3 Top tips on small business branding
So you finally have your own little start-up. Your baby. For so many people it’s the ultimate dream to have a successful small business to call their own, and here you are doing it! That’s really great, so here is something you already know then. Underneath the layers of excitement and pride of being your own boss, entrepreneurship is hard! Every single aspect of the business falls on your shoulders, from rolling in the dollars to admin, marketing, crisis management and keeping a consistent and exciting brand alive. Life will happen, and business will happen, and in the flurry of our day-to-day madness, one thing (at some point) gets a little fuzzy – the brand. That’s small business for you, the solo show and unfortunately one of our biggest downfalls.
So why does this happen? It’s simple actually and I’m not afraid to say it either, but most people really don’t value their branding enough to know what a massive impact it has on their business. Most start-ups will argue that they never got the time to ‘do it right’; while the rest just feel completely overwhelmed by the topic and decide to ignore it while they get on with the more important stuff. Nurturing a brand is such an important part of building a business and it needs to be at the top of you to-do list instead of the bottom.
Deciding to take the leap and re/brand your business properly is a massive step in the right direction, but your might encounter another little problem… How do you move forward when you’re intoxicated by the excitement of creating a new logo, or sucked in by the vortex that is Pinterest? Easy, you follow these 3 pieces of advice, and get on the road to creating a brand that will last and impress.
1. Start from the bottom up
Here’s the deal, branding is not just a sexy little logo. It’s not a new website. Branding is all about the way you make people feel. It’s an impression, a projection and connection. So what impression do you leave? What do you show the world about yourself and your business through your branding? How do you use your branding to connect with your audience and create loyal brand ambassadors?
Pay careful attention to what I’m about to say friend: Branding is a framework of communication and should be laid out from the bottom up. A solid foundation will make your walls strong! Before you jump straight into the look and feel of your new brand, it’s so important to get to know your brand from the inside out. The moment you get overwhelmed or confused about what your branding should look like and what it should it entail, know that you haven’t discovered the core of your brand yet.
Here’s some questions for you:
Who is your ideal customer?
What do you want to be known for and what do you stand for?
Do you have a proper business plan in place, with clearly defined goals and a vision?
What current trends are impacting your business or your opinion about it?
What visual space in the market is currently unoccupied and how do you stand out?
Do you truly understand the depth and scope of branding and what you need to plan for?
If these questions are intimidating to you, then read on…
2. Get the help of a professional
“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.” - RED ADAIR
You take your car to a mechanic right? You go to the doctor when you’re sick? Why on earth would you decide to magically transform yourself into a professional designer in a week? It’s a real profession peeps, and it takes time, practice and actual knowledge to do a good job. Remember how I said it’s not just about a new logo…
If you don’t do your branding right from the beginning, chances are that you’re just going to redo it soon after. Your business is such an important part of your life and totally worthy of the investment. Take the time to find the right designer to help you create your real brand personality. Also, creating a strong brand from the get-go will create trust with your target audience and authority for your brand in the market place.
3. Take responsibility
And this is where things get tricky. All that beautiful design will mean nothing if it’s not applied correctly and maintained. Learn the skills if you have to or hire a professional, but make sure that every post on social media, every image, every piece of copy, every layout and every customer experience speaks about your brand personality and values. That’s the secret sauce of branding, consistency. Stay on brand and relevant at all times, and you’re on the path to beautifully branded success in no time!
If you never got the time to do it right – now is your time. I’d love to know if you thought this article was helpful, so leave a comment below and share your thoughts!