Your brand identity
Your brand is an essential part of your business and is a way of defining your business to all your audiences including your customers, employees and suppliers. Many people confuse their brand with their business' 'identity' or logo, but it is much more than this and embodies the core of what the business is and its values, not just what it looks and sounds like. Customers are very savvy today and they quickly decide if a brand is right for them and something they will follow, use and even believe in.
The benefits that a strategically defined brand can bring can determine the success and growth of our business.
When customers connect with your brand because they share the same values and beliefs - it leads to higher sales and stronger brand loyalty.
A strong brand can determine and protect your price in times when competitors rely on promotional discounts pr try to undercut you to drive sales.
Your brand if defined correctly can be the foundation for your business and can also give you the ideal platform to extend your offering or range.
Brand building steps
Here are our tips to help you successfully implement branding for your business:
1. Start by defining your brand.
Review the product or service your SME offers and involve as many people as you can in the process. Pinpoint the space in the market that you occupy and research the needs and concerns of your customers and potential competitors. Your brand character needs to promote your business, connect with your customer base and differentiate you from your competitors.
2. Think of your brand as an individual
Every one of us has our own beliefs, values and purposes that completely define who we are and who we connect with. This personality determines how we behave, dress and what we say and do. This is the same for any brand, a good brand should have a personality that reflects the offering and attract the right customer base.
3. Remember why you set up your business.
What motivated you to start the business and what did you want to achieve? How does your brand reflect this and what is its purpose. These things can help establish not only your brand positioning but help form the identity and character of your brand.
4. Build long term relationships.
Never dress up your offering and raise expectations to a level that aren't manageable as this will result in lost business and a lack of trust in your brand. Instead, create trust with honest branding and be clear who your company is and what your brand can and does offer..
5. Tone of Voice.
You need to establish your tone of voice and maintain this as it is an essential part of the business' character and your brand and helps clarify exactly what you are offering to customers and they aware exactly what to expect.
6. Your brand should reflect your size.
Through your hard work and help from our team and potentially experts you brand should carve out your own distinctive identity. There is a huge consumer trend towards supporting and shopping with independent establishments and being proud to use smaller businesses. As an SME you need to leverage this and not try to make your brand and business appear bigger than it is. Keep it original and authentic and aligned with how the business size and tone of voice.
8. Be Bold.
Big brands are tied up in layers of bureaucracy and can't be flexible or reactive and the certainly struggle to be controversial and this makes it hard for them to react to the changing needs of their customers. As an SME you have the opportunity to be bold and controversial to gain traction. Always ensure this is aligned with your tone of voice and brand belief.
9. Communication is key.
How you communicate is key to your customers. Many young business appoint a PR Agency to help with this to ensure they build and don't dilute the brand positioning. Try offering more, rather than slashing prices.
10. It is more than a logo.
The future of your company and your brand should be always fluid and engaging - respect your customers' intelligence by not giving everything away up front. Generate some intrigue and allow them to unearth more about your brand for themselves. This is the way to turn customers into ambassadors who revel in telling other people about you and how proud they are to use your brand.