If you want your business to succeed, one of the things you need to take seriously is branding. Your company’s unique identity is what sets it apart from everyone else, a representation of your story and goals to your customers. Take Dunkin Donuts’ latest rebranding, for instance — dropping the word “Donuts” from their name. This is their effort to show their vision of becoming the “store of the future.” As a customer, you will not go to Dunkin just for their donuts anymore, but for their coffee, sandwiches, and shakes as well.
As a small business, your job to create the kind of identity that differentiates you from everyone else may be challenging. Especially since you might be competing with big brands such as Dunkin or Nike. However, if we treat branding as more than just your logo or color choice then butting heads with any of the big-name brands will not be a problem for you. Here are ways in which you can build a strong brand identity for business success.
Conduct a marketplace audit
The first and most important thing you should do is research. You must know everything there is to know about the state of the marketplace, your industry, and your consumer’s thoughts and preferences. You must understand who you are catering to, analyze what drives growth in your industry, and push for efforts that will make you top of mind.
It starts with identifying who your competition is and doing a thorough auditing of their online pages, search engine visibility, advertising, and so on. This will help inform your decisions once you start coming up with your own strategies to differentiate yourselves from them. It is important that you list each competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as your own, you know what you can use as leverage.
Know what your unique selling point is and your company vision
We have established that branding is more than just the visual representation of your company. It is composed of many other factors such as your core philosophies, mission and vision, and unique selling point. Before you even begin designing a logo or choosing color mixes, you must know these things first because it is what your company stands for and what will be the foundation for all your marketing efforts.
So ask yourself, what do you offer consumers that no other competitor can offer? What makes your business the best choice in your industry? What is your mission statement and what is your vision for the next years to come? These are questions that can help shape what your company image is going to be and help build that unique, original representation of your brand.
Create your brand’s visual representation
Now comes the designing part, creating the overall look and feel of your brand. For this one, you can always hire a professional designer to help you choose the appropriate fonts and colors. Remember that there is a psychology behind certain creative elements. You cannot simply choose two or three colors you like to combine; it must help consumers recall both your industry and brand.
Once you have decided on font types and colors, the logo and style, you will need to make sure it is used in all your online pages, printed material, and packaging. Create a branding manual which details how your logo can be used in different media.
Establishing a brand voice
Next will be creating the right brand voice, and for this, you need to know who your audience is. Study the demographics, preferences, and even their profession so you know the best language and tone to use when you are engaging with them.
Push strategies to establish your brand identity
After knowing what your unique selling point is and creating a logo that represents your company’s mission and vision, the next step is to implement strategies that will strengthen your brand identity. As a warning, you should know that branding success is built over time. You need to push efforts that will help grow your brand and achieve customer retention.
You can start with online strategies like digital marketing. Make sure you have a website with all the pertinent information a customer needs to know about your business. On the technical side, you must make sure your website hosting can give you optimum performance, your domain name is unique, and that your web page is mobile friendly. On the content side, consider publishing blog content consistently and use keywords so that Google can easily crawl and index your page.
By now you should know that social media pages help a great deal when it comes to cost-effective marketing. The promotional ads are cost-effective and can help you set the demographics you can target.
Execute these tips and keep refining them as you go along. Make use of data to inform all your decisions so that you can remain one or two steps ahead of your competition.