September 15, 2022
Branding might seem like a buzzword that everyone has front of mind, but for a small business, the right branding matters, and it can capture and keep loyal customers for a lifetime. Whether you are in the pre-launch phase or thinking about a way to reintroduce an established business to your audience, here are 3 ways entrepreneurs can tap into branding to propel your small business forward and stand out from their competition.
Identify Your Audience
Starting a small business is more than just unlocking the door and propping it open. For the best chance at success, you need to know who will walk through that door. Who is your audience and why would they choose your business over your competitor? One way to do a deep dive into who your audience is is to create a persona for your ideal customer. This will help you learn exactly who your audience is, as well as how your business will be perceived and experienced by your customers.
Considering things like demographics, location, education, income level, and even online habits will help you understand if you are truly offering something your potential audience needs or whether you are simply a new version of what a competitor is already providing to the same audience. Creating personas for your ideal customers also identifies potential challenges and will force you to think about how your business will solve them. How your audience behaves, what they need, and what they want will be the foundation of how you tell the story of your brand.
Define Your Brand Identity
Once you know who your audience is, what you will offer them, and how you will reach them, you now need to clearly define the voice and identity of your brand. In addition to being able to briefly describe your company and what it does, this is also the time to think on a deeper level about the core values of your brand and how you want your audience to talk about your business. This will all coalesce into the singular voice of your brand. It is what will be communicated across your marketing channels and all of your public-facing communications, like emails, social media posts, and blogs. Think of it as what you want your potential audience will feel and think when they experience your small business.
Working with a designer to decide the core visual elements of your brand story will bring your branding to life and help you get noticed by a potential audience. Codifying these elements into a Brand Bible ensures that regardless of how your team evolves over time, the branding will remain consistent. A Brand Bible is also helpful when you partner with other brands and need a straightforward way to identify your brand visually quickly.
When you are establishing the voice of your brand, consider every place where your brand is present as a first-time entry point for your company for a potential customer. Your branding should look and feel the same, whether a customer is in your brick-and-mortar location, browsing your website, scrolling through your Instagram feed, or reading through one of your newsletters. Consistency is key for your brand to be cemented in the minds of your audience, and it can have a direct impact on your bottom line. A 2019 State of Brand Consistency study by Marq found that brands estimated that their revenue would increase by 33 percent if they maintained consistent branding across all of their platforms.
The rush to fling open the doors in your newly launched small business might be difficult to resist, but taking the time to consider your brand messaging and how to effectively capture your potential audience carefully is worth the investment.
Stay informed on all things small business and branding with the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from a wide variety of audiences to boost your small business marketing efforts. Our panels are made up of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.