Branding defines your business. Do you produce high-quality, reliable products? Or are you cheap and unsustainable? Is your business innovative and a world leader? Or is it untrustworthy and difficult to work with?
How you brand your business is how you want the world to see you. You can’t appeal to everyone, but you can be a business that a majority wants to support. Effective branding is key for longevity, visibility and success. Branding communicates to your customer exactly who you are, what you value, and how you will benefit them. Successful branding ensures that you stand out from your competition and convert clicks into profit.
But how can I brand my small business effectively? Let’s be clear, you do not need a large marketing budget to create a memorable and engaging brand strategy. Below are five low-cost, high-value tips that you can do now that will benefit your business and ensure your brand is recognisable.
Define your values
Who are you? Why do you exist? Why should your customers choose you? Whilst these may seem like deep, philosophical questions about the meaning of life, it really is a strategy to help you understand your business. Every brand is unique, and you need to show that to your customers. Customers want to be able to see their own values reflected in the businesses they support.
Establish your brand’s mission statement, vision and values and set it up in a document that you and your employees can always refer to. Depending on your business you can also include this in the ‘about us’ section on your website and social media, but it’s not always necessary. This will ensure that everyone understands your business’s values and aims. It will also help you to design and implement branding that reflects your business’s core goals.
Tip: Consider how other businesses market themselves and what their values are. This will help you to identify your values, whilst also ensuring that you can recognise areas that set you apart. By highlighting how your values are different from other businesses, you’ll become more recognisable and you’ll find it easier to target a different customer base.
Create a great logo
I bet you could recognise five brands from their logos alone. Whilst most people believe in the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, when it comes to business logos this is simply not true. Logos are what people look at when trying to decide between two seemingly identical items.
Logos should be visually appealing, fun, and capture the essence of your brand. Your logo is how people identify you and what will be used on all your advertising, products and associated content. This is an area where spending a little more money in the short term, will reap significantly more benefits in the long term.
Here are some quick tips to help make your logo perfect!
Understand your fonts. Ensure your customers can read your business’s name quickly and easily. Avoid handwritten or cursive fonts, unless you are certain they are readable. Nobody has time to try and make out what they’re reading on a logo, they will simply move on.
Balance, balance, balance. This is a slight design critique that is very important to get right, to ensure your logo is visually appealing. Ensure all elements within your design are aligned and even, as this will make it look inviting and pleasing to customers.
Say goodbye to similar colours and hello to contrast. Don’t use colours that are very similar, too light, or too dark. Make sure there is a high degree of contrast so that your customers can read your logo. Have you ever tried to read a sign with a white background and light-yellow font? Or a red background with blue text? It’s almost impossible and you will push away customers if you do so.
Give your business a voice
Is your business serious? Use a formal tone. Is it fun and creative? Use a conversational style, one that incorporates humour and wit. The voice you give your business is integral in shaping your company’s identity and how customers see you. Whilst you do have some creative freedom, ensure your business’s voice matches your goals, values and mission. If you’re a law firm it’s probably best not to write in an easy-going manner, as you want people to see you as a business that will help them be victorious in their time of need.
Consider who your customers are and what you are trying to convey. Just like you wouldn’t turn up to a corporate job interview in your activewear, you also wouldn’t write formally if you owned a fun café. Your voice is how you communicate and how customers perceive you – you want to make a good lasting impression. Finding the right voice for your business is the best way to connect and form a loyal relationship with your customers.
Tip: Trial a few different writing styles to see which one you align with more. If you’re having difficulty, consider hiring a copywriter (like Elite Words) to help you figure out exactly what your business’s tone should be.
Make yourself noticeable
Just like your logo, you should also create a standout tagline that encapsulates your business’s identity. This can be utilised on all your business marketing, packaging, website, and associated material, so you should ensure it’s catchy, recognisable and creative. Allow your brand’s personality to shine through. Yes, a tagline must explain exactly what your company is and what it does but it’s equally as important that it encapsulates your business’s unique identity.
Your tagline should showcase your brand’s voice, products, services, and values in one creative sentence. Sounds difficult, right? Whilst we’re not saying it’s easy to do, creating a fun tagline is possible. Outline who your business is, what your values are and how you want to sound and begin playing around. Eventually, you will land on something that aligns with you and your business’s goals. If you are struggling, this is a great area to spend a little bit more money and you should consider hiring a copywriter to make the process easier. That’s how we can help.
Tip: Repeat your tagline across all your marketing materials, advertising, products, and other content. This will help customers form a connection with you and allow your business to be at the forefront of their minds.
Nobody likes a poser, let alone somebody who constantly changes who they are and what they stand for. Your branding must be consistent. Did you hear that? Consistent.
Don’t waste your hard work completing the top four tips and then ruin it by altering who you are on every platform you market yourself on. Ensure that your voice, logo and values are the same no matter where someone discovers you. This will reinforce to them who you are and ensure that they trust that your business is the best choice for them.
Tip: Create a branding style guide that encapsulates your central values, mission, vision, and how you like to be perceived online and in marketing materials. This will help you and your employees maintain your voice, ensuring it remains consistent.
Phew, that was a lot of important information to get through, but we hope it helped. The process of branding your business is integral to its success, and we understand that it can be a difficult and time-consuming process. But don’t fear, Elite Words can help you to brand your business perfectly so contact us today!