Are you taking the branding of your small business seriously?
You should be! Because it’s the key to a successful business.
What Is A Branding Strategy?
Simply, a branding strategy comes down to the plan you make for actions that will grow your small business. It includes your brand personality, how you interact with your customers, what you offer to consumers, and brand identity design elements including your logo and print materials.
A strong branding strategy uses your brand as a cohesive unit so each aspect of your brand will work with the others, creating automatic growth.
The strategy you choose will depend on your business and what has the highest chance of success, and your strategy may change as your company grows and develops.
Why Is A Strong Brand So Important?
Beyond just a pretty logo, solid branding lifts the value of a company, provides employees with inspiration, and makes gaining new customers easier. So what exactly is a brand?
A brand represents the sum of people’s perception of a company’s customer service, reputation, advertising and logo. And when all of these parts of the business are working well together, the overall brand tends to be healthy.
1. Branding promotes and improves recognition
People typically do business with companies they are familiar with. If your branding is consistent and recognisable, it can help people feel more at ease purchasing your products or services.
One of the major components of a brand is a logo as it’s the “face” of a business, and it’s what people instantly notice. A professional logo design is simple enough to be memorable, but powerful enough to give the desired impression of your company.
2. Branding creates trust
Just as people are more likely to purchase from a business that appears polished and legitimate, families need to feel comfortable before committing to a child care program. The Deluxe team used the business’s new logo on business cards, staff T-shirts and the outside of the building to give the business the professional image it deserved. Passersby and others who encounter the logo can now easily identify the business as a trusted centre for education in the community.
3. Branding supports advertising
As you probably know, advertising is another crucial component of a brand. Both the medium chosen and demographic targeted for advertisements help build a brand. Discover, Learn & Grow, a successful start-up company, added its logo to apparel, packaging and printed materials to spread the word about the business and stand out from the competition.
Since Discover, Learn & Grow hosted birthday parties, the Deluxe team recommended the owner to add the new logo to party bags for the children. This would offer yet another brand impression to parents of children attending the parties, and it would turn the logo into a walking billboard — free advertising to get the business noticed.
4. Branding builds value
A strong brand will provide value to your organisation well beyond your physical assets.
No, these companies are worth much more than their physical assets because their brand has created a value that exceeds their physical value.
5. Branding motivates and provides direction for your staff
Many employees need more than just work — they need something to work toward. When employees understand the mission of a business and its reason for being, they are more likely to feel that same pride and work in the same direction to achieve the goals the business owner has set. Having a strong brand is like turning the company logo into a flag the rest of the company can rally around.
6. A strong brand generates referrals
People love to tell others about the brands they like. People wear brands, eat brands, listen to brands, and they’re constantly telling others about the brands they love. On the flip side, you can’t tell someone about a brand you can’t remember.
Additionally, a strong brand website strategy, like backlinks, is critical to generating referrals or viral traffic.
7. Branding helps you connect with your customers emotionally
A good brand connects with people emotionally, they feel good when they buy the brand. Purchasing a service or product is an emotional experience and having a strong brand helps people feel good when they engage with the company.
8. Your brand helps set you apart from the competition.
In today’s global market, it is critical to stand apart from the crowd. You are no longer competing on a local stage, your organisation now competes in the global economy. How do you stand out from the thousands or millions of similar organisations around the world?
What Makes A Successful Brand?
Branding is complex. However, for your company to experience success, the branding strategy that you adopt must be meticulously planned, tested, and optimised. However, if you have never done it before, it can be very daunting in the beginning.
1. Strong unique value proposition
Strong brands have strong unique value propositions. When you make a clear statement that lets the customer see the extra benefit in your products, you’re likely to win his attention. Skype is a good example of powerful unique value propositions throughout big brands. Skype “keeps the world talking for free”. Who wouldn’t like to talk to their loved ones using both text messages and video calls?
Establish the biggest benefit that your brand’s bringing to the marketplace. Then, take a piece of paper and state that benefit through one sentence. Make it simple, concise, catchy, and powerful at the same time!
2. Target audience knowledge
Considering that branding success is only possible due to the existence of customers and fans, one of the primary aims of a company should be to identify and understand its target audience. To be more exact, great brands understand who their potential customers are, how they think, what they need, and very importantly, where they spend their time at.
In order to market your products and services well, your brand strategy should be strictly aimed towards your target audience only. This way, you will save time, money, and energy by not wasting your resources in the attempt to reach consumers who don’t find your value relevant to their lives.
The more knowledge you have about your audience the more possibilities you get to optimise your products. Moreover, studying your prospects for months and even years – while still providing consistent value to the marketplace – will turn you into a “big and experienced dog” in your niche.
3. Unique thinking
Unique, out-of-the-box thinking is a rare quality nowadays, because it seems like every possible brand, service and product has been done. As an entrepreneur or marketer, you always need to find different angles. Angles of promotion, angles of branding, angles of everything. You’re often tempted to look at what others are doing because that’s the easy path. However, to build a great brand, you must capture a lot of attention.
You do that by making your products or services stand out from the rest. You adopt out-of-the-box marketing strategies that no one has ever used before, you make your product extremely unique, and you keep it all simple in the meanwhile.
4. People notice passion
If you want to bring hype around your brand, you have to make your fans and buyers passionate about your culture. Involve as much passion as possible, and you’ll get passion in return. Walt Disney knew that children needed a place where they can live magical moments. Moreover, adults are extremely targeted too, as Disneyland takes you back in time and makes you feel like a child once more.
There are many fun parks around the world, yet none can be compared to the great palaces that Walt Disney has built. Even if you spell “Disneyland” in your head, you’re likely to experience a positive visual representation of magic. The passion involved in this brand is definitely observable by both brand owners and simple fans and clients.
Brands that fail to be consistent will also fail to have a consistent performance in the marketplace and in the game of business. You can’t expect your customers to stick around if you’re not always sticking around. They’ll come once, see that you’re not available or no longer what you used to be and represent, and boom, just like that, your brand’s starting to fall into pieces.
When you go to McDonald’s, you somehow always know you’ll be satisfied. This is because their products are extremely consistent (greasy, yummy, and cheap).
6. The brand’s objective comes first
To significantly help your brand, you need a specific mission and objective. The brand’s mission typically signifies contribution to a cause. For example, Nike wants to encourage people to be active. Dove wants women to feel beautiful in her skin.
The brand that states a clear mission and then follows through with the promise often performs better than their competition. Therefore, define your company’s objectives and direct all of your actions towards achieving that goal.
7. Exceptional brand slogans (or taglines)
Brand slogans are the first business elements and words that jump into people’s minds. Take a look at a few examples of the most popular slogans in history:
Nike -“Just Do It”
Apple – “Think Different”
L’Oreal – “Because You’re Worth It”
BMW – “The Ultimate Driving Machine”
These are solid slogans that big corporations used throughout time to improve their brand’s awareness, generate word-of-mouth referrals, and essentially create huge developments in their brand’s performance.
When crafting your own tagline or slogan, keep these things in mind:
- Make it very memorable and easily recognisable
- Include a key benefit instead of aggressive selling. Make it clear and concise.
- Make your brand stand out with the words/emotion you use
- Spread positivity through your words
8. The brand always provides value
This shouldn’t be even mentioned, as one rules of business is that value comes first and the payment after. Every big and successful brand continues to offer value to its customers. If the value decreases or becomes inexistent, the business -no matter its previous or present popularity- will miserably fail. The competition will come from behind, exploiting your weak moments and stealing your audience away.
Many companies tend to fail because they are eager to improve their profits. Therefore, the quality of the product is ought to decrease. Why? Well, for example, if during your launch you were delivering 10 crispy chicken strips made out of the best materials and carefully prepared, in time, you’ll begin delivering 9, 8, maybe 7 chicken strips all while using cheaper ingredients.
This is usually a trap. Many brands believe that their customers are too addicted to their products, so they start taking advantage. Soon enough, fans will generate discussions and negative feedback. These negative outcomes might harshly damage your brand’s reputation and success.
9. Great exposure
Let’s not forget about how essential exposure is. You may have the best product in the world, but if you fail to market it properly, you’ll won’t sell it. This eventually leads to a brand being dissolved, so making certain that you have great marketing strategies in place is a key to winning the battle over a niche market.
Rolex’s current marketing strategy revolves around sharing beautiful images of their products on social media channels. Here are some marketing channels that you can leverage to build a better exposure for your brand:
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Traditional advertising
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- TV, Radio, Media Buy
- Forum marketing
- CPC Advertising
- Video Marketing
Need Help With Branding Your Business?
Does all of this information have you fearing success for your small business? Are you not sure where to start?
That’s okay, because COG Branding specialises in connecting brand to business – it’s the two key factors to success.
So contact us now, take the leap of faith, and your business will be booming in no time.