“Branding is so important.” “What’s your brand story?” “Build your brand.”
You’ve heard it over and over again, probably to the point that you’re tired of it, but you know that you need to seriously evaluate the brand of your small business. Whether you are a solopreneur, production company, coffee shop, carpenter, and everything in between, building your brand and being consistent is vital to reaching your audience.
What is Branding? Itsn’t it just my logo and color scheme?
Your brand extends far beyond your logo, color scheme, and slogan, but they all play a role in supporting your brand! Today, branding can be defined as the perception or idea that a potential customer has when they hear or think of your business – think of it like the reputation that you have with customers.
Why is Branding Important
Building a strong and cohesive brand around your business is what will make your target market choose you over your competition. Being consistent in your brand will improve your recognition and build trust with your existing and potential customers. A consistent brand puts customers at ease because they know what to expect each time they work with you. Bonus: Not only does a strong brand set you apart from the competition, but employees also feel inspired when they are working towards the goals of your brand. More on your brand goals below…
How do you Determine Your Branding?
First, you need to determine your business’ mission and reasons for being in business. Is it to provide the best service possible in XYZ industry? Is it to inspire others for XYZ reasons? Get to the heart and soul of your business. Second, in order to best brand your business, you must understand your target customer. What are their needs, wants, and desires? How does your business meet these? Think of your entire customer experience – from their initial search, to social media, to contacting your business, to interactions with staff, to the final sale. Now, determine how your branding, how the heart of your business, can best serve your customers through each step of their journey.
Evaluate Your Brand
Branding can be confusing and overwhelming in today’s business world. How can you determine if your brand is strong and achieving the goals that you have set? Think about the following questions:
- Does your brand relate to your target audience? Does your brand reflect the values of your customers?
- Is your brand consistent (not only through marketing materials, but also through your customer’s experience)?
- Does your brand share the the heart & soul & mission of your business?
This post is in no way a comprehensive how to for building your brand, but I hope it helps you understand the importance of and how to develop your brand. Is your brand lacking in any of these areas? Let me know what small changes you can implement to build the consistent brand that your business needs!