Feb 11, 2015 6:49:00 PM / by Rachel Rodgers
Developing a brand identity is important for businesses big and small.
The most important things to remember when creating or redesigning your brand are two key points: defining a clear brand identity that reflects the business, and keeping it consistent throughout.
1. Define your brand identity: Does your brand reflect what kind of business you are, and why you’re in business?
Follow these steps:
Know specifically why you’re in business
In today’s competitive marketplace, you want to be known for certain reliable products and services and it’s important to keep your brand focused.
Specializing in one thing allows your small business to stand out in the market. Being an expert in what you do, and doing it better than anyone else, helps the marketplace see you as the #1 source.
Business owners around the world use the method called SWOT Analysis: an acronym for Strengths, Opportunities, Threats and Weaknesses. Use this system to identify where they can improve product marketing and what to focus on. Learn more about SWOT Analysis here.
Your brand promise is powerful. It’s the statement you make to your customers and target audience that lets them know what to expect every time they interact with you and your employees, products and services.
A brand promise is based in reality, and it’s something you can prove. It’s grounded in your company’s culture, philosophy and atmosphere. It reflects how you serve your customers and deliver value to them; how you make a problem they have go away; how you make their lives better. Your brand promise is why they can’t do without you and would never go anywhere else.
If you were to try to think about what these famous brands promise, you might come up with something like this:
- McDonald’s: fast food with a consistency of taste and service, all over the world
- Starbucks: quality coffee in an inviting, casual atmosphere — with space to sit quietly and work
- Volvo: cars that offer both safety and luxury
- Zappos.com: any shoe you could want, backed by amazing customer service
Everything you do to market your small business should reflect your brand promise.
You can think about a brand promise for your business by completing the this sentence: “My customers buy from us because we’re the only one that…” The more specific the answer, the clearer your brand promise will be.
Target Whom You Want to Serve
As discussed above, your small business can’t do everything; likewise, it probably can’t serve every type of person. Or people only people with specific needs or interests. everyone. You need to know who your ideal customers are in order to offer what they need.
Your customers may skew toward certain demographic or socioeconomic groups. They may share a particular problem, interest or need. Your brand needs to connect with these people. They’re your target audience, the consumers you specifically aim to serve.
If you don’t know who your target audience is, use your existing customers to define some parameters.
To define your target audience, “go with the top 10 percent of your customer base,” advises Sandy Upham, president of Wright Marketing Workshops. They’re the ones who are already engaging repeatedly with your brand, avidly believing in your promise and delivering the greatest value to you.
Be Honest and Authentic About Who You Are
When it comes to your brand, be consistent and genuine. That will make it easier to build trust with your customers, connect with them and do repeat business.
Your brand identity has to talk the talk and walk the walk. It has to be the same throughout. Otherwise, you’ll present yourself inconsistently and confuse the marketplace.
If you’ve clearly defined your audience and what sets you apart, authenticity should come easily. Don’t be hip and casual if that’s not who you are, or if that’s improper for the service you provide, like a funeral home or an expensive restaurant.
2. Keep your brand identity consistent across the board
For example, If you own a frozen yogurt shop, you may want your brand to evoke friendly customer service, a fresh and fruity taste, and a fun atmosphere. Imagine your business as a person.
The identity shown should be the same throughout all communication avenues. Make sure you choose a company name, a logo, a color palette, interior design, print and website design that evokes the same feel.
A company should be represented to the customer as one consistent entity, whether they talk to your employee, see your flyer, visit your store, or your website.
However a customer interacts with your business, think about how all the avenues of communication would change according to the type of business, or service they provide. For example, a hospital, a public school, a high-end hotel, or a small sandwich shop.
This article is from the following sources:
Staples.com Blog “Building Your Brand: Proving and Differentiating Your Small Business” http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/tech-services/explore-tips-and-advice/tech-articles/building-your-brand-proving-and-differentiating-your-small-business.html
The Marketing Donut.com “I’m a Small Business- Why do I need a brand?” http://www.marketingdonut.co.uk/marketing/marketing-strategy/branding/i-m-a-small-business-why-do-i-need-a-brand-
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Classic Touch Embroidery is a custom embroidery and screen-printing service providing apparel and promotional products for all of your business’ needs. Founded in 1994, owner Debbie Duffield has been involved in the sewing industry for over 32 years. CTE believes in educating our client and she has a zeal for matching the right product to her client’s needs. Classic Touch Embroidery has over 2 million products a few clicks away and will find the essential product for you: visit www.classictouchembroidery.com or call 856-381-5144.
Topics: Business and Marketing