Branding Tips for The Small Business Owner
One of the key pieces of marketing your small business and website is to develop and build your corporate brand. While it may seem like a minor task it is vital for you to create and maintain your brand in order to receive the full benefit of your marketing efforts.
10 Tips for Small Business Branding
Keep It Simple. I recall a high school art teacher who had the word "KISS" written on a wall and reminded us to "keep it simple stupid". I have found this to be true in many aspects of life. However - in both web design and branding this is key. When you fail to keep it simple you leave the audience confused and anxious, which is not ideal for a buying decision. So keep it simple and clean!
Be Consistent. While you want to vary your efforts you most definitely want to be consistent with your image and brand. Along these lines you want to get it right the first time. Many entrepreneurs of past will tell you of the expense and loss hits taken by having to redo your logo and brand after you have already invested money, time, and presence. Make sure the same branding is used in all of your marketing "touches" including logo, website, social media, blogs, stationary, mission statements, postcards, brochures, emails, newsletters, bios, and firm descriptions. Unifying the message and image in the branding across the board will exponentially increase the effectiveness of each marketing tactic.
Be Original. While it may seem easy to copy what everyone else is doing - it is not profitable. If you are doing what the larger competitors are doing but they have a larger budget to do so, how will you ever become better than them? While researching what they are doing is important - it is more important to be better than them and to be you. It is important to be unique and stand out from the crowd.
Focus. While your business, by its very nature, may offer a variety of services - it is ideal to focus in on what you do best and work to show that you are the expert and premier provider of that service. Even the most successful of companies (like Google) have fallen in to the trap of trying to offer every possible service - to the detriment of its main service. Streamlining and focusing is always a great way to promote your brand.
Consider Color Psychology. Colors can make the audience feel a certain way. They can also help identify your corporate brand with just a shade. These colors need to be consistent across all marketing platforms, so choose wisely.
Consider Audience Psychology. One of the best things that you can do is to try to get inside the head of your audience and potential client base. When you think like they think and consider their needs, desires, and expectations you can more accurately capture their attention with your branding.
Build Your Reputation. Perhaps the most important part of your brand that can determine your potential success is your reputation. We know that it can take ages to build a good reputation and only moments to destroy it. If you make sure that you are reliable and deliver what you promise - this is the best way to build a good repuration with your client base. Even if your service offering does not equate with long term relationships with your clients - your clients know people. Those people could also be your clients... but not if you are not reliable, responsive, and deliver what you promise to. By offering the best possible service or product you can be assured that your reputation can be solid with the right circumstances.
Inject Your Personality. While a company may be an inanimate object, you can animate your brand by putting your voice in to it. Be Bold and Take Risks! Talk to people through your content and marketing like you would if they are in your shop face to face. The formal tone of past does not play well in current generations and won't earn their dollars.
Establish A Presence. Be present in your blog, social media, and website. By generating content you will build on that brand and if that content is valuable to your audience - whether that be by teaching or informing - you will gain their trust and loyalty.
Be Clear. Accurately represent yourself in all of your marketing touches. Be clear about who you are and what you do. There is no glory in winning a customer only to lose them when they realize you don't offer what you promised. So be clear about who you are in your branding for the win!
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Kim Young is Founder, CEO, and a developer at Foo - a web development company based in Wesley Chapel, Florida. She can also be found on Google+. With over 16 years of experience as a web developer, Kim is excited to share with you tidbits that she has picked up along the way. Kim prioritizes continuing education and out of box thinking in order to bring the most valuable solution to Fooweb's clients.