Branding Your Small Business: How to Make a Name for Yourself in the Industry
Updated: Mar 8
Article by Alexandra Teeter
Branding is a crucial element of any marketing plan. It's how customers can identify your business from the competition, and it's more than just a visual. It's reflected in your reputation and your personal goals. Here are some branding best practices you can use to create a positive, memorable brand.
Do Your Market Research
The first step in establishing your brand is to conduct market research. You want to know the trends in your industry, what customers are concerned about, what demands are not being met, and what challenges you may face. From there, you can identify your target market and tailor your marketing strategy toward that demographic. What are the characteristics of your ideal customer? Think in terms of income bracket, age range, gender, geographic area, consumer behavior, and industry. What does the average consumer in your line of work look for when shopping? Can you reach them through social media? What niche sector of the market can you fulfill? These are important questions to consider in your research.
Know When to Hire Professionals
There are a few things you could potentially DIY in your branding. For example, you could create a banner for your website and social media pages to catch consumers’ eyes and draw them to your business. Rather than spending the money to hire a graphic designer, you can use an online banner maker to customize your banner with animation, text, font, color, imagery, and video. Then, post it to your Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages to attract more people to your website.
Your website is one area where you would benefit from hiring a professional. An expert web designer can make your website clean, sophisticated, and professional. A search engine optimization expert can help drive traffic to the website and increase your views using keywords and phrases. Research shows that these elements of SEO are changing as the world of online analytics evolves, potentially drifting away from the use of keywords. You need an expert to help you stay on top of your digital marketing strategy.
Do Your Studies
If you're concerned about not having enough business and marketing knowledge to stay ahead of your industry's competition, consider returning to school. Work on a business degree and sharpen your skills in the business world. You'll study everything from financing to marketing. You'll learn how to handle the books for your business and create an effective business plan to keep you on track and provide you with a well-written strategy to present to potential investors. Take the time to research schools online. You can enroll in a program that works around your schedule so you can continue balancing your work and home life while adding school into the mix.
Consider How It Affects Your Customers
Knowing how others perceive your brand is crucial to success. Brand perception is a total of the feelings you invoke in your customers, the experiences you provide, and the attitude your company projects. Consumers are much more comfortable recommending brands that trust and remember fondly.
Find Your Brand
Finding your brand is an important aspect of running a business. But before you start creating your brand, it's important to figure out your brand's purpose. What is the mission of your company or product? What are you trying to achieve? Once you know the answer to these questions, you can start developing a brand that will resonate with your target audience.Your brand's purpose should be reflected in everything from your logo and website design to your social media strategy and marketing materials. By clearly articulating your purpose from the beginning, you'll be able to create a cohesive and compelling brand that will help you achieve your business goals.
Then, think about what you want to offer your customers. What does your company mean to you? What purpose are you trying to fulfill? As the owner, you are the face of your brand. It's up to you to figure out how you prefer to represent and market it. Do some research, think through your business plan, and you’ll determine your brand. And once you find it, use helpful tools to reach your customers and collaborate with contractors to make sure everything aligns with your brand and reaches your target market as planned.
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