Conversations about branding can get pretty difficult, some times people often confuse brand Identity with Branding itself. Also, they at times assume its only for big major companies but branding works the same way for any business, even a side-hustle. One important thing is you need to get started, you will come to understand your brand as you get more experience, get to know your value and differentiators and even your definition of your ideal customer when you are actually doing business.
So what do you actually need to brand your small business? Here are some tips;
1. Know Your Why
It’s helpful to start with a logical foundation so you and your customers know what you stand for. Creating a purpose statement will help you make decisions about everything relating to your brand going forward like who you’ll work with, what you’ll offer, what you’ll say and do and what you won’t.
This is your brand purpose and serves as a stretch for everything you do, and gives your customers a deeper reason to choose you.
2. Know Your Ideal Customer
Which part of the market are you targeting? It would be impossible (and it isn’t very wise) to target everybody or just anybody, so who is your ideal customer? Who most needs the thing you sell? When you categorize potential target groups, which group’s problems do you understand the best?
The idea is that when your target customer sees your message, they’ll think, “Hey, that’s for me!”
This is your brand positioning and it allows you to spike your claim in a crowded marketplace.
3. Be Unique.
Take a look around at what others in your industry are doing and then ask yourself, “What are the reasons why a customer would choose me instead?” What are the characteristics or benefits of your service, or you as a person, that would be very hard for others to replicate?
The idea is that you want to become known for something and it needs to be crystal clear to your potential customers what that thing is. Competition falls away because there’s no substitute for you.
This is your brand distinction. It helps customers understand why they should choose you.
4. Create an Amazing Client Experience
How do you want your customers to describe you after your work together is through? What qualities do you want them to tell their friends about you?
- That you delivered fast, hassle-free service?
- That you were thorough and detail-oriented?
- That you made the process fun?
- That you were compassionate and empowering?
What was it like to follow your process–how did they feel?
What steps do you take and what policies do you follow to ensure they feel that way?
Everything you do should be grounded by those core values you want people to remember you from the very first interaction to the last.
When your customers start describing their experience in reviews and referrals in very similar ways, it means you’re purposefully creating the kind of client experience that you can become known for.
This is your brand experience. It helps you attract the right people to you and create raving fans and repeat customers.
5. Give your brand personality
People buy from brands and they hire humans. So as you market your business (marketing, is also brand building), you want to express consistent personality characteristics and make your company values known through the pillars of brand communication.
Think about the words you’ll use to communicate what it’s like to work with you. Will you be a well built, reliable consultant? Or a eccentric and fun coach? You’ll want to think about how you’ll speak and write the words you use and the way you use them that’ll help people get to know you.
This is your brand tone. It helps people decide whether you would be a good fit for them on an emotional level.
6. Set Expectations
In a clear and concise way, you want to be able to describe the benefits of working with you and the transformation they can expect when they do. You can also call this a marketing claim.
This is your brand promise. It helps people to understand what they can expect when they do business with you.
7. Communicate Visually
Once you have clarity around these things, a designer can help you communicate them visually. Your logo, website and other marketing collateral assets should be consistent, in alignment with your brand’s personality, and appropriate for your industry.
This is your visual brand identity. It serves the purpose of communicating what your brand is all about.
8. Create Branding Guidelines
Once you’ve established your brand tone and brand identity you can create guidelines that help you show up in a consistent way. Brand consistency is crucial because it shortens the time it takes for people to become aware of and remember you. Again, it doesn’t need to be fancy, your goal is consistency. Keep it simple to start!
When you have a strategic approach to branding a small business, you begin to show up with confidence in a way that gets your dream clients doing a double-take like you are exactly what they are looking for.
I hope you find these tips insightful! be kind to share