Why is branding so critical to small businesses? In simple terms, it’s what sets you apart from your competitors. It’s your unique identity as a business, not just in terms of logo design and color (although those are important) but in terms of your messaging and your presentation. In other words… branding is kind of a big deal. Whether you’re a new business building a brand from the ground up, or you’re thinking about a rebranding strategy, use our brand development strategy checklist as a road map.
Discover Your Brand!
Before you do anything else, sit down, have a nice cup of coffee, and think about your business. What is your business’s mission? Who are your current customers? Who are the potential customers you want to reach? What are the qualities you want them to associate with your business? Defining your brand is the hardest part, and it’s worth getting some outside branding strategy help from a branding agency with experience helping companies establish their brand or rebrand themselves in a professional manner.
- Design a compelling logo. Your logo is your symbol, your totem, your mark. Use it on your website, your emails, your social media channels….everywhere. It’s worth taking seriously, and it’s worth outsourcing to an experienced logo designer.
- Develop a tagline. A tagline is a short, memorable phrase that captures your business and your brand, and it needs to play nicely with your logo. Check out our branding portfolio to see some companies with great logo/tagline combos.
- Brand your collateral. You’ve got a great logo and tagline—now use it. Create templates and brand standards to make sure that all your marketing materials that use the same logo, color schemes, and overall look and feel. This applies to business cards, letterhead, brochures, and signage, just to name a few examples.
- Make sure your messaging reflects your brand. What’s the key message that you want to communicate to your followers, existing customers, and potential clients? Here’s where you emphasize your quality of service, your experience, your thought leadership in your industry, your commitment to your community, your history…this is where your storytelling shines through.
- Create your voice. The language and tone you use should reflect your brand. Are you fun and casual? Formal? Edgy? It depends on your audience and the image you want to convey—what a data storage company seeking government contracts uses will obviously be very different than a community-focused consumer business. This is the voice you use in your emails, your social media posts, and your website content.
- Extend your brand through social media. Again, you need to understand the audience you want to reach. The content you share on your social media channels needs to use your voice and your message.
- What about your website? Does your website accurately reflect your brand in terms of your design and content? If you’re a new company building your brand, you need to integrate it into your site from the beginning. If you’re rebranding, it’s time to take a serious look at your site—this is a good time to see if your website needs a makeover.
No matter what your company does or who your audience is, the key to successful branding (or rebranding) is consistency. Promote your brand identity in every way your company communicates. The process of defining and developing your brand might seem daunting, because it involves many moving parts: design, content, strategy. An experienced branding and design agency can help you get pointed in the right direction and refine your business’s brand. After all, your brand is inseparable from your company—it’s worth your investment of time and money.