Branding has evolved just as much as marketing has evolved. Your brand is best described as reputation through familiarity; when someone glances at your logo from across the street, their mind jumps to any number of experiences. Your goal is to develop a brand where a glance is all it takes to communicate what doesn’t need to be said.
Because of the importance of your brand, it’s easy to understand why a bad brand could cap your business potential before your foot is out the door. This is why, much like content marketing, it’s important to strengthen your brand through strategy and purposeful actions. Here are some ways to help with that.
Build A Logo
While we no longer live in the world where you can slap a logo on something and call it great promotion, you should still attribute a logo to your business identity. The key to nailing a logo is to define your business and what makes it unique among your competitors, and put that in the form of a design.
People are bombarded with advertisements 24/7; you need to invest in how to communicate that you are a good investment in a world of similar investments. You won’t stand out to every man, woman, and child, but you will to your audience.
Employ Standards, Not Just People
Your team is key to long-lasting success. You want people that are reliable, adaptive and forward thinking. You also want people that feed those qualities into company culture and customer interaction. Teamwork, however, doesn’t mean carbon copies working in unison.
Every person is unique in background, personality and temperament. You do want to define your company standards and how each may contribute to that. Is the culture laid back? Professional? What does the team wear? Say? Think of your brand like a person that the team represents when the brand can’t physically speak for itself.
Listen To Your Audience
A brand also builds good character by listening to its audience. Customer feedback is crucial to businesses because it lets you prioritize and evolve. Not all contact is constructive, but constructive criticism is invaluable. If you shy away, then you alienate the audience and even teammates that want to see your business- their investment- grow.
Social media is an invaluable and engaging ear in today’s world because everyone may have a voice. Ask a question, pose a question, take a poll, give away something special, respond to concerns or consider suggestions; communicate with your audience on a personal level. Keep in mind that not all social media is the same, so find what fits.
Remember that your small business is a part of the community, not a part from the community. For this reason, prioritize community outreach in accordance to your budget. It may be a scheduled day of community service, sponsorship or small scholarship, but consider what is important to your immediate community and invest as a leader.
This outreach builds your brand in a positive light, and has potential for building publicity and your network. While it may not seem like a moneymaking machine, remember that you are an investment for your community and would like to stick around, so find ways to care.
Check out Michigan Creative’s own branding services for more information on strengthening your brand!