As a business, you want to be noticed. An effective branding strategy is what makes a business raise its profile and become instantly recognisable. It’s nothing to do with the products you sell or how many customers you have – branding is the most direct way to make your company recognisable. It’s the very essence of your business, and elements such as your logo, tone of voice and website can play a huge part in the consumer buying decision.
So how do small businesses go about creating a distinguished brand? SMEs obviously don’t have the budgets of international branding geniuses such as Apple, Facebook or McDonald’s. However, clever branding doesn’t cost the earth. Taking time to understand your target customer and produce a clear strategy is more important than picking the most expensive branding and web design agencies.
Here are some top tips for ensuring you produce a noticeable brand from the beginning.
Consistency really is the golden ingredient when it comes to branding. If you send out conflicting messages, then consumers won’t recognise what the business stands for. From the logo design on digital and printed materials being identical, to being consistent with your social media posts and hashtags, keep everything the same to avoid mixed messages and confusion.
Instil Core Values
Every company needs core values, but it’s no use writing them down once and filing them away. First of all, make sure that your workforce understand the core values and mission of the business, and how their actions affect them. Everything an employee says or does should reflect the business values.
The first thing most consumers respond to is design. It could be the design of your website or your product packaging, the shop front or a marketing leaflet. It’s incredibly important that you prioritise design, because many people will judge a business on its design. Consider the colours used within your branding, the fonts and the types of feeling it evokes. It’s always worth investing in a professional designer rather than a DIY job, because it gives a high end feel to the brand.
Create a document which can be referred to – a brand guide for your business. Make this available for not just your own staff, but send it to any freelancers or design agencies you may work with too. Copywriters and web designers should understand everything about your business and how you want it to be branded.
Take a look at our other articles for more expert branding tips and branding news.