Branding. It’s a word that most business owners and business professionals will be familiar with. A word that’s repeated plenty of times during marketing meetings and on every list of business success essentials. But, how many of us actually really know what it is? And why is branding for small businesses so important?
Thankfully, at Maxweb, we know what we’re talking about when it comes to marketing and branding, so in this guide, we’ll shine a light on everything there is to know about small business branding!
Introduction to Small Business Branding
When you think of branding, you probably think of logos, design and a catchy tagline. And you’d be right – branding is what makes a business unique and stand out from the crowd. It’s personal. But it goes much further than a few nice colours and memorable words.
The right branding is all about creating an image and message that will resonate with exactly the right people: your target audience. For small businesses, this is crucial for helping them to tell their story and ultimately connect with the right people in the right way.
The Impact of Strong Branding For Small Businesses
There are plenty of benefits of strong branding beyond the fact that it helps to create an identity that customers begin to recognise and know. Small businesses have a tough realm to navigate, with so many big names out there to compete with. But having strong branding allows small businesses to establish themselves in the market and enjoy a presence, whatever their size.
Branding goes beyond the look and feel of a business’s marketing material. A brand experience can relate to in-store services. For example, perhaps certain music is played, maybe gifts are given out, or there might be a certain scent. These all add to a company’s brand, and when customers know what to expect, and a business delivers repeatedly, a genuine bond will soon be formed. This bond then turns into loyalty.
For starters, consumers trust brands that they recognise. 70% of customers will even buy more from brands they trust and ignore those they don’t, according to Adobe research. On average, consumers spend 25% more money on trusted brands.
Branding Strategies for Success
Branding isn’t just a simple case of designing a logo and showing it off to the world. It requires a strategy – and every business needs one. Here are a few tips to help define your own brand strategy:
- Know your audience – Before you do any work on your brand, you need to determine who you are targeting. Start by creating the ideal customer profile and then delve deeper into audience personas, individual pain points and their desires. Then you can tailor your branding and messages to resonate with them.
- Define your USP – What makes you different? Why should people choose you? Maybe it’s the way in which your products are made. Or perhaps you’re committed to sustainability. Either way, be sure to reflect your unique selling point into every branding element. Brands that tell their story experience a 20% increase in brand loyalty.
- Remain consistent – Website, marketing materials, business cards, and social media, all require the same branding to ensure a more memorable experience. That’s not to say that everything needs to look the same, but it should be cohesive. One study found that consistency across all marketing channels can increase revenue by up to 23%. Plus, with more than 85% of consumers now choosing to shop online, and many looking at multiple channels before they make a purchase, it’s never been more important for businesses to ensure that all platforms are branded and authentic. What’s more, 64% of consumers buy something after watching a branded video on social media.
- Engage with your audience – Ultimately, the best way to know if your branding is being received well is to ask the people who matter. Brands that do listen to their customers, and take on board any constructive feedback, also have a higher success rate.
The Most Common Branding Mistakes
Of course, while branding is a really exciting (and fun) part of business life, there are also a few common mistakes that can occur. Here are some pitfalls to avoid:
- Little investment – When we talk about branding investment, we mean both money and time. That’s not to say you need to spend all of your money on branding, but you also shouldn’t be cutting corners. Think of it like an investment, not an expense and remember that customer recognition and trust are all part of the ROI.
- Ignoring feedback – Whether it’s feedback from your customers or someone in the team, consider it. It may be that you’re too closely invested in the business and its brand to be able to assess it effectively.
- Being inconsistent – As mentioned, all platforms and business materials need to have a cohesive look and feel. After all, if you don’t do this, you only risk confusing customers.
- Following every trend – While it’s important to have an eye on recent trends to stay updated, remember that not everyone you come across will be appropriate for your business. Instead, choose ones that mean something to you and align with your business’ vision, mission and values.
Need Help With Branding? Get In Touch Today
In this day and age, branding isn’t a luxury but an essential part of business life. Branding can tell your story, set you apart and even drive growth. That’s why it’s so important to look at small business marketing and branding from a strategic point of view. Of course, it may be that you lack the time or skills to do this, which is where our branding experts come in.
Whether you’re just starting out or want to elevate your business, our team can help you design a branding strategy that focuses on building trust and customer loyalty, and, therefore, small business growth.
So, if you’re looking to take your branding game to new levels today, get in touch with our brand awareness experts!
Posted on Friday, September 1st, 2023 in Branding.