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Eight tips for making your small business brand stand out

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Do you want to try and create an identity for your brand? If so, you have come to the right place. At the end of the day, your brand identity is more than just your logo. It is about how your brand looks, feels and even how it speaks to your customers. It influences your buyer experience and it also impacts how people view you and your business. With all of this at stake, you have to remember that your business brand is not going to reveal itself overnight. You need to put in the time, research and thought. If you can do this then you will soon see that the results are worth it.

Research everything

You cannot create a brand identity that resonates with your existing customers if you don’t understand them to begin with. First, you need to take the time to learn your primary and your secondary audiences. When you have done this, you then need to work on understanding your tertiary audience. Develop their persona, and focus on their likes and also their dislikes. Once you have a solid understanding of your customers, you can then move on to competitive research. How are other companies in your sector, positioning themselves in terms of personality, visual elements and themes? Finally, don’t forget to talk to the people who may be closest to your brand. This would be your employees. They have a very important point of view in regards to what has, and what has not worked in the past. If you can give this some thought then it will help you a lot in the future so make sure that you are mindful of that.

Create assets

When you put in the work to research, you can then move on to the fun. Now is the time for you to translate your learning into visuals. Try and focus on your logo, colour palette and even typography. If you can do this, alongside your iconography then it will help you quite a lot in the future. As you are going to be building your brand assets, you need to think about the three C’s. This would be clarity, commitment and consistency. In regards to clarity, you have to figure out your message. If your customers have to work to interpret something that you have created then your brand will not be clear enough. In terms of consistency, it helps to make sure that your billboard has the same voice as your site. Consistency will breed confidence so make sure you remember this. Commitment is also very important. You want your ad to go viral at the end of the day, and the second they don’t you may find that you get discouraged. Don’t forget that building a great brand takes a lot of time.

Define your story

Cement your identity by adopting a brand story. This isn’t your origin story, but it will have some components that revolve around why you started your business. Think about it, what does your brand believe in? What pain points do you have? How is your business going to solve the problems you are dealing with? What direction is your business going to go in? As you begin to craft your brand story, you need to remember that it is not just your elevator pitch, as this is going to be what you tell people when they ask about your company.

Refine and iterate

Your brand identity could well change over time. There is nothing wrong with this either. When you have crafted your identity and when you have come to the conclusion about how you want to be perceived, you can then test new strategies. Work on your tactics, and see what ends up being best for you. You could go as far as to A/B test some of your taglines on your homepage as this is the best way for you to see what story resonates with your audience.

Perception is always important

Don’t underestimate your brand. It is your strongest asset. A lot of people think that branding is only important when you are trying to grow your business. This isn’t the case at all. If you want to gain anyone’s attention then you have to make sure that you are relatable. If you have built a brand then this is great, but that doesn’t mean that your target audience is going to flock to you. If you face the world with a passionate idea but don’t invest in your brand then your consumers will create their own perception and this may not line up with what you want.

Investing in your idea

When it comes to branding, a lot of people say to themselves that they cannot afford to spend a lot, or that they cannot possibly afford that expense. You should try and avoid this approach if you can. Your branding is your biggest asset, and it is connected to loyalty, awareness, and quality. Even though these assets are difficult to value, it doesn’t mean that you cannot, or should not invest in them. The best way for you to tackle this problem is to focus on your story and then build it. It may be that you want to try and make your brand a boutique for homemade beauty products. If this is the case then you may want to buy some tissue paper or even some gift bags for your customers to take their products home in. Sure, this is more expensive than a carrier bag and it will eat into your expenses. That being said, it could translate to you getting even more sales in the future. If you aren’t sure how much you should be spending then look at spending 12-15% of your initial investment on branding. This amount can then be put toward graphic design, marketing experts, social media and website designers.

Don’t overlook social media

You should never overlook social media when it comes to your branding. If you do then you could be making a huge mistake. Social media is so important for your company and it could mean the difference between success and failure. If you have never looked into social media before then now is the time for you to change that. Remember it is free for you to create an account and when you do, you won’t have to worry about a thing. Of course, building your page is what takes time. If you don’t have the time to actively invest in your page then this is understandable, so hire someone to do it for you. If you don’t then you may find that your page ends up fizzling out and this can do your brand a lot of harm. If you want to help yourself here then take the time to hone in on your idea, and how you want your brand to come across. Do you want it to be funny? Chatty? Professional? If you can give this a lot of thought then this will help you a lot going forward. It will also make it easier for you to solidify your brand as being one of the best in the business when it comes to trust signals.

Listen to your customers

If possible, you need to listen to your customers. Listen to what they think you are doing well, and what you need to improve on. This isn’t always easy but it is possible. If your customers are coming to you and telling you that their bags keep breaking, or if you notice that they are always bringing their own bags with them then this is a sign that you need to step up the quality of the ones you are providing. If you notice that they are always asking you if you have a particular item in stock but you never do, then this is a sign that you need to expand your inventory. If you can give some serious thought to things such as this, then you will soon find that it becomes easier to expand your business and this can help you out a lot in the future. Sending out surveys to your customers, in return for giving them a discount on their order is also a very good thing to do. Getting customer feedback is invaluable, not to mention that it is one of the best ways for you to increase the potential of your business. If you have never thought about this before then now is the time for you to start, because your customers are essential to your brand and if they can help you to refine or improve it, then you should be taking every comment they have onboard. Surveys can be sent via text, email or even in person, so you have plenty of options.

So as you can see, there are many ways that you can improve your small business branding and if you follow this guide, you will soon find that it is easier than ever for you to get the result you are going for.

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