Brand consistency is key.
If your business had a personality what would it be?
Branding your small business is a necessity and one of the best ways to become a recognized and legitimate business. When you decide to brand your business, you open doors for customer engagement, bigger sponsorship opportunities, and franchising if you’re looking for growth. There are many things about brand development that people are not aware of. It starts with customer perception and how they view you, your services, and your overall business. If you own a mom and pop’s flower shop, how you branded your services in the beginning can impact the way customers do business with you. You’re either a cheap/quick/convenience alternative or a high premium service that people want to be associated with. Find what sets you apart from other flower shops. If you’re exclusive, you don’t just sell any flowers. You sell the most beautiful and elegant flowers in a 50 mile radius. Now that you’ve elevated the perception of your business, you can now charge a premium price for your goods and services. A wonderful example is Starbucks.
A normal cup of coffee in America costs about $1. The average cup of Starbucks Coffee costs about $2.10. However we all known that you’re never going to walk out of a Starbucks only spending two bucks on coffee. The story of Starbucks Coffee’s excellent brand strategy has created one of the best performing initial public offerings in history, rewarding investors with capital gains and dividends. Starbucks combined its branding with powerful consumer marketing to convince people that paying $6 for coffee a day is okay. Now, back to your small business. What colors does your company identify with? Is your service the most reliable? Ready 24/7, 365 days a year? Or maybe it’s the most economical. Be very wary how you brand and present yourself if you’re looking to be the cheapest option out there. You always want your customers to perceive that they are getting the right value for their money. Using terms like “cheap” and “low price” can sometimes scare a bigger market segment. In this strategy you are leaving a lot of money on the table. With branding, a lot of creative processes are needed. You need to take into account many dimension of your business. Re-branding can be expensive, so proceed with caution but ultimately it is a jump and opportunity that small businesses need to wrap around in. So ask yourself that question, if your business could talk or have a say on how things are run, what would it be like?
Branding can mean so much to you and your marketing plan.
Here’s some tips and exercises that you can do to start the branding process of your business.
A survey. Ask your long time customers how they feel about your business. Ask them what comes to mind whenever they hear your companies name. Provide a feedback survey in exchange for a discount at a visit.
New logo. Pay for some mockup logos online to see what your business could look like once it’s branded. You can go to websites like fivver.com and pay only $5 for each logo. It’s worth the investment because even if that’s not the final product you want. You now how somewhere to begin with.
Identify what your competitive advantage is. What makes your business thrive, retain, and attract new customers? Once you identified that you can start branding your business around that. Next identify the colors that your business associates with. The brand development process starts here.