// // Branding basics for your small business//
As a small business owner, you spend many hours thinking and working on many different aspects of running your own shop, and getting to the profitability stage should be your main goal… You know that your customer service will be un-matched, and you’re confident your products will shine amongst competitors – but HOW do you get your brand to reflect what sets you apart, gets noticed, and customers wanting your products and services? Here’s a few simple branding tips that will help get you well on your way to building your brand in your community – whether it be Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Denver or Cheyenne.
- A brand is a brand – Your brand isnt about your customers choosing you over your competitors, rather it’s about them seeing you as the solution to their problem. This means that you clearly need to research the wants and needs of your customers and prospects, and determine how your brand can personify your solution for them. Don’t rely on what you think they need, you need to know what they’re thinking. At some point, everyone will quickly recognize your company’s brand and emotionally respond to your message.
- Lego my Logo – Wouldnt it be cool to have a logo so popular (like sports teams, sports apparrel, etc.) that complete strangers would pay to show it off! Companies that have achieved this (like sports apparel manufacturers) spent millions on getting their logo to that level of notoriety, and it will probably never happen for the small business – but it’s fun to dream anyway :). It does though, underscore the importance of a nice simple, recognizable design.
- Ha-ha very funny – Laughter is the best medicine, right? Although keeping things light can work in some instances with a company’s branding and logo, make sure it matches what your firm does. If it’s a little over the top your prospective buyers may not take you seriously. Law firms, financial advisors, insurance companies, etc. probably don’t benefit too much from a logo featuring a cartoon character in a straw hat. On the other hand, a local rafting company’s brand/logo doesn’t need to look like something that a big corporation would have.
- Tag, your “it”! – Develop a tagline that personifies your brand in a meaningful and concise way. It should work together with your logo since the two will be together all the time. Your logo and tagline is the one-two punch that defines your small business’s brand in a manner of seconds – it should be easy to remember, and tell complete strangers what defines your company.
- Constantly consistant – Make sure your brand is always shown in a consistan manner – on business cards, letterhead, signs, web site, social media pages, uniforms, vehicle graphics, and all forms of advertisment. Being consistent in your branding and customer experience is key for real, honest buy-in from everyone that interacts with your small business.
The main thing to remember is that your brand is what sets you apart from the guy down the street. It shows what your business is about, what’s important, and who you stand for.