Creating a strong brand identity is crucial for a winning business. It represents how an organization wants to be perceived in the market and builds a distinguished product with unique characteristics. A brand is the “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature” that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Your brand identity is the representation of your company’s reputation through the conveyance of attributes, values, purpose, strengths, and passions.
Businesses build branding and marketing strategies to communicate their identity to the customers. A company with unique brand identity enjoys improved brand awareness, motivated employees, active buyers and enhanced corporate style. Strong brand identity also leads to higher brand loyalty, brand preference, advocacy, greater credibility and increased profitability.
Branding is just as important for small businesses as it is for big players in the market. There is a direct correlation between a successful business and a powerful branding. The following 6 steps cans serve as an initial guide for small businesses to successfully implement branding for their business:
Step 1# Know your Audience
The most important element of building a healthy brand identity is to analyze who your ideal customers are and what are their needs, requirements, habits and preferences. Businesses should create a persona of their ideal customers. There is a need to be customer-focussed in this highly competitive environment. Know your target audience inside-out and figure out what they seek from the brand, is it affordable price or quality. Try to determine how their choices are changing and evolving with time.
Step2# Know your Competition
Understanding your competitors can help you to formulate a strong brand identity. Thoroughly research about your market and competitors and keep an eye on what works and what does not. Keep ahead of the competition by paying attention to what’s new and analyze the latest trends. Embrace technology to the fullest and always stay connected to your customers via social media, online platforms and mobile devices.
Step 3# Choose your Brand Name and Logo Carefully
Customers will recognize your company through its name and logo. They will appear everywhere right from the business cards, websites, social networks, advertisements to your products. A brand name must reinforce the key elements or objectives of your business. A bad brand name can have a detrimental effect on your overall brand awareness.
A logo reflects your company and it must convey everything you believe. It should be designed in a way that build trusts among customers and pulls your brand together.
Step 4# Deliver Value to your Customers and Be Unique
Are you beneficial to your customers? Can your product solve their problem?
Your brand identity should communicate to your customers how you would solve their problems. It is critical for you to target their pain areas and solve their issues. Determine what sets your product and company apart from your competitors. Clearly communicate to your prospects your brand’s USP and the specialities of your products and services. Ensure that you add value that differs from that provided by your competitors. Delivering impeccable customer experience throughout a customer’s journey is critical to success and growth.
Step 5# Access your Brand Perception
Measure the impact of your brand identity and see what are the internal and external perceptions about the brand. Analyze how your audience and competitors see you and find out the gaps in your brand performance. Show the results to your customers and prospects so that they could suggest things to improve your brand identity.
Step 6# Refine your Brand Strategy
Do not keep your brand identity constant. Regularly analyze and refine your brand to remain competitive and always ensure that the company delivers on its promises. Always test new strategies and tactics to stand apart in the crowd. Don’t limit your brand identity just to your logo and mission statement, rather include it in your thinking, your character and your values.