Brand Building For Your Small Business
Branding your small business will be one of the most important steps that you will take to make your business successful and your name known to potential customers. Brand building begins before you even open your doors and is an ongoing process that is used to become a known leader in your industry.
To a small business name recognition can mean everything. Often small businesses are built by word of mouth and some business cards but so much more can be done to help your business grow. You need to develop your small businesses image. It needs to become a brand. Even if your company only serves your local market you can still build up its brand name.
So what exactly is branding? Branding is the process of creating a clear, consistent message about your company or product. Branding is about developing an image for your business. It’s about building a name for yourself, and showcasing what sets you apart from other businesses that do what you do. And with all the different forms of media in use today branding is used to send out a consistent message to consumers.
There are many aspects that can be covered when we talk about branding but they all start with one theme. A business must build and display a consistent message for consumers.
Branding refers to the concrete symbols that are used such as a name, logo, slogan, design, fonts, color scheme, symbols and sound for easy identification of the product. Building consistency for our brand is the first step in building our image.
Okay so what exactly do we mean by building consistency? Well from the first day your business had its doors open and you made your first business transaction you started sending out your message.The message you decided to send was actually made before you opened your doors. You started making your choices when you ordered your business cards, letterhead, stationary, and signage for vehicles, signage for your storefront, and uniforms for you and your employees. Everything that your customer will see related to your business is a part of the image and brand you are trying to develop.
When someone looks in the phonebook and finds your company they are exposed to your brand because they see your advertising. If they first want to find out more information on your company they might check out your website. This is another opportunity for them to see your brand. When they come to visit your location or you go to see them this is another opportunity for them to see your brand through building or vehicle signage. And then you give them a business card or brochure telling them about your product or service. Once again they are exposed to your brand.
From that first contact your potential customer receives exposure to your brand and then each instance thereafter reinforces that first contact. If you run television or print ads this can further reinforce previous contact with customers. If their experience was good when they dealt with your company then when they need such a product or service again they’ll remember you and be inclined towards doing business with you again. And when they hear of a friend that is interested in the same service they may be inclined to recommend you.
Your business is a brand especially if your business is service oriented and does not have an actual product. And your brand building begins before you even open your doors to the public. It needs to be a part of your marketing plan for your business so that you can begin to imprint it on the consciousness of consumers as soon as you open your doors.