The most important aspect of marketing is branding. Whatever size business you run, be it big or small, if you haven’t developed a clear and distinctive brand and understood the audience and industry you are trying to appeal to, it is incredibly difficult for your business to grow and evolve. Whether you are trying to look established and elite, or focussing on a friendly, welcoming image, a brand is crucial to the success of any business.
The majority of business owners understand the need to invest in professional marketing but don’t necessarily know why the branding aspect is of such high importance. A brand goes beyond logos and colour schemes and is far more about what your business stands for and how it is perceived by potential leads and clients.
Identifying what makes you unique is the first step. It is about your businesses values, ethos, goals and aspirations within the market which can stand you apart from your competitors. Through building trust, loyalty and the ability to offer your services safe in the knowledge that what you have goes beyond enticing people with cheap prices and quick fixes. Branding is the first step towards creating these positive perceptions of your business.
At Polar Creative we understand the difference between needing a brand and embracing your identity. Here are a few of our top tips to helping small businesses discovering what is important to them and how that is reflected through their branding:
1. Define Your Brand
There are a series of questions that you should always start by answering. What is your market? Where is your place in it? What are the needs of your customer? How do you fulfil them? How are you different from your competitors? At Polar we help our clients to truly crystallise these points in their mind before we even start on a design. You are the brand after all, it is just a case of crafting an image to match.
2. Be Unique
That doesn’t necessarily mean having to try something outrageous to grab attention, instead work on your own identity and what that means to you. Consumers love honest, authentic businesses who aren’t afraid to show their size. Big brands are no longer as trusted as they once were, so be open with your customers and let them see what makes you, you.
3. Offer a Consistent Voice
Offering a consistent voice across all of your marketing platforms is absolutely critical when it comes to building trust. From your website and blog, to social media and printed leaflets, being clear on what you offer and maintaining the right tone can make a huge difference to a customer who wants to understand the brand better.
4. Be Loyal to Your Brand
Make sure that you are able to take pride in what you create. Your company’s can be built on a successful combination of exceptional product or service and well thought out marketing. Don’t feel that you have to throw around discounts in order to make a sale. Use any special offers or promotions you have as a way of showing how great what your offering is. Offer them more of it at the same price, rather than cutting your prices.
5. Avoid Repetition
Making sure that your message is a clear one is obviously important, but is something that needs to be carefully planned. Repeating the same key points again and again isn’t the way to get people’s attention, and instead is more likely to drive them away. Be clear on what you are saying but also try to be inventive with it. Offer different perspectives and build discussion.
It is important to understand that the old fashioned policy of sticking your logo anywhere and everywhere and crossing your fingers is no longer going to work. Building relationships is now critical, as is feeding prospective leads gradually rather than bombarding them. Offer them enough for them to want to come to you, giving them the chance to truly appreciate your brand and feel connected with your brand.