Most small businesses that stay small and slowly slip away into oblivion typically have one thing in common; they don’t put in enough effort, intelligence, and resources into creating a brand. In this post, we’ll talk about why building a brand is imperative for your small business and a few hacks to help you get started.
Why it matters
Think of the world’s biggest businesses; from Apple to Mercedes to Nestle to Nike. What comes to your mind? Most likely, you’ve already visualised a partially-eaten apple, a circle containing a three-pointed star, a birds’ nest, and the unmistakable swoosh that symbolises the wings of the Greek Goddess of Victory.
Instead of just seeing the names for what they are, you saw much more, and you associated them with images and the emotions they inspire. That is, in a nutshell, what branding is all about; establishing an identity for a business that resonates with its core vision and the hearts and minds of its audience.
However, building a brand isn’t a feat that can be performed overnight. It takes time, and there’s always the chance that it won’t work out as planned. But with the following tips, you can kick things off in the right direction.
Tips for building your brand the right way
Let the logo lead the way: Your business’ logo will be its most visible representative, and that’s why you need to get it sorted out before you delve any deeper into the branding process.
The type of logo you choose depends on factors such as your business niche, your target audience and how you want your target audience to perceive it (formal or informal).
Logo creation is executed at its finest by graphic designers. While it might be difficult to hire a graphic designing agency because of budget constraints, you can certainly look for freelancers online.
Garner trust: Trust is an intangible element in the branding process, but from the emotional perspective of a customer, it is arguably the most important. That’s why garnering trust for your small business among your target audience should be your primary concern once the logo is ready.
If you’re competing against businesses that are all relatively new, it won’t be too difficult to entice prospective customers. However, competition against businesses with well- established brands can take time to yield results.
Irrespective of who your competitors are, doing a few things such as providing free products and/or services and discounts can go a long way in cementing a solid relationship. Also, use social media. Thanks to a fantastic array of features on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you can conduct Q&As and share tutorials and behind-the-scenes footage to help foster long-lasting bonds built on faith and trust.
Support social causes: A certain criticism of modern-day businesses is that most of them only care about making money, and very few use that money to support social causes and humanitarian crises. The sad part is that it’s quite valid.
Social issues like poverty, unemployment, and lack of education, are plaguing the planet, and all too many businesses are turning their blind eyes to these problems. However, awareness about these issues and businesses’ apathy towards them is also on the rise among the world’s common folk.
In such a scenario, it’d be a mistake for you to ignore any social issues that you feel deeply about. Your involvement should be as both the individual that you are with your core set of beliefs and ideals and as the owner of a business that is representative of your values. Even if it’s hard for you to support a cause financially, you can always wear your support for it on your sleeve.
Take inspiration but never replicate: It’s alright to be inspired by the success of a business, but inspiration should never lead to replication.
From creating similar logos to copying website design; replication will only lead to your business being called out for being a copycat.
So, even if you’re inspired by certain elements of the brand of a big business, try to put your own spin on them. After all, uniqueness is the thing that will make your business stand out.
While you’re going about sorting out your branding, you should also consider how to protect your business. Business Insurance can range from Professional Indemnity insurance* and Public Liability insurance* to Business Pack insurance* and many more. Find out more about insurance options to cover your business at BizCover.
*As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.