One of the most valuable aspects of a business is its branding. People will flock to brands that are familiar, trendy, and reliable. A good product gets you far, but there are other good products in the market as well. It is through brand marketing that your business can get an edge over the competition. Small businesses will be fighting tooth and nail against corporations that have all the cards in their deck.
However, the digital age has balanced the scales somewhat. Now, small businesses have access to technology that big businesses have. Social media, SEO tools, and data analytics allow small businesses to keep up. It’s important not just to build your business, but your entire brand as well. Today, we’ll be discussing just that.
Where Do We Start?
There is a long list of ways to build your brand. Still, here is a macro view of the essentials you need to reach your business goal.
Analyze Your Audience
First of all, establish who your demographic is. There’s little point to building a brand without a specific vision in mind. Research thoroughly what demographics use your brand most. From there, you start building your brand to their liking. Remember, branding is all about what the customer likes to see. Always keep track of what customers like first and foremost, and think of how you can use that.
Build a “straw man” of your average customer. Check all the most notable traits that your core demographic displays such as age, gender, income, education level, and location. From there, you start getting into the details, such as which products they feel an affinity for. Understanding customers on a personal level is key to a successful brand.
Outline Your Usefulness
Yes, it’s true, a small business has far fewer resources than a big company. But remember, even the biggest brands started small. The key is to offer something that potential leads won’t see anywhere else. For example, Microsoft started with absolutely nothing. However, they convinced IBM that they had something they didn't. They didn’t even have the operating system yet, but they had the means to acquire it. More importantly, they had the drive to pull through.
As industry expert Simon Sinek puts it, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. In essence, your business is about finding people you can convince. It’s about finding a demographic that wants what you offer, and convincing them they need it. This goes double if your small business isn’t for a dedicated niche, but a relatively common commodity.
Keep Competitors Close
Competitors are in the branding game as well, same as you. It’s only natural that they have their marketing strategies. Whether they succeed or fail, all that matters is that you pay close attention. When they fail, study why their campaign didn’t take off. If they succeed, start thinking of ways that your brand can innovate that success.
Do note that the key word here is “innovate.” The goal of a brand is standing out, and you can’t do that by being an imitator. Make sure you add your unique twist to the strategy. Keep a handy spreadsheet of your competitors and keep track of how they are doing. It’s a big world out there, and you need to use every tool at your disposal, even if it’s a competitor’s.
Utilize Social Media
Nowadays, every single business entity has a social media page. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are the leading platforms for online advertising. There are no barriers to joining any of these sites. All you need is a business and a passion for building your brand. That’s why the humblest cafes to the biggest corporations have social media pages.
According to a study conducted in 2021, people spend an average of an hour and a half on social media. An hour and a half is plenty of time for people to see your brand. For example, FB has built-in advertising that lets you make your ads more visible. Lastly, spice up your social media strategy by creating great content via posts, videos, and promotional images.
Keep Branding Consistent
Your brand needs to have a distinct voice. It shouldn’t keep changing on a whim. People adore familiarity. They will stick closer to brands they know and love. Make sure that your aesthetic, from the colors you use to the logos on your products, remains consistent. That doesn’t mean you can’t update your brand in the future, of course.
However, you need to make sure that new additions retain the core things your audience is familiar with. For example, Apple has consistently prefixed most of their products with the lowercase “i”. iMac, iPods, iPhones, and iPads can’t be seen as anything but Apple products. A simple thing, but it has kept Apple afloat for decades, outliving even its creator. That should be your brand’s goal.
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Written by Chatty Garrate
Chatty is a freelance writer from Manila. She finds joy in inspiring and educating others through writing. That's why aside from her job as a language evaluator for local and international students, she spends her leisure time writing about various topics such as lifestyle, technology, and business.
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