Small business branding is a set of practices that help you communicate with customers – your logo, name, values, and all the things that help associate your business with who you are and what you are doing.
Creating small business branding can be challenging and time-consuming, especially when you do this in-house. Some things take a while to build up, and branding – together with clients’ trust – is one of them.
What is small business branding?
Branding is based on what people think when they see or hear about your business. By branding, we mean what stands behind the company – your mission, your values, and visual aspects. With good branding, you can gain trust, credibility, and build awareness of your brand.
Why do you actually need business branding?
Does a small business need branding? Of course, and the sooner, the better. Building small business branding can bring you many benefits. Below are a few of them.
1. Small businesses can create stronger bonds with customers via small business branding
Small businesses have the opportunity to create personal connections with their customers even more easily than larger organizations. Why is that?
It is similar to being in a group. It is so much easier to create social connections with others if the group is smaller, right? You are more visible and approachable, and it is so much easier to keep in touch with customers.
For example, interacting on social media can be more personal when you do not have many followers. You should use moments like these to establish connections with customers by responding to their messages on social media and liking their comments. Use this opportunity to your advantage and build bonds with customers, even befriending them.
2. A well-branded small business will be easier to remember and distinguish from competitors
Many small businesses do not take branding seriously, and that is something you can use to your advantage. A well-branded small business branding will stand out among other companies with poor branding.
This is how your company can be remembered and distinguished from the competition. Of course, this takes time and money, but it is definitely worth the effort.
3. Customers are more likely to return to a business that they feel they have a personal connection with
Customers tend to come back when they feel a personal connection between themselves and a company. Statistics show that 56% of customers stay with a brand if they have confidence in what the business offers.
How do you win and convince customers? By building connections with them. One way to do so is with branding, which is something they see first. If your tone and message are in harmony with those of your customers, great. Your products or services are just confirmation of the right choice – like a cherry on top.
4. Small business branding can help small businesses attract new customers and keep them coming back for more
Good small business branding that stands out among the competition grabs customers’ attention, so it’s one way to build customer loyalty. New customers get to know you via your website, social media, products, and testimonials. They should know what to expect, and hopefully, many of them will become loyal customers.
5. A strong brand identity gives small businesses an edge over their competition
As mentioned previously, a well-branded business is something that makes your company stand out. A strong brand identity consists of many things, such as a logo, visuals, the message you convey, and the problems you want to solve.
Many of your competitors do not have a strong brand identity. For this reason, you should engage in branding for your small business to help you attract customers.
Elements of successful small business branding
We can distinguish some key elements of effective and successful business branding, but it is a process that won’t happen overnight. Let us introduce some marketing tactics:
1. Have a clear and consistent message
A brand message is something that defines your business. It reflects what your business wants to say to the world. Imagine your business as a real person – someone who speaks clearly and consistently seems more reliable and trustworthy. Make your business a person you want to spend time with.
Having a clear understanding of your message is essential. What do you want to share with people? Make your message inspiring. Try to convince people that they want to buy your products or choose your services.
Companies deliver their messages using a tone of voice, which is their style of communication with customers. Writing style is your way of expressing your attitude and feelings toward your audience through a certain word choice.
The tone is important and has an impact on how messages are received by customers. Think of the way the message is conveyed – do you care about a formal tone or do you want your message to be a little bit humorous, neutral, or maybe cheerful and friendly? No matter what you decide, make sure that your tone is consistent.
To choose the tone of voice that suits your company best, think about:
- Your core values: The first and most important aspect to consider.
- Your target audience: Who are the people you want to speak to? Try to think of the needs of the audience you want to reach. Understanding their desires will help build bonds between you and them. Determining your ideal target audience will be very helpful in terms of deciding about your message as well as tone.
2. Use high-quality visuals
Over half of the population has a visual memory. People with such memory skills learn and remember best through visual information. Since people pay attention to visual components, make sure they are of high quality.
Investing in attractive and high-quality visuals for your small business branding will pay off because they are something that attracts people. An appealing logo or website design immediately creates a positive association with potential customers, making them more likely to choose that brand.
Thanks to visual elements, you can create a good first impression of your business. You don’t get a second chance to do this, so ensure the visuals capture your brand as well as pair with your message and company values.
3. Make it easy for customers to find you online
Customers look for products and services online, so make it easy for them to find you. Make sure you use a slogan or a tagline that can be found across all of your social media accounts. Hashtags also help.
There are many more ways to make it easier for customers to find you – create written content with bold text using headings and keywords, and upload pictures that refer to your services or products.
4. Be active on social media
This aspect is related to the point above. When you are active on social media, it will be much easier for people to find your profiles.
Build rich profiles by:
- Posting social media posts regularly
- Answering your followers’ comments
- Keeping in touch with your audience via social media
These are just a few ways of building a connection with your audience. What’s more, being active on social media can generate new leads and increase sales.
5. Offer unique products or services
Uniqueness is something that everybody is looking for. It means that you are able to offer something that no other company can, and this may make your business stand out. Think about what would make your products or services unique. Don’t forget to research your competitors – what do they offer and provide their customers with? Make your products and services even better!
6. Keep your branding up-to-date with the latest trends
Today’s marketing world is moving extremely fast, so keeping up with changes is not that easy, but it’s worth it. adapting to new trends, you can reach more potential customers and increase sales. Keep in mind that you should be consistent and try to align those new trends to your brand.
Tips for maintaining your brand’s integrity over time
Consistency is an essential component in small business branding. In order to maintain your brand’s integrity as time passes, follow some small business branding tips:
1. Establish a set of core values and stick to them
Core values work as road signs. By following them, you’ll know where to go and can get help if you get lost. To determine your values, there are a couple of questions you need to answer:
- What is the purpose of your brand?
- What personality do you want your business to have?
- What are the real feelings that connect your brand to the world?
Howard Schultz once said, “If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.” Those are words to live by.
Once you establish your values, you need to stick to them. Display your values in your visual elements, website design, colors, the language that you use to speak to your clients, and the message that you want to deliver.
Let your values speak through everything that you do as a company. If you want to convey being influential and strong, use a solid font and a toned color scheme.
2. Be consistent with your small business branding
Being consistent is crucial. It should also apply to how your business looks inside and out, from the design of your website to the tone of your blog posts.
For instance, if you are strong and influential, it would not be the best idea to use pastel bright colours in your blog. Ensure that your actions are consistent, whether it is the design of your website, the colour of your Instagram photos, or the tone you use to address your audience. Make sure every element is in harmony with one another.
After writing a post or creating your blog design, ask yourself if it shows your core values. Does it cover the most important aspects of your business?
3. Respond to feedback in a constructive manner
Every company receives feedback. The ability to take that feedback and use it to improve the business is important.
Responding to feedback in an honest and constructive way is also a means of communication and an opportunity to build emotional bonds. Remember that a lot of potential customers will see your responses and behaviour. Using the right tone and being constructive has a positive influence on your brand reputation.
Regardless of whether a review is positive or negative, be grateful for the feedback. Customer feedback is very often helpful in terms of the development of your business. Use it to your advantage and show your clients that you care what they think (e.g., offer compensation for a negative customer experience).
Ask for more information if you do not understand the feedback so that you can put things in perspective and better understand the customer. Ask for clarification and show the client that their opinion is valuable and will be used to improve your service. We are all human, so mistakes happen. They are part of life, and we should all apologize for and learn from them.
4. Don’t be afraid to make necessary changes to improve the brand
Don’t be afraid to change a design or tone that you have previously been using. In some cases, changes are needed. If you feel that your visual identity needs some tweaking, go for it.
Change the logo a little bit, update the slogan or font, and/or make some modifications to your branding strategy. Changes in your small business branding mean that you are growing.
5. Stay up-to-date with current trends and technologies
Following trends will help your business grow. Nowadays, when technology is evolving so rapidly, this may not seem like an easy task. But it is worth putting in some effort to stay up-to-date. Trends attract new customers and that is a great way of gaining a new audience.
Is there a new app that is gaining popularity? Try it. Observe how people react, what they like, and where they leave comments. Adjust to your content to make sure it is consistent with your message. New technologies are a great tool for reaching new customers.
6. Connect with your audience on a personal level
There are many ways of connecting with your clients. One of the most direct ways to do that is by using social media. For example: responding to comments or DMs.
When writing a post, communicate with your readers directly. Talk to them like your friends. Don’t hesitate to make a joke, tell a story, or ask questions to engage your target customers, as these elements create emotional, personal connections.
Now you know our small business branding tips
These tips form the basis of structuring small business branding. Even though it may seem like a lot to remember, it is a very rewarding and satisfying experience, so don’t worry – we are always here to help.
If you need a marketing plan, new branding ideas, or support for your SEO and marketing strategy then contact us at SociallyInfused Media. We’re always ready to use our skills and experience to further your success!