How Important is Branding your Small Business, Really?
Your brand is what sets you apart from your competition in the minds of customers. Brand recognition is vital in securing business; a buyer can't purchase your product if he can't remember who you are or how to find you. The best companies are those whose brands are easy to remember and instantly recognizable.
If you haven't put much thought into building your brand yet, here are a few tips that can help you in focusing your marketing strategy:
1. Choose a name that's relevant and meaningful.
Don't let yourself get too caught up trying to think of something cool or catchy for a brand name; focus instead on a name that's easy to remember and gives some idea of what kind of service you offer. You don't want a customer to pass you by because she doesn't know that your company offers the service she needs.
2. Develop a voice.
Businesses have personalities, and customers will choose their business interactions based upon that perceived personality. Be sure that the persona you're putting out for the world is consistent with your business goals. If you want your clients to feel safe and secure, your marketing strategy may be different than if you want to develop a playful relationship with the customer. Nearly any voice can work, but it has to be unique and consistent across all forms of communication.
3. Create a strong logo and use it.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and the visual impact of your logo goes a long way toward building brand recognition. If a potential buyer is able to recognize your brand at a glance, you are more likely to get be remembered and noticed. Your logo belongs on all of your communications.
4. Respond to feedback.
Pay careful attention to any feedback you receive about your brand, slogan, logo or marketing campaign. If something isn't working, try to figure out why so that you can implement the necessary changes. If something is working well, try to analyze why so that you can make it even better.
5. Be consistent.
A company logo, slogan or even voice is not a brand in itself; rather, all of the pieces work together to create your unique brand. Although you might make minor changes to your brand as you determine what works best, you should always strive to present a unified front to your customers. By keeping your message and delivery consistent, you can show that your brand is trustworthy and dependable.
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- Written by Jessica Bosari, a contributor for Forbes Magazine