When marketers discuss awesome branding, the most common examples they give are the iconic swoosh of Nike, the golden arches of McDonald’s, and the red and white lettering of Coca-Cola. A lot of us consumers are unaware of the amount of money and time spent on ensuring the branding strategy works. Well, it is enough to discourage small business owners to create their own branding initiative without spending a lot of money.
Granted, to keep the brand going and achieve effervescence, you really do have to spend money on promotions. But it is actually not that difficult to start. Just avoid branding mistakes that some small business owners are making by following these tips.
The power of branding lies in customer retention. When you think of a refreshing drink, you think of coke. When you think of smartphones, Apple comes to mind. What you want is to build that kind of consumer-brand relationship. And to do this, you must have a well-defined brand, something that helps people remember you.
This also helps when you start pushing online marketing efforts. Google prioritises branded listings when ranking websites, and this, in turn, will boost your brand awareness.
Create a brand style guide
Branding is not just about the logo. It’s also about how you can use the logo where else to put it, what it’s going to look like on different surfaces, and the copy that can accompany it. For this, you will need a comprehensive branding guideline. A branding guideline or a brand style guide clearly defines how you will present your business to the world. It details what your brand will look, feel, and sound like to other people.
For this, you might need to consult with a specialist to check whether everything has been covered. But the basic points to touch are:
- Brand colours and overall design (which includes font, font size, and typography)
- Brand voice
You can also detail specific brand deviations such as the colours that you can choose from in case you want to use ones that are not part of the branding colours.
Having said all of these, you should proactively monitor how other people are making use of your branding elements. If they are going to use your logo for a website, how should they present it? Do you want a link back to your website? How should they present photos of your products? This will help you police your branding and also prevent infringements.
Maximise the use of the website builder
Look at how the brand style points are going to translate on your website, as well. You might be worried that you will have to hire a website design team to make sure your brand style guide has been fulfilled. But you can also do this using the website builder feature of your chosen Internet domain registrar. Do not worry about working with just the templates, at least at this first stage of your business. These templates are SEO friendly, meaning, these are the website designs that will help you rank. So make full use of the website builder’s customisation feature.
Does not have to be overly complicated
If you look at some of the logo changes companies have made over the years, you will notice that the changes are not even that drastic. For instance, if you look at how Netflix changed their logo over the years, they only removed the shadows on the brand name and changed the background colours. The style and feel of the brand remain the same.
Your small business will surely stand a chance at getting a chunk of the market some big companies have monopolised if you have a strong branding. Follow these tips and be successful in your business. Keep improving your brand strategies for every milestone you get.