If you are not familiar with the term “branding,” you should be. Branding is the practice of setting your business apart from the competition. This is done through a combination of unique visuals, exceptional service, and research. Magazine Training International explores simple ways that you can manage your brand from the very beginning.
Market research is key
Before you can begin any branding strategy, you must first research your market. This involves gathering data to create a strategy that turns potential customers into lifelong clients. You have to research your target demographic before you know how to get their attention. One of the simplest and most effective ways to start is by creating surveys and interview opportunities. Surveys are spread to a wide group of individuals, and you can use these to help narrow down who’s most likely to buy from you. Interviews are the most insightful, and they give you an opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with someone who typifies your ideal customer.
Now that you know who your customer is, you can get to work creating your brand. According to 99 Designs, this starts with a logo. Your logo is essentially a snapshot of your company’s personality.
If your market research found your customers enjoy humor, incorporate this into your logo. Have a more somber crowd? Use a muted color palette to express the serious side of your brand. Your brand may also include a tagline, such as Subway’s “Eat Fresh.” More than just words and visuals, your brand is also defined by how your business operates. Because of this, you want to make sure that all of your employees are trained the same way. This applies to all aspects of your business from how you conduct sales to how you present your final product at the point of purchase.
Change is good
Sometimes, our brands don’t work the way that we want them to. Either we give out the wrong message or our brands simply do not grow with time. To keep your business in a state of forward motion, you have to know when to change things up to better meet your customers’ needs.
One of the best ways to pad yourself against change is to try different marketing methods. This could be something as simple as adding a complementary product or service or showcasing the end result of your efforts from the very beginning. Small changes may also start by simply redesigning your logo, which can be powerful. Just look at Netflix and Pizza Hut’s logo redesigns to see why.
Updates don’t have to hurt your budget
Many small business owners mistakenly believe that branding or rebranding is an expensive and lengthy process. While it is true that it can be, there are many things you can do on your own. One idea is to change the layout of your store so that you can keep it clean for your in-person guests. Remove clutter and make sure all of your fixtures and furniture are dust and stain-free. You can also change the way your employees dress to a standard uniform.
Something you don’t want to do on your own is change your design. You should absolutely have input into how your business is represented, but keep in mind that a professional graphic designer will help you do more than simply make your business look great. They’ll help to ensure that you have brand consistency and that your logos, fonts, colors, and other visual elements are translatable across all types of media. Outsourcing the design can also save you time and trouble as you grow.
Your brand tells the world what your business is about. It is worth putting some time, energy, and money into marketing it. Even if it must change in the future, the way that people remember you is the best way to ensure that they call you instead of the competition.
by Emma Grace Brown
Photo by Faizur Rehman on Unsplash