6. Branding

Branding is very important for your business no matter how small it is. There are encyclopedias on the importance of this, but we will briefly cover this. Branding is a way to define and communicate your business’ identity. Your branding can present your business’ purpose, values, character, beliefs, style, who your target market is and how you differentiate yourself from your competition. Consistency is key. Your branding and brand message should be consistent across all your marketing platforms, your website, your packaging, and your promotional and print materials. Great branding makes marketing your business easier and more effective.

Your logo is what customers visually recognize. It can be a graphic, or simply a wordmark, where the letters of the name make up the logo. Colors should be consistent. Logos can be extremely intricate or minimalistic. Tastes always vary, and opinions can be across the board, but your logo should be recognizable and memorable.

Your business tagline or slogan should be simple, memorable, and catchy if possible. It can be difficult to convey your value proposition to your buyers in a few words or even in one sentence. Try to focus on the benefit, rather than the feature. Think about how the tagline will make a customer feel when hearing it.

Your story is also part of your branding. When people can relate to your story, there is an emotional response that creates a connection. Every business has a story behind what the consumer sees.

Video marketing is an extremely effective tool to present your brand, convey your business identity and tell your story.

A critical, but often overlooked component of branding is your core values. Your core brand values send a message to not only your employees, but also your customers. What your brand stands for, the culture, and the standards expected of its employees guide how everyone in the company conducts business. Every employee is a representation and extension of the business.

Your story and core values create the connection to your customers. Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, stated, “If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.”

Defining your business’ identity should be a thoughtful process. What is your company’s mission? What are the features, but more importantly, the benefits of your products and services? What qualities do you want your customers to associate with your business? What is the message you want to communicate to your customers about who you are?

This leads us to the next tip…