Branding Your Small Business
Branding for Your Business
Branding for your business is not as new as some of the other digital marketing essentials we try to cover on our blog. As a matter of fact branding can be traced back as far as 2000 BC when branding was used to signal ownership of something.
You have to fast forward to the end of the 1800’s to see a transition where branding became less about conveying ownership and more about saying “this is our brand, that’s why you should buy it”.
Today branding is all about letting consumers know that your product or service is held to a certain standard. That standard is reflected and can be easily identified by your branding signals. Signals include your social media pages, logos, watermarks, trademarks etc.
Because of the nature of today’s hyper competitive marketplace, having easily identifiable branding components are more important than they’ve ever been before. Strong branding helps your consumers select your business to fill their needs quickly.
Therefore we will analyze the definition of business branding, the importance of branding for your business and branding tools you can use to advance your business brand identity.
Branding Business Definition
(Source: Growth Gurus)
“A brand is a distinguishing symbol, mark, logo, name, word, sentence or a combination of these items that companies use to distinguish their product from others in the market. Legal protection given to a brand name is called a trademark.”
That’s the definition given by Investopedia as to what branding is. This definition, while being technically correct, is somewhat lacking. If I had to define branding I would say it’s that instantaneous connection your brain makes when you hear, see or feel something that makes you immediately think of a certain product or company.
That immediate subconscious connection that your brain makes is one of the strongest undercurrents that brings a consumer to purchase a good, or if there is a negative association, to forgo a product. Branding can make the difference between a rise to the top or a crippling descent into irrelevance.
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” - Seth Godin
Importance of Branding
Branding is important for your business the same way personality is important to your social life. The importance of branding simply can not be understated. Your brand is the personality of your business, it’s the beacon that signals to consumers what it is you stand for, the quality you uphold and the service a client can expect to receive.
When I see a Nike shoe anywhere in the world I know that it would be the same shoe whether I find it New York, Montreal or Tel Aviv. I know that if there is a problem, I can send it back to the company and expect some sort of response.
This kind of brand identity is what will force my hand to buy Nike over a brand I don’t know or did not experience the same kind of service with. It will also be what allows me to rationalize shelling out a few more dollars for a brand I trust.
That’s why it’s important to set a standard, a style and a streamlined set of principles that your business lives by. So consumers can easily identify your business from just a logo, a color, a sense or a product and feel the identity behind your brand.
Branding can also be used to lure the best possible talent when you’re looking to hire. Naturally most people will choose to take a job with a smaller salary if they can say they were part of a business that is easily recognisable as a top tier business.
To help you establish a brand identity I’ve scoured the web to find the best tools available for your business. This list of branding tools will help you create marketing materials that coincide with your brand image.
Use these tools to product content that instills a buying instinct in your consumer and still reflects your brand’s identity. Remember to stick true to your color schemes and logo placements throughout.
SALT With SALT you can take care of creating stunning marketing materials for your brand with great user interface. You can create all kinds of branded promotional materials from your phone. An absolute must for the entrepreneur always on the go. It’s also a free download in the app store.
Fiverr We’ve mentioned Fiverr in the past when we spoke about great logo tools for small businesses. Fiverr is back on this list for a reason, at just $5 you can get yourself a logo, promotional video and more.
Canva We use Canva when we have the time to sit down and really invest in creating quality animations, images and images with text. Easy to use and a more familiar feel than Photoshop. Definitely worth a look for small businesses that are looking to invest significant amount of time in marketing material creation.
Venngage Venngage is one of the best online solutions I have ever had the pleasure of using for the creation of infographics. With a monthly subscription, I would recommend Venngage to the entrepreneur who is looking to produce sleek looking infographics week after week.
Google Alerts Get signed up for Google Alerts to make sure you know when someone is talking about your brand. Find out what they are saying so you can better serve your clients and share the information when someone is saying good things.
There you have it, you now understand what branding is, why branding is important to your business, and the tools you will need to get started on creating a real brand identity. Remember that a negative brand association can stop your dreams dead in their tracks, but a strong and positive brand association can keep your business running longer than you ever thought possible.
Think about that next time you see the yellow arcs that tell the world a McSomething is about to satisfy their cravings at a price they’ve come to expect.
Let us know if you found this helpful and your favorite branding tools and experiences. Take care and all the best!