When people think of branding, many believe it is limited to logos and imagery. Those are only a small fraction of what branding is, though. If you’re a new business owner looking to get a better understanding of branding and how you can use it to effectively represent and promote your business, this guide from the Palisade Chamber of Commerce is designed for you.
1. Defining Branding
Branding is how your business is viewed in the world, but your brand isn’t limited to physical attributes. Although physical and design aspects, such as a company’s logo, website design, and physical location décor are part of its branding, there is more. Your branding is also the company’s motto, campaign slogans, social media presence across various platforms, and other features associated with your business.
Your business's motto can help lead your branding, so choose something that conveys your company's values such as a set of three of those values listed out. For example, "innovation, trustworthiness, and accessibility" would indicate to potential customers, employees, and investors where your priorities lie.
Branding is complex and can take a lot of work to establish initially. Once it’s created, though, branding works as a touchstone you can use to help you make all kinds of important business decisions. Successful branding helps make your business more recognizable, distinguishes your company from its competitors, and builds both customer and employee loyalty.
2. Building Branding Through Design
To create your business’s brand, you need to make decisions about how you want your business to be viewed and operated. Identifying your target audience is an important first step so that you know how best to appeal to potential customers. Using market research, you can create a buyer persona which is a made-up person who is representative of your typical consumer and includes important details about their life such as their age, family situation, economic status, and more. Market research can also give you some insight into your competitors and the customers they are targeting with their own campaigns.
When developing branding strategies, many experts recommend making a promise, conveying that promise to your customers, and then delivering on it. With your buyer persona in mind, you can address the problems they face and how your products or services can work to fix those issues.
Once you know what your brand is and how you want it to come across through your marketing, you’ll need to find some budget-friendly online tools to help you execute your ideas. For example, PDFs are not an ideal file type for social media posts. If there is a PDF document that you really want to share with your customers, you can do a PDF to image conversion through an online conversion tool. It’s a simple three step process that you can accomplish quickly: choose the file, select the file type (JPG is best here), and convert. Then, you can post away using that newly formatted file.
3. Making Decisions Based on Branding
Your brand should ensure potential customers view your business in the way you desire. Every decision a business makes should be able to be held up against the business’s brand to make sure it is made from a place that respects and reflects it. Marketing campaigns often include slogans that contribute to branding. Just as your company motto should reflect your desired public perception, so should your marketing campaigns and the slogans they use.
4. Pivoting When Necessary
Branding is not an inflexible thing to be designed once and never changed, and the strategies that you use will need to adapt as necessary. How effectively your strategies are working needs to be constantly monitored so that you can recognize early on when they need to be adjusted. It’s also smart to have a number of different strategies in place at all times so that when you notice one needs updating or altered, you’ll have other successful strategies in place to keep marketing running as you make needed changes to the sluggish strategy.
Managing Your Branding
Branding is an essential part of building a successful business. While it's important to understand branding and how it affects your business, you don't have to manage it alone. With help from experienced professionals, you and your business can create branding strategies that suit your needs and achieve the outcomes you desire.
Interested in learning what other local businesses are doing not only for their branding, but for their business success in general? Join your local Chamber of Commerce!