Merriam-Webster defines the term brand as, “a category of products that are all made by a particular company and all have a particular name.” In marketing, building a brand is the practice of creating an identity or differentiator of a business/product/service from others. A brand can even be defined by the customer experiences had with your company. No matter how you define the term “brand,” building a strong and memorable one is a shared goal with businesses big and small.
If you own a small business, branding is probably a first challenge you’ll experience, as you may not have the desired budget to develop the brand you dreamed your business would become. What’s more is your business is competing with not just your competitors, but other small businesses, and you want to make sure you leave a lasting impression with potential customers.
Whether you have a tiny budget or have some room to splurge, here are our best tips for building a memorable brand for your small business.
Define the Way You Want Your Brand Perceived
To build a strong brand, you must first brainstorm and define what you want your brand to accomplish. Start by listing the characteristics that describe what your business does and how you want to be perceived by consumers. After the list is complied, make sure you have a keen understand of how your brand can utilize this list to reach your potential and existing customers.
Your brand’s unique characteristics will distinguish you from your competition and offer a clear understanding of what your business is capable of doing, what your known for and how you effectively sell your products/services.
Your Employees = Brand Ambassadors
Your employees know firsthand what your brand values are, and they should be implementing these values into every action they perform for your business. However, many business owners don’t realize that their employees were not a part of the initial branding process, which can leave them to brand confusion and unsure how they should represent the brand.
This is where small businesses have an advantage over larger corporations. Your employees have a chance to connect deeper with your customers and ultimately feel more engaged, informed and empowered.
All you need to do is convert your employees into brand ambassadors. Take some time to train your employees to represent the brand correctly. Once they are well-versed in the brand’s objectives, reward them for acting in your brand’s best interest and representing the brand in their actions. After all, if your brand was built with the consumer’s best interests in mind, they will be proud to walk the walk of your brand.
Promote Your Brand Publicly
Now that you’ve built a memorable brand and trained your employees about the ins and outs of it, it’s time to communicate your brand to the public and targeted clientele. This is where your creative juices come to play! Draft phrases and descriptions that clearly showcase your brand, so both you and your employees can properly describe your brand and build a brand cohesiveness. Build a social media presence and tell people where they can find your pages. That way they can start interacting with your brand as soon as possible!
Build a Brand Filter
Your last step in building a memorable brand for your small business is offering a brand filter or questionnaire to your new, existing and potential customers. These questions could help you discover if your brand is being communicated and represented properly and how to change it if it’s not.
An example of a question could be, “Write one sentence, in your own words, about our brand and how you would benefit from us.” If you’ve communicated your brand the right way, they should be able to write out a clear sentence about your brand’s values and what your business does. If they did not write what you hoped for, you may need to adjust your communication strategy.
Once your target audience understands the distinguishers of your brand and how your brand is unique to your competition, you’ve hit the desired goal for a memorable brand.
Building a brand for your small business will certainly take some time and effort, but the dedication to set yourself a part will pay off in the long run. You will be seen as the “go-to” within your realm of work, and your customers will know your brand not just for its values, but the fact you practice them with everything your businesses does.