Branding the Small(er) Business
Smaller businesses can struggle with branding. Often, start-ups and small business efforts don’t have the budget or manpower to dedicate to brand building – even though it is critical. If it seems too daunting to craft an overall brand messaging, begin with one channel or tactic.
Focusing on one audience touchpoint can make it easier to approach branding. A web presence is often a logical place to start and an audience centric approach a good way to frame messaging.
Answer these questions to move in the right direction:
1. Do I know my audience? Who am I trying to sell to or engage with? What are their patterns, needs, desired outcomes?
2. What is the first impression I want my audience to have when they interact with my company and my content? (Example – they make the complex easy, they are industry experts - I can trust them, they look like fun to work with…)
3. What do I want my audience to know or believe? What is my Value Proposition? (… my competitive differentiation? …what I want my audience to know about my experience, features, service or market position?) Developing a clear message, intention and direction that establishes an emotional connection with your audience will help guide your efforts
Finally, how do I translate this into the beginnings of a brand identity?
Taking your learnings, the next step is to create the look, feel, and voice of the brand that will be carried through your website and social media. If you want your audience to believe your brand is conservative and trustworthy, your logo, colors, font and images should reflect that and so on. Try to find the budget to work with a design professional to help bring your brand to life. Create a visual identity and a voice that will resonate with your customers, be consistent and always stay true to your company's message and you are well on your way to branding success.