most valuable assets any company, whether small or large, owns. A brand can lend credibility to a product and also provide assurance of quality, letting customers know what to expect when they purchase an item or service. According to a 2015 Nielsen survey, 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from familiar brands.
A new, small business is likely to compete against larger, more recognized brands with devoted customers. Larger companies also have much deeper marketing pockets and therefore, an increased ability to promote their brand across their customer base. This is why small businesses need to find ways to differentiate themselves from their competition while building a stable branding process of their own.
So how do small businesses build a brand? Below are eight tips small businesses can use- either on their own or with the help of a design professional – to build a strong and recognizable brand of their own regardless of business size.
To attract more customers (and in some cases, investors) a business needs to offer something that the market has yet to hear of. While this may sound easier said than done, it is necessary to draw attention to a small business looking to compete among the masses. A product or service has to be genuine enough to promote curiosity while still remaining useful and functional. Also, it is essential to make sure that your brand identity sparks interest within the target market. Building a brand identity can be complicated for a small business. For this reason, it can be highly beneficial to turn to someone with years of experience in the market, such as the team at Bianca Frank Design in Anchorage.
Create an Inspiring, Memorable Logo
Once a small business has decided on its main product or service, the next step is to create a good name and a memorable logo. Some companies choose to do this later on, but they are more likely to have the highest chances of success if they differentiate themselves from the competition early on.
Given the significant dependence on visual effects and online marketing today, it has become imperative for businesses of all sizes to create a logo and brand identity that will be effective across all marketing media, including print, social media, and websites.
Define the Target Customer
Once a business has defined its mission, it is time to define their target audience. Who are the people that are going to buy their product or service? Why do they need the product? How long will it be useful for them? Why is their product different than anybody else’s? Once a business can answer these questions, they are on the right path to successful branding. The answers will help with both short- and long-term plans helping the company understand how they will create a profit because they know exactly what their customers are looking for.
Let Customers Become Brand Ambassadors
Think of customers as brand ambassadors. Each and every customer who purchases a product is a walking representative of your small business brand. Therefore, keeping customers happy and satisfied is essential to ongoing business success. Use various marketing platforms to ensure customers are continually encouraged to use more or different products and services through special discounts, loyalty programs, etc. Many customers enjoy belonging to a “club” and receiving recognition for purchases or customer loyalty. They are also likely to purchase more of a service or item if it means that they will receive a “reward” for their purchases.
A key ingredient in building a distinctive brand is quality. This ingredient should not be ignored and must be given the utmost attention. Whatever a small business is offering; they should stand behind their product or service with pride. This also implies that a product or service’s quality should match the price of said product or service.
If a small business is looking to gain attention in an active market, their brand strategy must remain consistent. At the very beginning, a business is looking to garner attention, and even minor alterations in their branding could be viewed as a sign of weakness or indecision. Therefore, it is critical to make sure that what is said on the website matches Facebook pages, mailed advertising, newspaper ads, and other social media platforms.
Use Social Media
It is hard to ignore the power that social media has in today’s market. When it comes to promoting brand awareness, Instagram, Facebook, and similar social media networks have tremendous reach. If a small business is not familiar with social media advertising’s finer points, now is the time to hire a professional to help with brand advertising via social media. As simple as it sounds, social media can make or break a small business.
Don’t Forget the Power of Print
Although online marketing is more prominent than ever, print advertising remains quite useful in developing a small business brand. Have your logo printed on pens, notebooks, calendars, USB’s and other similar giveaways and send them out to potential customers. These will serve to remind clients of your brand and hopefully trigger interest when they are looking for a specific product or service. In addition, although it may seem hard to believe, not everyone is online. Therefore, certain targeted forms of print advertising can help a small business reach clients who are part of their target market through means not related to online marketing and branding.
Admittedly, creating a brand is not necessarily a step-by-step process. Many small businesses find the process of creating a brand for their business that stands out among the competition can be complex and challenging. However, even though there are difficulties in building a small business brand, it is inevitably worth it in the end. When it comes to the branding process, many small businesses find it highly beneficial to look to the advice and experience of a professional like Bianca Frank Design in Anchorage. At Bianca Frank Design, our design professionals have many years of experience in website marketing, branding, social media marketing, and graphic design, which can help a small business build a brand that will stand out among the competition.