One of the most frustrating things about small businesses owners is their potential ignorance with regards to branding. Not all small business owners are like this of course, but there is a large majority that doesn’t understand the repercussions of poor branding.
Remember, branding is not just a logo or the visual aspect of your business, it’s so much more.
Today I wanted to share my tips on how to build a successful brand for your small business, in just 8 steps.
1 | Determine your business purpose - Find your “Why”
As a small business owner myself, I know WHY I have set up my own business, my “Why” is because I LOVE designing. I love helping other small business owners determine a strong visual identity for their small business, it’s my passion. I also love working with others, being able to understand and really represent my clients' vision and goals. It’s very satisfying, and motivating!
Finding the real motivation behind why you want to, or why you did, start your own business, will help determine your business purpose. It will also help you feel motivated, focused and encourage you to want the best for your business.
2 | Define your core values
Your core values will help you stay true to your business purpose. By identifying your core values, you are able to be intentional in your business and therefore in your brand. This can lead to success as every step you take is based on the core values you determine.
3 | Determine your USP
Your USP is what will set you apart. Do you have a unique skill set, career path or life story? We all have our own experiences and are unique, so being able to embrace this and use it positively in your small business can really help your brand to become successful.
4 | Determine your target audience and your competitors
By determining your target audience and identifying who your ideal clients are you can really target your audiences most basic problem. This will help you understand your business in greater depth and also help you build a successful brand as you are able to really delve in portraying how you have the solution for your target audiences issues or problems.
By determining who your competitors are you can really highlight what you admire about how they help their target audience - what do they do? How do they do it?
Ideally, you want to find businesses that you admire and see as a source of inspiration, and learn from them. It’s not always about competing in business.
5 | Create a strong visual brand identity
A strong brand is easy to recognise - think, Apple, Starbucks, Nike. They all have a strong brand and a very strong brand identity. You know when you see the Apple logo, that it is Apple. You know when you see the Starbucks logo that it is Starbucks. That “swoosh”, that “tick” - You know it’s Nike.
A strong visual identity will help you stand out from the crowd, it will differentiate you from your competitors, it will make you look professional and it will build trust, credibility and loyalty.
It’s important to get this right, as it can be expensive to your business and to the success of your business if it goes wrong.
There is no shame in contacting a designer (like me) to help you with your branding, in fact, it will more than likely be one of the best decisions you could make for your small business, and for its success.
Psst...Take a look at my Portfolio, or my brand identity package I have on my Work With Me page if you are interested in working with me.
6 | Find and form your business personality
Your business personality is ultimately the voice of your business and your brand. By finding and forming this, you are one step closer to building a successful brand. How? I hear you say…
Well, what you say in your business - whether to yourself, your employees or even a VA that is temporarily helping you out, determines your company's voice, and therefore HOW you say it is very important.
Your business personality could be one of a number of things, for example, it could be:
You can still be professional and build trust with a friendly approach.
For example, the tone of voice, and language used on your website could be serious, however, if this is different from the language used in your social media replies, well it can be confusing!
Ultimately you want your business personality and voice to be determined to help reinforce your strong brand, which will lead to success.
7 | Be consistent
Consistency is key to building a successful brand. I can’t stress this enough. It’s crazy to see just how many small business owners are not consistent. Using different fonts, colours, and even logos for your small business can really play a massive part in the failure of your business.
Your clients, customers, and audience will not be able to identify or relate, with your small business if they don not see or feel consistency. They simply won’t trust you. Hence, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.. Consistency is key people!!
8 | Integrate your brand into every aspect of your business
By integrating your brand into every aspect of your business you are really being your brand champion and helping your brand to be successful.
As a small business owner, no-one knows your brand better than you, and so whether it be your response via email, or on the phone, really remember to bring in your business personality, remember to use the right colours and fonts when you do any work that requires your visual representation - use your brand board. If you are looking to take on a VA, or work with someone, make sure they are aware of your brand identity, your business personality, your mission and goals. It really will aid in the success of your small business.
A strong brand is key to success for any business, however, it is even more important for small businesses where the competition can be tough and you really need to stand out from the crowd.
As part of my Brand Identity package and my Startup package, both which are tailored to the needs of small businesses, I provide a specially created Workbook that helps you to identify your business purpose, core values and USP and more. I can help you build a successful brand for your small business, if you’re interested in taking that step, drop me an email or send me a message for a no obligation, no strings attached chat.
What successful brands do you identify with? Why do you think that brand is so successful?