At its core, branding focuses on getting potential customers to relate to a business or product. Building on that, it’s about creating a synonymous connection between a product or service and the business. Branding opportunities don’t happen overnight, and it can be a hard and time-consuming undertaking. When not done correctly, certain branding opportunities can represent a bank-breaking budget item. As a result, unfortunately, it carries the connotation of being exceedingly expensive. It doesn’t have to be.
For many small businesses, be it a local bakery made up of five employees or a manufacturing company with 500 linemen, the investment in branding will need to be small but efficient. Whether your business is larger or smaller than the two examples given, the goal is the same; to build your brand as an expert in your market. By implementing the suggestions below, you can lay the groundwork for effective branding opportunities for any business.
Step One: Understand and Communicate Your Brand Values
Cost-effective branding begins with a clear understanding of your company’s brand values. Defining what you want your brand to say to the world helps frame the rest of the approach. This might seem easy on the face of it, but it can represent a pretty tricky undertaking. The biggest upside is that it won’t cost you a penny when done yourself. Take the time to decide on your “mission statement” and things that set your brand apart.
The company The North Face is an excellent example of branding done well. Early on in their business, they decided to focus on unity as one of their core values. Every marketing activity serves to make potential customers feel included in the business. They’ve created a relatable brand and clearly outlined their values. This simple act provides a powerful psychological motivator to buy their products.
A Tagline is a Powerful Tool
Defining the values your brand stands on is step one. Step two is summarizing them through a simple tagline. Your tagline’s goal is to frame your values and present them in a way that your potential customers understand the benefits to them. Shopify does this through its tagline “make e-commerce better for everyone.” With that simple concept, Shopify customers recognize the brand is there to help them sell better online. The tagline should summarize your business. All marketing actions and product decisions should be informed by the tagline you set and reflect it.
The Importance of a Good Logo
There’s possibly nothing more important than having a great logo. It’s also very easy to get it wrong, as we at Shop Style Design can attest. It took us two attempts to settle on the logo we use today. The image of a train wreck could most closely represent one of our previous logos.
When setting out to design your logo, understand the logo will stick with your brand for years. In fact, it’s the primary element that will force the brand connection to the customer’s mind. While we’re living proof, you can change your logo, and you mustn’t rush through the logo creation process. Always consider how your logo will stand out from others within the field.
We wish we’d followed this advice when we launched with our first logo. It can be a powerful thing to design your logo, print it out, and stick it somewhere you’ll see it every day for a week or so. This is an easy way to understand anything about it that will annoy you early in the process. Assuming the logo doesn’t pass the annoyance test on the first go-round, you can make revisions before it sees the eyes of the public. Designing your logo should represent the single most expensive branding element and is worth working with a professional on.
Leveraging the Internet to Build Your Brand
The Internet provides an excellent opportunity to work on your branding with little cost. Your business has a chance to build its name as an expert in the market. This can be done through content marketing and well-executed social media accounts.
Social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and more provide a free platform for businesses to get their name out there. You can use your social media channels to post content in line with the brand’s values or resources useful to your customers for free. You can also run promotions targeted towards engagement for less than five dollars a day. Time will represent the most significant expenditure when working on social media and is well worth the investment.
Early on, it can be valuable to conduct social listening to understand where your potential customers are talking about either your or your competitors’ products. This allows you to join the conversation and increase your visibility.
Summing it Up
The importance of different branding opportunities has increased every year as more people look to the internet to make purchases and are met with an ever-increasing number of options. It is more important than ever to make use of different branding opportunities to stand out. We hope the steps and suggestions above help build your brand and set it apart. If you are ever interested in speaking with Shop Style Design experts about your branding, schedule a call, and we would be thrilled to discuss the possibilities.