Building a strong brand is important for businesses of all sizes. As a small business owner, you may be wondering how to develop a strong brand and if you need to hire an expert. Luckily, there are many different ways to brand your small business effectively that don’t require a big budget. In this post, we’ll walk through five easy steps to develop and strengthen your small business brand.
1. Create a persona to understand your audience.
Before creating your brand and messaging, you need to have a deep understanding of your audience. To get to know them, you can create a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a research-based profile that outlines the values, characteristics, and preferences of your ideal customer. It lays out their challenges and shows how your small business can help them reach their goals.
Creating personas helps you reach the right people with the right message in the right place. Check out this post to learn more about how to create a persona for your business.
2. Develop an identity and voice for your brand.
Once you understand your audience, you can create a brand identity and voice that will resonate with your customers. Developing your brand identity is similar to creating your persona but instead of answering questions about your customers, you should answer the following questions about your own company:
- What are your small business values?
- What do these values represent?
- How do you want people to talk about you?
- What challenges does your business solve?
- What sets your business apart from the competition?
As you answer these questions, you should create content that supports the main messages that can be woven through emails, blogs, social posts, and website copy. Make sure that your messages reflect your business’s mission, vision, and values. Developing your brand voice will come through in the copy you create. Would your content resonate better with your audiences if you had a serious tone? Or should you use more conversational language to connect with customers?
3. Design your brand visuals.
Once you define your target customers and create your brand messaging, you can start designing your brand. This step is important to businesses of all sizes. Here are the key elements that will make up your brand’s visual identity:
Your small business logo is like the face of your company. It should be the first thing that you design for your brand, as it will guide the other aspects of your visual identity. You can create a compelling logo even if you’re not an experienced graphic designer using a logo generator tool like Canva. Make sure that your logo tells a story that connects to your brand identity and will resonate with your customers.
Brand Style Guide:
Once you design your logo, you can establish the other visuals that make up your brand. You can compile these into a brand style guide. This should include your color palette, typography, photography, icons, and any other elements that make up your brand look and feel. This is a great way to outline the do’s and don’t’s of your brand and ensure that all collateral and brand materials have a consistent design.
Once you’ve established your brand visual identity, you can create other collateral, like your business cards. Canva also offers a great, free business card maker.
Your website is likely the first place a customer will go to learn about your business. You should make sure that it’s consistent with your brand look and feel. Check out this post to explore powerful and affordable website builders for a small business on the Internet.
Depending on your business, you might need to design additional brand collateral outside of this list, like eBooks, letterheads, or product packaging.
4. Establish yourself as a subject matter expert with the right content.
As a small business owner, you may not have a large marketing budget. Luckily, you don’t need to spend tons of money to get yourself in front of the right people with content marketing. Content marketing is a strategic marketing tactic that focuses on creating and publishing content that is valuable and relevant to your audience. It allows you to demonstrate your industry expertise, strengthen your branding, and provide value to your customers.
Content marketing is affordable, so it is great for businesses who are working on a small budget. Do your research to figure out what kinds of questions your customers are asking, and then create content that answers those questions. There is a ton of information that your customers need to know, and through content marketing, you can help answer their questions, build loyalty, and ultimately drive more business on the Internet.
5. Look for partnership opportunities.
Partnerships are another great way to build brand loyalty with your audience. If you partner with a business that potential customers already trust, they’ll be much more likely to trust your business as well. To find potential partners, look for companies that your customers do business with but are not direct competitors. A partner business should also be aligned with your brand mission, vision, and values.
Branding might seem like a large undertaking, but it is essential. By following these steps, you can create a strong brand that resonates with your customers, even if your resources are limited. Make sure to have fun throughout the process. While branding requires strategy, it’s a fun and creative exercise that can set your business up for success.