Why Do Small Business Owners Need to Utilise Branding Strategies?
Branding strategies are essential for making a small business marketable. Yet, sometimes branding can get lost in a sea of other priorities when successfully running a business.
Many small business owners forget the impacts branding can have on their businesses. In turn, they find difficulty in justifying the necessary investments in branding.
Furthermore, small business owners struggle to grow their business without branding strategies. While they might see short-term growth results, companies must invest in branding for long-term growth as well.
Why Do Small Business Owners Need Brand Strategies?
If you're ready to shape up your business's brand, you need a good branding strategy in place. Overall, 66% of consumers believe a brand's culture and transparency influence their buying decisions.
Effective branding strategies can help you foster a strong brand. It defines the purpose of your business and aligns with your company goals.
Here are the key factors on how branding strategies are important for your business.
1. Communicates Core Values
Core values are the characteristics and beliefs that represent your organization. They are the centre of what your business and its employees stand for in the world. So, if you want to attract loyal customers, you need to identify those beliefs.
Branding strategies are essential for clients, customers, and vendors to see your values in action. Understand that people buy because of the "why" behind what you do. Seeing it in the real world helps them connect with your small business.
2. Identifies Weaknesses in the Brand Experience
Of course, branding goes beyond the identity of your company. It comes down to customers' first and last interactions with your small business. Challenges will follow if your company struggles with consistency when building trust and customer loyalty.
Branding is the ingredient that elevates trust with your customers. If you want to exceed their expectations, branding strategies ensure consistency exists.
3. Establishes Clear Brand-Building Efforts
It's tempting to jump on a new marketing trend that you see online. But you should avoid being quick to make those decisions. Ask yourself if this new idea would be useful in a campaign.
Having clear branding strategies makes it simpler for small business owners to make better decisions.
If you're unsure if your new ideas fit within the company's brand, refer back to your branding strategies. This will remind you of the long-term vision your small business has. Furthermore, you can determine if those initiatives align with your vision.
4. Keeps Branding On Point
Branding strategies keep everyone in your small business on the same page. It helps you to stay focused on brand initiatives. Once you fall off track, branding strategies help you recenter your focus on what's most important.
5. Clarifies Marketing Efforts
By focusing on the scope of your marketing efforts, you ensure efficient and results-driven marketing campaigns. You understand your customers, what they care about, and what messages to send to them.
So, instead of A/B testing different campaigns, you hit the mark each time and maximize your return on investment.
6. Enhances Designer and Creative Work
With a branding strategy, you know what you should sound like across all platforms and how your colour palette or logo should look. It's important to consider the impression you intend to make with people – because 90% of them say that colors, tone, and images are the prime influences.
Designers can then make creative decisions that create a thorough and authentic look for your brand.
Too often, small business owners have to make major decisions on logo designs, colour palettes, and sales copy. When you have a clear brand strategy, you get to judge the effectiveness of a visual or written piece of copy. Then you can determine how well it reflects your brand.
5 Worthwhile Branding Strategies for Small Business Owners
Let's look at the different branding strategies that small business owners can look forward to using.
1. Authentic Branding
Put your time and effort into investing in the definition of your authentic brand. Every business has a brand, no matter the size of the operation.
The important thing is, though, a brand makes up the visuals, words, actions, and products that represent your business. Customer experiences and perceptions are a part of this, too.
When you're running a business, consider whether your brand:
● Is confusing or misaligned
● Is at the forefront of your business
● Is consistent across customer experiences
● Communicate the core identity to your audience
Authentic brands attract customers, and you can maintain it effortlessly without being flashy. Research shows that 86% of consumers believe authenticity is key when supporting brands they like.
When it comes to branding authenticity, consider these elements when discovering your brand traits:
● What makes your company unique?
● What qualities make your products or services unique?
● Which personality traits and values best describe your business?
Once you discover your brand personality, you can use that information to guide every decision you make in your business.
2. Create a Strong Brand Name
Your company's name is the primary representation of your brand. While it's difficult to manage the perceptions of your brand, you control the business name.
When people see your brand name, they identify with it. They use it to search for your business online and recommend it to others. One aspect of choosing a brand name is that it should communicate who your business is and aim to attract customers.
3. Build a Unique Visual Brand Identity
Visual brand elements play an essential role in your business. They get people to recognize and identify with your business. On the other hand, it helps potential investors and lenders evaluate your brand's strength when deciding to invest or lend money.
How does each visual branding element tie into its role? Here are a few factors to weigh:
● Logo: This is the primary visual identity and the face of your business.
● Brand colour palette: It's the branding powerhouse. Colours evoke emotion, capture attention, and benefits brand recognition.
● Graphics: Graphics illustrations complement your brand logo and colour palette. They can be used and reused throughout social media posts, websites, business cards, blog graphics, and email templates.
4. Establish a Strong Online Presence
Building a business website acts as a functional sales tool. It educates potential customers about your business and converts sales, so it's an excellent return on investment.
Every business website should have the ability to load quickly and be easily navigable. A website is the brand ambassador and reassures potential customers you're the business that's right for them.
5. Set a Unique Brand Voice
Communicate through words that align with your brand personality and values. A unique brand voice creates consistent messaging and shows up throughout your website copy, social media posts, email messages, package design, and customer support.
Each time your business interacts with people, you instil trust. Therefore, customers become loyalists, and acquaintances grow into partnerships.
The best way to construct a unique brand voice is to use a few adjectives to describe it. Keep your list on hand to guide you when writing your copy. Having a consistent tone and voice will pay off in trust and sales in the long run.
Devise Your Branding Strategies With Purpose
Branding is an invaluable tool for your business. So keep implementing your branding strategies as a purposeful investment. With the right approach, you create a compelling brand, reaching a higher return on investment and scaling larger as a result.
Eleanor is the founder and managing editor of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and Lucy.