Building a branding strategy is one of the most important decisions you can make for your small business. Your branding will dictate every decision from who your ideal clients are to what your company culture is like and how you communicate with them. It’s an undertaking that should not be taken lightly, but it doesn’t have to be complicated! This article will walk you through creating a branding strategy, starting with competitor analysis and ending in developing the best brand for your small business.
1. Define your business
The first step is to define your business. In order to get a handle on branding, you need to understand your client base and what they need. What is the set of motivations that draws them toward you? How do you serve them best? For example, if your business sells clothes then you would define it as such: “We are a women’s clothing store with a focus on clothing tailored for career-minded women.” With this definition decided, now the branding can start!
2. Identify your target market
Identifying your target market is an important step in marketing. Understanding who you are selling to will help set the tone for all of future advertising and promotions, as well as determine appropriate pricing points. There are a number of steps that can be taken when attempting to identify potential customers: demographic research, creative brainstorming sessions with other members on team or staff at business location(s), running focus groups among likely customer base (e.g., 20-something software engineers).
The first step in identifying your target audience should be demographics – age range, gender distribution across job titles within company’s industry sector verticals; interests based upon online user behaviors/website analytics data analysis cross referencing information from social media which may offer insights into how different users interact with your company’s branding and content; the most common adjectives used to describe company branding.
In order to identify an ideal customer, there are a few steps that can be taken: – find out who is asking questions about items you sell/offer services for in order to get insight into what they care about or don’t know (e.g., customers asking “how much does this cost?” – these people may not understand pricing) – track social media conversations around topics related to your branding or industry sector verticals and see which topic generates the most number of tweets, shares, likes etc. – it might not always make sense but it will show where interest lies so try focusing on those areas when creating
3. Develop a brand identity
Creating a brand identity for your business can be difficult. You need to make sure that it is interesting and unique, while still remaining professional because you never know who might see the logo or company name. So how do we go about doing this? Think back on some of those companies you admire most: what makes them stand out from their competition over all other brands in the same industry? What does each one say without even saying anything at all but through an image or with colors alone? This will help influence decisions when designing logos, as well as color schemes used across social media channels like Facebook Ads which allow users to target specific demographics within its advertising campaigns by analyzing age ranges (18-24), gender (% female) and location information such as zip code.
There are a number of branding decisions to make when creating your identity, but these will help get you started:
– logo design (is there just one that communicates the company’s branding?)
– color palette used in branding – if not using a single primary color then is it close enough? Is it too similar to other brands on shelf or within industry verticals?
– fonts and typefaces selected for all branding materials across social media channels/website(s)
– tagline chosen for business marketing campaigns; can be nameless as well”
Here is an example of how this might break down with two different companies: Company A sells healthy eats at grocery stores with its branding consisting primarily of a green, leaf-shaped logo with the company name written in a clean font. Company B sells fresh fruits and vegetables at grocery stores alongside healthy eats branding consisting of bright red apples on its branding materials across all social media channels/website(s).
This will provide your business branding with an idea to create their own branding strategy by starting from competitor analysis to determining their ideal client.
4. Create a logo or branding mark
A logo should be distinctive and easy to recognize. The best logos stand the test of time because they represent a company’s branding beautifully while also being easily identifiable without lots of extra branding materials (e.g., tagline, website address).
– logos are an important branding element – the logo is a key branding decision because it often defines how your company looks to customers, suppliers or others in its industry.
– logos can be designed by professionals using software like Adobe Photoshop or InDesign but some companies use simple shapes that still represent their branding and stand out from competitors.
– if you’re not sure where to start when designing your logo, try these tips: take inspiration from other brands (e.g., what color scheme do they have? What font?), research and find out which shape best represents your business according to modern design principles, think of adjectives used most frequently in describing branding for your brand/company across social media channels/website(s) etc.
5. Develop an overall message for the company and create taglines to support it
Start by branding yourself. You need to have a clear and consistent message across all your branding materials, so take some time to think about your branding message. One branding message could be “I’m ethical” or “I will get the job done”. You should be able to express what you do in one sentence. Your branding message can tell people your key values or principles, reflect what sets you apart from other companies competing for clients, and why customers should hire you.
The next step is branding your business. Your branding should align with your branding message–otherwise it defeats the purpose. It’s also important to make sure that branding conveys a sense of integrity and credibility. Consider hiring a branding specialist if needed, but make branding a priority for your small business.
Your branding should also be consistent across all of the promotional materials you produce, including videos, website copy and email marketing campaigns.
Finally, branding needs to take into account how customers will experience your company’s culture–both in person or online (depending on what type of small business you have). The style of language that people use when speaking about your company can create an impression of who you are as a brand. It is important to consider these aspects before settling on branding material because they help set the tone and mood for customer interactions with your company.
6. Select colors, fonts, and imagery that represent the brand image you want to convey
Selecting Colors: The color scheme of your branding should reflect what type of company you are or what specific values it stands for. For example, if your company is environmentally conscious then utilizing green would be a good idea. However, many companies have multiple colors that represent their branding so make sure all branding materials use these same colors such as logos and website design in order to maintain consistency across all promotional material from social media channels/website(s) etc..
Selecting Fonts: It is important to select branding fonts that are easy to read and convey the desired message. For example, a font with thin letters might not be a good choice for business branding because it would be difficult to read from afar or if printed in small print on products such as T-shirts.
However, paying attention to what type of sentiment you want your branding materials to portray can help determine which type of lettering style would work best for branding purposes: serif fonts evoke an air of tradition while sans serif fonts can appear more modern and clean (depending on thickness).
It’s also valuable when selecting branding fonts to consider how they’ll look in different sizes–a bolded sans serif font may not always provide legible branding in small print.
Generally, the most legible fonts are serif and sans serif with a moderate thickness–such as Arial or Times New Roman font styles.
The last branding element to consider is imagery: whether that’s an image of your company logo or specific product on social media channels/website(s) etc., it should be aesthetically pleasing and evoke the desired sentiment for branding purposes (e.g., if you want people to think your business offers speedy service then use images of fast cars). It also needs to convey credibility by looking professional so avoid using clip art pictures which might make your company seem unprofessional or amateurish.
Managing your business’s brand identity is an important part of any marketing strategy. You want to establish a consistent message that reflects the values and mission of your company, but also be sure you are portraying yourself in a way that resonates with potential customers. We can help! Our team has years of experience helping businesses develop their own branding strategies from start to finish so they know how to resonate with current trends and capture the attention of consumers at every stage in the buying process. Contact us today for more information about our comprehensive service packages or if you need some guidance on where to get started on building your brand image online.