When you set up a small business, you won’t have the multimillion pounds needed to create a successful global brand and to begin with, your company branding may just consist of a logo. The difference between branding for big businesses and small businesses is huge though and you can still use some of the tactics of big business branding without the massive price tag.
Make your mark
Whether you’ve been in business for a while or if you’ve just set up, you can benefit from branding. The easiest way to start is by ensuring your logo, company colors, copywriting tone of voice and strapline appear on everything you produce, including your product range, packaging, invoices, business cards, letterheads, website, social media channels and so on.
Keep branding consistent
To build up a brand, you have to consistently deliver the same message to your customers, particularly when it comes to your visual branding. For example, big brands are so consistent with their branding that if they choose to change a small aspect of their logo, it can become international news. In early 2011, Starbucks removed its company name and the word ‘coffee’ from its logo and although the company was criticized at the time, the strength of having a consistent brand which associated the name ‘Starbucks’ with coffee meant that the image in the logo could stand alone. Repetition can help to imprint your brand in your customers’ minds as you build your business.
Know your values
Although a brand is represented by a logo, branding is much more than this. A brand is about how your customers feel about your business and it represents your company values. In many ways, highlighting your values is easier for a small business as you know what you stand for. It could be affordability, sharing information, fair trade, environmental issues or whatever you feel strongly about in your business. I put the focus on creating effective copywriting for our clients and providing clear and straightforward information and advice on copywriting without any of the associated marketing speak or guru ‘bumf’ which sometimes go with that. For an example of a big brand which wears its brand values on its sleeve, check out the mission statement on the Ben and Jerry’s website which clearly states what they stand for and these values can be seen throughout their branding and marketing campaigns.
Tell a story
Storytelling in business is nothing new but it is one of the current buzzwords thanks to social media websites such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram which focus on letting users (and companies) tell their stories through words and images. People love a great story and storytelling makes spreading the word about your business easier as a story is memorable and your customers will naturally share your story with their friends and family. Storytelling also enables you to distinguish your brand from competitors as they won’t have the same story as you. Your story is completely unique, perhaps it’s a rags to riches tale, a moment of eureka inspiration, a story of travelling the globe or a business idea born from frustration. Whatever your story is, from your initial inspiration to your journey into business, make it engaging and tell it to your customers. Big brands are adept at storytelling so for inspiration check out how Macy’s, Burberry, Madonna and Ford use Facebook to tell their story using techniques which can be utilized by small businesses too. Use old photos, team profiles, landmark events, news coverage, behind the scenes insights, hobbies and interests, work in the community, partnership and sponsorship stories to tell the story of your brand and the people behind it.
Keep your content fresh
Big businesses keep their brands in the forefront of people’s minds by constantly being visible through a range of marketing tactics including everything from sponsoring major sporting or fashion events for example to producing adverts for TV, print and online. By constantly keeping their campaigns fresh, big businesses are able to stay at the forefront of their customers’ minds. If you’re on a tight budget then the best way to keep your brand fresh is to regularly update the content on your website, blog and social media channels. Creating content is a great solution as if you’re a good copywriter you can write this yourself or ask a copywriting company to lead a campaign for you. Copywriting is a much more affordable way to build your business brand up through features, blogs, articles, social media and your website than spending money on multimedia advertising campaigns for example.
You don’t need the budget of a global company to brand your own business, just keep your message consistent and follow these top tips above.
(via Pure Ink )