Everyone knows that branding is important. The biggest companies on the planet rely on creating a distinctive and powerful brand in order to be successful. So small businesses should definitely invest in the concept as well. A brand can communicate something meaningful to your customers about who you are, and ultimately they will come to associate the branding with you possibly more than any physical aspect of the business.
Branding is not just a logo, or even how a business is perceived externally. It is certainly entwined with image, but it is also about ethos. A successful branding should embody the key aspects of a business, and then communicate that internal ethos to external parties. Branding is absolutely critical in contemporary business, and it is something that you should ignore at your peril.
So here are ten tips on how to successfully implement branding for your business.
1. Define Your Brand
The very first step is to decide how you want to communicate your brand. Work out precisely what niche you want to occupy, and research the emotive and rational needs of your customers. Ultimately, your branding should speak directly to your key demographic.
2. Think of Your Brand as a Person
Each individual person’s character consists of individual beliefs, values and purposes. This is how we usually choose to define ourselves, as much as via our physical appearance. Think of the branding of your company in the same way. Branding should ultimately be something that defines your business, and conveys the personality that you would like others to see.
3. What is Driving Your Business?
It is essential to understand what is driving your business when building a brand. What do you believe in, what is the purpose of your business, and what would you like it to look like in the future? Answering these questions can help inform the identity and character for brand communications.
4. Build Long-Term Relationships
It is always tempting to overestimate the particular qualities of your business. But much more valuable is to build strong and lasting relationships with customers and clients. One of the best ways to achieve effective branding is to create trust – clearly communicate what your company is about, and people will begin to believe it.
5. Maintain Consistent Tone
All of your communications, particularly with customers, should maintain a consistent tone of voice. This will convey to your clients precisely what they can expect from your product or service.
6. Don’t Be a Repeater
Don’t repeat the same boring message over and over and over again. Combine several key messages in order to build a coherent identity. Don’t bore your customers.
7. Have Your Own Identity
When you look at the massive brands on the planet, such as Apple and Coca-Cola, it is always tempting to copy aspects of their personality. You should avoid this at all costs. You should be looking to establish your own personality, your own identity, and your own branding. Independent operations have the ability to attract customers seeking something original and authentic. This will be far preferable to piggybacking on the reputations of others.
8. Be Innovative
Never be afraid to be bold and innovative. Stand up for what you believe in, rather than what you think people want to hear.
9. Never Forget Branding
Whenever you communicate with anyone external, whether customers, clients or suppliers, you should always consider your branding. Don’t lose your pride or dilute your brand positioning with indiscriminate discounting. Have faith in who you are.
10. Don’t Rely on an Outdated Approach
Logos can be an important part of branding, but it is insufficient to simply stamp a logo on everything and think that this communicates something meaningful. You need to generate meaning around what you’re doing, and enable people to discover your brand for themselves, rather than ramming it in their face.