Tons of practical information and working tips. Learn how to brand your business and stand out in the crowd, both online and offline.
If you typed this search query into your browser and landed here, on my blog, you’re highly likely to be knowledgeable about the main concept of a brand and branding as a process. You know what is what, you know what the pieces of the puzzle are – now you’d like to figure out how to make it all work together.
If this is the case, then the article you’re reading is right up your alley.
We’ll talk about:
- the ways to brand your business on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, and elsewhere
- ideas for your launch plan
- remaining consistent and keeping your brand together
You will get:
- practical tips, advice, and recommendations
- case studies and examples
- links for further reading and study
Interested now? Let’s kick it off!
N.B. These tips have been specifically tailored for small businesses running on a tight budget – I intentionally omitted all the stuff that is irrelevant to you as a small business owner. But hey, don’t thank me – it’s what I do 😉
15 Tips on How to Brand Your Business
(Almost) everything you need to know about branding your business.
1. Define Your Brand – Formulate Your Message
Before taking any action, you need to do some thinking. For those of you who like to rush things and deem thinking unnecessary, I have a surprising revelation: thinking is the most difficult part of any process or business.
Why? Firstly, because thinking takes up a lot of energy and requires a great deal of fantasy and imagination. Secondly, it makes your mind elaborate on things that are not yet real or not yet here. Finally, it defines all your further actions – poor thinking leads to poor planning leads to the overall poor organization.
So, what you need to do is relax, sit down, and clear your mind. Then take a pen and a sheet of paper and write down answers to these questions:
- What is it exactly that I want to sell/offer people?
- Who are these people that I want to sell/offer my products or services to?
- What emotions should my products/services bring up in them?
Be as specific as possible – yet, let your fantasy go. There are no right or wrong answers – just your thoughts.
Ultimately, you should come up with a message for your business – a brief and informative piece that defines who you are and what you do.
For example: Bobby’s Bakery serves fresh-baked bread to your breakfast every morning so you that could kickstart your day with a healthy and nutritious meal.
2. Study Your Target Audience
You’ve got to know who you’re addressing your message to. You can’t be everything to everyone – the task is to narrow down your target audience as much as possible.
Your main priority is not mass appeal but rather targeted approach. If you can sell your product to 3 out of 3 people from your target audience, it’s much better than selling the same product to 3 out of 1,000 people.
Once you’ve learned how to convert visitors into customers, you will scale up pretty easily and figure out how to make your business a brand. Here’s an article that tells more about buyer personas and target audience – How to Create Buyer Persona for Your Business and Get More Clients.
3. Develop Your Own, Unique Identity
Think of it this way: why in the world would anyone ever consider your product, let alone buy it?
Answer these questions:
- What’s so special about your business?
- What do you do differently than the others?
- If I were a customer, would I notice my business? If not, why?
Don’t lie to yourself – finding your own thing is hard to do. Go with “trial and error” and don’t be afraid to experiment while you’re still searching.
4. Treat Your Brand As If It Was a Person
You can’t detach yourself from your own brand – otherwise, you would be cheating, and it would show. Instead of thinking about your brand as something abstract, something that’s “IT,” think of it as if it was your good friend.
What you can do is draw a character that you associate your brand with – give it distinctive features that you feel it should have. Give it a name. Seriously, it may sound crazy but it’s a great way to get thoughts and ideas popping into your head.
5. Come Up With a Logo and Slogan That Mean Something (Or, at Least, Look Good)
By now, should have an idea of what your brand is (or ought to become). It’s time to create a logo and complement it with a slogan.
Don’t get too abstract and overtly creative – in a nutshell, it’s just an image and a few words put together that bear some not-too-hidden meaning. Remember one thing: logo (or slogan) doesn’t define your brand, it’s always the other way around.
6. Create a Visual Style that Communicates Your Message
Now that you have a logo and a slogan, it’s time you expand on the original idea you had and take it further by implementing it into the design of your website, shop, social media pages, t-shirts, etc.
If your business is Bobby’s Bakery, think about how you can get across that feeling of a warm fresh-baked loaf of bread that’s crunchy, tasty, and delicious. Colors like light-brown, dark-brown, amber, and gold will probably dominate in your visuals.
This is a stage that requires consulting a qualified designer or getting professional help from a branding specialist.
7. Make Sure You’re Present on Social Media
Once you’re all set and up and running, you’ve got to take it to the people. And where are all people now? Right, they’re online on social networks, and this is where you ought to be too.
Create your page on Facebook and Instagram – these two are, probably, the ones you’ll need the most. If your business has to deal with food, or if you run a handmade business, you might want to check out Pinterest and YouTube too.
Post pictures, articles, videos – maintain an active profile while sharing your content with friends.
8. Create Great, Useful, and Free Content for Your Visitors (Run a Blog)
Blog is a must if you want to brand your small business effectively. For our example, Bobby’s Bakery, you can post various cooking recipes, nutrition facts, trivia, fun facts, etc. – anything that might be of interest to people, who constitute your target audience.
All this content should be free and, of course, worthwhile. If you don’t feel like too much of a writer yourself, hire a copywriter to do the job for you.
9. Provide Exceptional Customer Service
In our ever-competitive market, products often mean less than the service customers get. This is what they will compare when talking about two different products, often ignoring the actual features.
You can’t really create a breakthrough product but you can break through with your outstanding customer service record. Great customer service doesn’t mean you have to say please at the end of each sentence.
Great customer service comes when you take the place of your own customers, think carefully of each step they have to go through until the moment they buy something from you, and build their experience in the most pleasant and satisfying way.
Brand awareness thrives on great customer services.
10. Aim at Building Long-term Relationships with Your Clients Right from the Start
If your business is here to stay, you will need your customers to come back to you – not once but twice. Fulfill their expectations every time they get something from you, make sure they’re satisfied and you will see them returning soon.
11. Avoid Ripping Off the Look and Style of Major Brands
That’s a big no-no. Famous global companies have earned their right to do whatever they do. You haven’t.
If you ever decide to try to imitate a major brand, people will instantly dismiss you as a fake. You don’t want to have that kind of reputation.
12. Your Attitude Is What Drives Your Brand. Show It
Seriously, it’s all about what you feel, right? Don’t be afraid to show how passionate you are about what you do.
If it requires inviting people to Bobby’s Bakery for free baking courses on weekends, why not do it?
13. Amaze People Once in A While
In the world where everything is a copy of something, it’s nice to be surprised once in while by a non-standard move. It’s the unusual experience that sticks, not the product.
Send a free dozen of donuts to every tenth customer of your Bobby’s Bakery on Sundays – the effect you’ll achieve will surpass any losses you might incur.
14. Always Exceed Your Customers’ Expectations
Same as in the paragraph above – be mindful of what people’s expectations are, and go beyond them.
People are calling your bakery after you’re already closed for the night? Give them a free gift card first thing next morning.
15. Treat People like People, Not like Customers
This might be the most important advice of all. Business is good, it generates revenue and spins the wheels of the economy but the most important part of it is not the money, or the goods, or the logistics, or the marketing – it’s the people who are your customers.
Whenever in doubt, always put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
In this article, we’ve talked about branding your business (was it Bobby’s Bakery?) and learned a bunch of helpful tips. If done right, they should give you enough ideas on how to brand your new business or how to improve your already existing brand.
The right thing to do would be share this article with your friends on the social networks – just click on one of the icons of social media, it’s that easy.
If you have further questions on the subject, please write them in comments – I’ll be glad to answer.
For further reading, please check out these articles: