The branding for your product or service is one of the most essential advertising tools you have. When properly executed, your brand design connect with your dream customers, generate return business with existing customers and find new audiences to sell to.
However, there’s more to brand marketing than an eye-catching logo or handy tagline. Small business branding has many facets that require your attention to reach your full potential. Let’s take a look at some important strategies to help improve your brand’s strength and generate brand awareness.
1. Hone your message
Your brand is the face of your business, and everything about the business is part of the brand. Things like logo design are important, but what is your company’s overall message? What are its values? What changes does it hope to inspire?
If your brand doesn’t have a message or purpose, it’s time to think of one. If you already have a mission statement in place, think of ways to reinforce it through various aspects of your company’s ethos and practices. People often pick up on how employees behave and interact with customers and see this as a reflection on a brand. This is a good starting point.
2. Know where your audience is
A mistake commonly seen in small business branding is taking too broad of an advertising approach. With so many different avenues and channels to choose from, it’s tempting to throw as much money or time as possible at all options and hope for the best. Likewise, the number of ways to advertise can be confusing and overwhelming.
Unfortunately, marketing is only worthwhile if the right people see what you’re sharing. A simple way to get the most out of your advertising and avoid wasting time and money is to research which channels are most likely to connect with the audience you’re targeting. If you’re having trouble or simply don’t have the time, a branding agency or brand consultant can help you research and utilize your best options.
3. Put yourself out there
Don’t be afraid to self-promote. Just creating a brand and hoping for the best isn’t likely to bring in sustainable business. However, creating additional content that advertises your brand can help cast a wider net.
One popular method is cross-promoting with similar companies by writing guest blog posts. The posts you write should provide value for readers and end on a blurb advertising your business. This is a simple way to extend your reach while growing a network of business relationships.
Extend the same courtesy to others who help your business, too. If you work with a group that gives you a great website design or provides you with graphic design services, help promote their work to your customers. They may return the favor.
4. Craft your voice
If you know what you want your brand to say and who you want as an audience, you need to look at how you communicate. Picking the right tone of voice is a matter of balancing your brand message and appealing to your target audience, and it may take some experimenting to get right. Think like your customers and try to identify what they would expect from your type of business.
Your voice should also be consistent across all channels to create a sense of unified direction. Packaging, social media, and other communication forms should all work together to promote your brand’s values and voice. In doing so, your customers will know what to expect from your brand regardless of where they encounter it.
5. Communicate and interact
A brand isn’t a stagnant, lifeless thing. Loyal customers and employees alike want to feel like they are part of your mission. Regular engagement helps create a sense of belonging that will energize people to promote the brand on your behalf.
There are numerous approaches to this, and how you choose to engage with the public is up to, but some options are more meaningful than others. For example, a regular newsletter featuring updates can be a great way to educate and inform but doesn’t highlight your brand as much as hosting community events and engaging with people directly.
Keeping your employees involved is just as important. Everyone does their job for a paycheck, but are they invested in the brand beyond that? You can communicate with them the same way you do to your audience, but with a greater focus on pride in you and what they are doing. The more engaged your employees become, the stronger your brand becomes.
6. Talk to a professional
Having a powerful brand does not automatically happen with powerful marketing. It happens after you’ve fully researched and engaged with your target audience.
Marketing merely helps you align your brand with your audience’s needs and desires. Ultimately, though, branding happens when you successfully connect with the people you want to reach — and give them a meaningful, valuable experience.
The good news is that this isn’t something you have to manage all on your own.
If you own a small business and you are looking to build awareness for your brand and make it more, Seedling Digital is ready to help. Our process is designed to dig into the heart of your offering and develop a brand suite that lands with your target market, builds trust with your dream clients, and represents your business in the best light. To get started, contact us today!