Today’s competitive marketplace has meant that even the smallest businesses need to think about branding to stand out from the crowd.
Branding, in fact, should be seen as a small business owner’s best friend. By creating an engaging brand you’ll encourage your customers, past present and future, to build a relationship with you. After all, the old adage is “people buy from people.” And creating a personality for your company enables you to drive interaction.
We’ve talked a bit about how to plan your brand in a few easy steps in the past. You should already know who your customers are. What solution your brand solves. Your point of difference, and who your competitors are. But the question is, once you’ve got this nailed, where do you go from there? And how do you effectively put all this planning into action?
Define your mission
Consider again who you’re talking to, how you’re unique, and what you offer.
From there, you can start to refine your mission statement, essentially highlighting your goals and philosophy as a business. Great examples include Google, with their all-encompassing, "Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful." Or IKEA’s truly inspiring philosophy, “to create a better everyday life for the many people.”
In both these cases the “who” and “what” is clearly defined. And they’re passionate and aspirational. But whatever your mission statement is, make sure it’s unique and meaningful to you and your customers.
One of the best ways to start breathing life into your brand, is to think about it as a person with specific character traits. The trick is to sum up your brand’s value and personality in a few words. These are often referred to as brand pillars. So for example, you may stand for integrity, passion and quality.
The important part, is to remember that your brand pillars should succinctly and effortlessly communicate what you’re all about. Every marketing message you put out there should neatly fit into these characteristics. So be sure to sense check each communication against your brand values.
Looks and personality
At this stage you should feel familiar, confident and comfortable with the identity of your brand. And you can start to have fun with things like logos, content, and taglines. Like a well-rounded person, both looks and personality need to complement each other for maximum impact.
With the brand pillars and mission statement, along with your considered marketing planning, you’ll be in the best position to create your unique voice.
But the work doesn’t end there. To have a truly identifiable, relatable and successful brand, you need to remain consistent, through marketing collateral, culture, and communication. That, in itself is the secret to creating a powerful brand, even as a small business.