Branding: what do you think about it?
Hmm, most businesses see it as something too ambitious for their small business and associate it with the likes of McDonald’s, Nike and Apple. Well, that’s a wrong assumption.
For small businesses, branding is a too expansive venture to jump into. And well, of course, there are various ridiculously expensive companies that are just out of reach of small businesses.
In fact, branding isn’t restricted to large businesses, rather it’s open to every business. Especially, when we are talking about digital marketing, there are plenty of opportunities for small businesses to benefit from. Here we are going to give you some simple yet effective branding without expanding fortunes.
1. Determine your Business Identity
Before you even take the first steps towards branding, you’ll have to find out the real identity of your business. And remember, the business logo that you proudly paste on every marketing material isn’t the only identity required for branding.
Your business identity will stand across the entirety of your business operations; from your customers to your market presence to your looks, reputation and your feel. To put it simply, branding needs your business story. So, the first step you take into the branding effort should be by understanding what you stand for and who you are.
You know the best part here; It doesn’t cost a dime to determine your business identity, it’s utterly free of cost.
- How are you different?
The first step in determining your business identity is to find out your strength. Something that’s sets you apart from the crowd. It might be the quality of your products or the originality of your website design or even the local presence that you can leverage.
A good approach here is to have a detailed analysis of the existing market and look out for any loopholes that you can fill. A close and determined analysis of the competitors & market will certainly help you identify current lagging in the market and you can perhaps build your brand around that loophole.
- What’s your target market?
Now, this might seem too complacent to many, but the fact is most businesses neglect the importance of choosing the right market. Remember, you can’t even think about branding until you know precisely about your target market. You got to understand the market and customers you are trying to sell your products or services and then decide on an identity that relates to them at a personal level.
Once you have the minutest of details of your audience, you will be in a position of strength to manipulate them and entice them with an alluring and personalized identity.
2. How would they remember you?
Let’s take a simple comparison to make you understand the effect of branding. Airbnb and VRBO are two companies in similar industries. Now, I am sure that every one of you has heard of Airbnb, but there will be many amongst you who have either never heads of VRBO or have very little knowledge about the company, even though it has been in the business for a much longer period than Airbnb. Why is that?
Well, the difference is in branding. Airbnb has a catchy name, widespread market presence, and image that relates well to the industry they serve. They have a really chic and friendly look, a clean website and an amazingly simple user interface to sum up their dominion in the industry. Now compare these facts with VRBO whose name is basically an acronym and reflects nothing of the business and you can guess very well why VRBO isn’t even in the frame of comparison to Airbnb.
Here are some simple detailing that can go far in making your brand memorable to customers.
- Your Name Matters:
You’ll only have a single chance to choose a name that actually resonates with your business and let you connect with the target audience. Remember the old saying, ” the first impression is the last impression”, well, that’s certainly true when talking about making an impression in the business world. In a market that’s basically inundated with small businesses and startups, you got to go with a name that instantly catches the attention amongst the crowd and sounds perfectly with customers.
Now, choosing a name isn’t that simple as you would need a domain name as well. In fact, before you finalize on a name, you get to see if that’s domain is actually available or not. Lastly and most importantly, you also get to be considerate about the SEO and digital marketing aspects when choosing a name for your industry. For instance, “The Buzz” might seems a classy name for your web design company but with this name, you won’t be able to appear anywhere in Google rankings easily. So, basically choosing a brand name isn’t that simple and you need to consider and cover all related aspects as well.
- The Brands’ Visuals
Once you are done with the name, it’s time to pay attention to visuals. Perhaps, the first thing you should start soul searching for is the business logo. No, you can’t just type in your business name is absurd looking fonts and believe that people will get amazed by it. You need a professional logo design and web design services to get your visuals done. Remember, choose a theme very carefully as you will need to carry it across all marketing and business platforms.
3. Venture into the market
Ok, you got the identity, done with the name and visuals, now what? It’s time for the ultimate test. You need to launch your brand in the market and hope that everything goes well. Remember, it’s seldom that your first launch will get noticed, but you need to stay persistent with your strategy and stay positive in your approach.
Here’s something that can help you slowly transform into a brand:
- Build your brand Authority
There are hundreds and thousands of fast food chains across the US market, some even throwing much better deals and tastier menu than McDonald’s. But then why people still flock towards McDonald?
Well, that’s simply because McDonald doesn’t shy away in claiming high for their services. Over the years they have branded themselves as the undisputed champions in the fast food industry and slowly but surely customers have given in on their claims.
Similarly, you got to establish your authority over the industry. Don’t shy away from claiming high (but don’t overclaim), throw out some catchy and informative marketing campaigns and produce some staggering visuals to entice customers attention. Soon, you’ll notice the new gain powers of your brand.