You’re a small business owner with a new product and need to get the word out to your customers and prospects as soon as possible to promote sales. But, because ten other matters of urgency come up during this time that need immediate attention, you put this on the backburner until you realize you can’t wait any longer.
You quickly paste together a sell sheet with your company name in a random font, and use a basic template from Word to develop the look and content for an email blast and mailer promoting the new product. Not ideal, you think, but it will do for now.
It’s not a rare occurrence that small business owners overlook the importance of branding for their company or find that the idea of developing and maintaining a brand for their business is overwhelming. These working entrepreneurs are often wearing many hats during the business day, from CEO, to sales person, to operations manager, to marketing coordinator and everything in between, and simply don’t have the internal resources to stop and take a look at the overall marketing landscape including their on-going brand efforts.
Unfortunately, this lack of branding will not help in increasing sales and in fact could very well be hurting your business overall. In the increasingly more digitally connected world we live in, the development and continued use of a consistent branding message is essential for success.
What is a Brand?
A widely used, simple definition is that “your brand is a promise to your customer.” It is a packaged statement of what your company is and once established, it is an expectation by customers and potential customers of what your company will deliver.
More than ever before, current and potential customers are finding companies in unique ways through social networking, blog posts, and digital word of mouth to name a few. And without an established brand and cohesive message about who you are as a company, there may be no connection with marketing activity that is not directly associated with your website.
Here are some things to get you started on building your brand:
- Determine want makes your company unique.
What do you want to be known for? What can you do for your customers that your competitors can’t? Define an overall mission for the company and then determine the qualities that support that mission. If you already have an established mission, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate to make sure that it accurately represents who you are as a company.
- Develop a logo and tagline.
Create an image in the form of a logo that will become your company’s unique identifier. If you already have a logo, perhaps consider a freshening of the graphic while maintaining the established look. And, if you don’t already have one or it needs improvement, develop a tagline that will enhance your brand and communicate who your company is and what it does.
- Use this logo and tagline everywhere.
To help establish your brand, use your logo a tagline on any form of communication related to your company – website, social media, business cards, letterhead, email marketing, print advertising, even your email signature.
- Be consistent.
Be consistent, not only with use of your logo, tagline, and overall message, but also with how you interact with your prospects and customers. Let them get to know your brand and know what to expect (assuming you are providing a good experience) so that they want to come back.
It’s mentioned above that your brand is a promise to your customer. Now that you have an established brand, you need to deliver on this promise. Make sure that as a company, you can meet the expectations you have set in the establishment of the mission and qualities that define your brand.
If you’re not sure where to begin on this branding endeavor, or are looking for support on a refresh, contact someone who can help.