How to Build a Successful Small Business Brand
Branding” has become a bit of a business buzzword lately, but what does it really mean – and why do you need to do it?
Your brand is how your audience sees you and so branding is the process of shaping that perception. It’s an important process because ultimately, your brand is what makes you unique. It’s why your audience chooses you over a competitor. A strong brand increases customer trust and attracts clients left, right and centre.
At the same time, a lot of work goes into building a brand. Many business owners just don’t know where to start, or they put it off for later due to limited time and resources. However, building a brand doesn’t have to cost the earth. Here are some simple and affordable ways to build a successful brand for your small business.
Create a Brand Statement
The first step towards creating a successful brand is figuring out who you are, and how you want to convey that to the world. It’s a good idea to come up with a brand statement to clarify the mission and values of your business. A brand statement acts as a compass to guide you in the right direction with the rest of the process. The more specific you can be, the better.
- What’s the purpose of my business?
- What are my core values?
- How do I want to provide value to my customers?
- What’s unique about my business?
- What do I want to share with the world?
Your brand statement should be no more than a few sentences long, but it should accurately summarise who you are and what you’re trying to achieve. This lays a solid foundation for building your brand.
Get Personal on Social Media
When it comes to small businesses, clients and customers want to know about the person behind it all. By showing up on social media and actively engaging with your audience, you can leverage your personal brand to create a real connection with your audience. Position yourself as an expert and your audience will place their trust in you.
Brands which trigger an emotional response are the ones that garner loyal followings, so it pays to get personal with your audience. You put your heart and soul into your business, so allow your followers to see that online.
Bill Gates once said “content is king” and as usual, he was right. Content marketing allows you to engage and entertain your audience, but more than that, it helps you to demonstrate your expertise. By creating content that helps and educates your audience, you’ll win their trust and they’ll come to see you as an expert in your field – and who wouldn’t want to buy from an expert?
See your blog and social media pages not just as places to advertise yourself but as a useful resource for your audience. Identify their pain points, answer their questions and add as much value as you can. Content marketing is an amazing opportunity to show your audience who you are and what you do.
As well as being a great way to show off, content marketing is also a very affordable way of marketing, which is fantastic news for small businesses who don’t have the funds for flashy ad campaigns. It may be worth your while to outsource at least some of your content so that you don’t lose focus on your core business.
In social situations, you’re judged by the company you keep. The same is true in business. Collaborations are an excellent way to boost brand awareness and reach a new audience, and the brands you collaborate with act as a reflection on you.
The key to successful brand collaborations is to find a business with a similar target audience to your own, but totally different products or services. Coca-Cola and Pepsi don’t collaborate. Coca-Cola and fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger, however, have collaborated multiple times with great success.
Let’s say you own an eco-friendly fashion brand, and you’d like to partner with an influencer to promote your latest collection. Choosing someone who shows blatant disregard for the environment will harm your reputation, but partnering with an influencer who speaks passionately on the subject will confirm that you’re a company that cares. In addition, the latter’s followers would be much more interested in what you’re offering.
Great branding doesn’t require piles of cash. The most important thing is that you clearly understand your business, your target audience and how you want them to perceive you. Once you’ve figured that out, get creative and try out these simple tips to build a recognisable brand that really resonates with your audience.