Your company’s brand is its heart and soul, responsible for shaping audience perception, attracting advocates, and setting you apart from the competitors. The appropriate brand is the result of a number of interconnected variables, all of which are intended to alter people’s perceptions of your business. It’s no different than your name and personality as a human – which is why it is so important no matter how small or large your company is. We’ve developed a checklist for you:
Understanding Branding and its Components
First off, we begin by breaking down ‘branding’ into three distinct stages:
- Brand Strategy: Using purpose, promises, and problem-solving potential to map out how you are unusual, trustworthy, memorable, and pleasant to your ideal consumer.
- Brand Identity: Communicating the brand strategy to the public using graphics, messaging, and experience for maximum impact.
- Brand Marketing: How businesses or organizations use strategic communication to showcase and raise awareness of products or services and connect values and voices to the proper audience.
The Ultimate Branding Checklist for Small Businesses
Discover Your Brand’s Purpose
Ask yourself questions like – Why is my brand here? What makes my brand unique? What kind of issues does my business deal with? Why should anyone be concerned about my products and services? Then, through a tagline, slogans, value propositions, voice, messaging, storytelling, customer reviews, and more, use these concepts to inform the core of your branding.
Identify Your Audience
Keep in mind who you’re attempting to reach when developing your brand. Your objective and message will be tailored to their specific requirements. Narrowing your target audience focus gives you a competitive advantage. As an example, if you only provide goods/services to businesses in Texas, you must speak Texan and know how these owners will connect with your brand.
Research Your Industry or Niche Competitors
Begin by compiling a spreadsheet of brand competitors for comparison. Choose a few competitors for your comparison chart; two to four (2-4) is a nice quantity. Examine their message consistency, product or service quality, customer reviews or social media mentions, and marketing techniques, to name a few. How are they like you? How are they different?
Create Your Brand’s Look
Brand colors can have a psychological effect on clients. Red, for example, is bold and passionate, whereas blue is reliable and restful. The fonts you choose can also have a significant impact on how your customers perceive your brand. Serif typefaces are classic and authoritative, whereas sans-serif fonts are more modern and welcoming. The kinds of images, illustrations, and pictures you use on your products, packaging, website, and advertisements also impact brand building.
Design a Unique Logo
Your logo, along with your name, will be one of the first things your customers see about your company. A good logo should be relevant and simple to comprehend. Working with a professional designer to capture your visual essence is the best approach to ensure your logo has the proper effect. Using a name like ours, Marsh and Mihaly, doesn’t work without adding Marketing. We don’t want our prospective clients to think we are attorneys or bankers, so the business category is important.
Form a Unique Brand Voice and Tone
The tone with which you communicate with your customers and how they respond to you is known as your brand’s voice. Professional, Friendly, Service-oriented, Authoritative, Technical, Promotional, Conversational, Informative, and so on are all options depending on your company’s mission, audience, and industry.
Outline a Strong Story and Messaging
When developing a brand, tell customers who you are in a few words. Customers will fall in love with your business and respect your brand if you tell them your fantastic narrative.
Integrate Your Brand into Every Aspect of Business: Customer Relationships, Online Presence, Marketing, and More!
Your brand should be visible and audible in everything your customer sees, reads, or hears. Your brand should appear on everything physical, including business cards, marketing, packaging, and products. Also — and this is a biggie — ensure that your brand is consistent across all digital platforms.
Wrapping it Up: You Are Your Brand’s Biggest Advocate!
It may appear that your work is done once you’ve set your brand strategy, identity, and marketing channels. Many organizations overlook the fact that branding and brand awareness is a daily task that demands consistency and commitment. (Yes, we said DAILY TASK!) It’s a living thing always evolving and adapting and often changing, so managing your brand is critical.
What is the most effective hack, you ask? You and your staff are the most effective brand ambassadors. You are the ones who know your brand best; thus, it is up to you to spread the word. User experience, SEO, and content marketing are all excellent strategies, but the promotion of your brand through personal insights, amusing tales, and inspiring roadmaps can be the true game-changer.
At Marsh and Mihaly Marketing Group, we often work with clients to develop their unique brand strategy, identity, and messaging. We have a useful rebranding checklist available for free and are happy to send you one of our branding exercises if you’re interested. Email us at info@2DMmarketing.com.