One of the most important elements of any business strategy is branding. Yet is an area that many companies fail to use to its full advantage. Your brand is your identity, and it determines how you present yourself to your customers, stakeholders, and partners. It solidifies your reputation and helps to convey information about your business before someone has even picked up the phone to contact you. Your brand can drive new business and enhance people’s perception of your company. But if done incorrectly, it can have the opposite effect.
To help you define and reap the benefits of a strong brand identity, here are five essential brand strategy steps for small businesses.
Define who you are
Branding is more than a snazzy logo and a vibrant color scheme. It is who you are, and how you make people feel. Before you can get started on your graphic design or growing your customer base, you need to work on your brand identity. You probably have an idea of this already, but it’s helpful to articulate it. What are your core values and mission statements? Who is your target audience? What makes you unique in your industry? The answers to your questions will define everything you do from now on.
Create a visual representation of your brand
First impressions count, and your brand design will shape people’s perceptions about your company. Everything from your logo to your brand colors to your website layout to your business cards should match the same look and feel while conveying exactly the right tone to your customers. Create a brand style guide to ensure consistency across all your output.
Become a thought leader
You don’t have to spend millions to become a household name in your industry; you just need to know your stuff. Content marketing enables you to strengthen your branding by establishing yourself as a thought leader. Create blogs, social media posts, videos, and other content forms that provide value, education, and entertainment to your audiences.
Seek relevant partnerships
Throughout the lifetime of your business, you will partner with a variety of different companies. Your business relationships say a lot about you as a company, so make sure you only work with partners who you trust and are consistent with your brand. For example, if your brand is committed to corporate social responsibility, you should seek to partner with brands with minimal environmental impact.
Supercharge the customer experience
A customer’s perception of your brand is largely defined by the interactions they have with your company. Every aspect of their buyer journey, customer service, and the product or service they receive in exchange for their money will determine whether they feel positively or negatively about you. As a business owner, the power is in your hands to shape this interaction to your benefit. Endeavor to give your customers a positive experience that not only makes them feel good but encourages them to spread the word to others.
Creating a brand strategy can be a time-consuming process when you’re just starting, but fortunately, there is help at hand. Synergy Strategy helps small businesses launch new strategies and succeed in the marketplace. Find out more today.