What is the first thing you think of when promoting your small business? Is it to push your blog? Maybe develop flyers or business cards? Is it to build a website and direct customers to it? Or perhaps it is to develop ads and advertisements?
Your main intention should lead to what you can do to get people to remember your business name and the services and/or products you provide! Why? Because you want them (potential customers/client) to have an interest, to support and to patronize the service or products that you provide.
Having marketing materials and placing a few ads are just elements to building a brand. In order to drive traffic and fully expose yourself as a business, you will need to consider branding. Your first thought should be: How are you going to set yourself apart from your competitors and gain market share.
Here are a few basics principles of branding that you can work at even if you are a startup company and intend to keep your business small.
- The name of your company is important. It should be something catchy that people will remember and associate with the products or services that you provide, then they are more likely to look your business up when they have a need that they suspect you can fulfill.
- On your website, be sure to have content that expresses key words, this will assist you with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- Your logo is also a very important part of how people view your company. Unless you have a degree in graphics design, it's a good idea to hire someone to create a memorable logo. Color is important. We associate certain colors with feelings, so be sure to choose the right colors. Make sure that it is something unique so that as soon as someone sees your logo, they associate it with your company instead of having to figure out what brand it is; ensure that it is unique.
- Respond well with feedback that you get from the public. People will tell you what they think about your company name, logo, or image. If you don't intend to make any major adjustments based off of the criticism, at least let your customers know that they have been heard. If you are getting a lot of negative feedback about a certain aspect of the business, do something about it!
Outside of these basics, consistency is also important to people. Whatever your company’s values may be, you need to stick to them. If you focus on customer service, then keep that up. If your company is supposed to have a young and fresh feel to it, then don't back slide into campaigns that target the elderly.
People want to see a business that has an identity. It's not that you can't make adjustments to meet a public consensus (remember, we want to respond to feedback), it's just that you want to maintain the company's goals and not compromise the values to get there.
as you can see, in a lot of ways, branding is just as important for a small business as it is for a major corporation, and many of the same rules apply when it comes to creating a brand presence. No matter how small your business is, branding helps you get the leads and recognition needed to keep the business thriving.