Everybody’s fingerprints are different and unique to only you. The same can be said about what it means to brand what you do. More importantly, your brand is your unique stamp that identifies your product or service. It gives you credibility in your specific marketplace, while providing your customer with what they want and need. Building your brand starts with developing a reputation for delivering unquestionably good service or an exceptional product. That alone builds a loyal customer base. However, no matter how good you are at what you do, there’s always the competition. That’s why branding is essential in separating you from your competitors.
We’re all familiar with the Coca-Cola brand, right? It’s ubiquitous and certainly has become a piece of Americana. But why does it stand out in our minds? It’s recognizable. From its shiny bright red can, crafty logo, to “It’s the Real Thing” slogan. These are all the elements that help to brand a product.
Okay, you’re a small business and don’t have the corporate finances to brand your product or service. To the contrary, first and foremost you must think big, and you, too, can create the same enthusiasm and recognition around your business as Coca-Cola has done.
Where do you begin? Let’s start with the basics. One key concept to remember is branding your small business is about creating an image for your products or services. Consider what do you want people to remember about your products/service?
You must be consistent and repetitious in using the same colors, and placing logo and slogan on everything you do.
However, if you’re not of the creative ilk, you’ll need to hire a professional graphic designer. Trust me, it will be well worth the investment.
Nothing turns people off more than poor quality collateral, be it home made flyers or lackluster packaging. You need to present a professional polished look. All customer facing materials should reflect the same quality that has garnered your product or service a good reputation.
You certainly want to make sure your brand is seen everywhere. How do you do that? You can have your logo embossed on everything from buttons and pens to calendars or bottles of water. Then get these items in the hands of everyone you meet. You can purchase these items in bulk at a low cost and the return will far outweigh what you spent.
Next make sure your digital identity reflects your brand. Your logo, brand colors, slogan and other brand assets should be reflected on your web site and social media accounts.
Use your brand on everything you do and mirror that on your digital collateral, such as e-blasts and email campaigns.
I leave you with this: branding is not about getting your target audience to choose you over others, but to get them to recognize you instantly and as a source for providing them with what they want and need.