If you were asked to think of some of the most iconic brands in the world, I’d bet that Nike, Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, and, Starbucks would make the list. But how did these companies build such strong, recognizable brands? What is their secret? That’s what every business owner wants to know, and it is what we are going to explore throughout this blog.
Having a strong, recognizable brand is something that every company strives for. But developing one is no easy feat. Branding goes far beyond just a logo & colour scheme, it encompasses the entire identity of your business, from visual identity to messaging and customer experience. A brand is more important than one might think, it will define a company and influence customers' perception, so rushing through the development stage is not advised.
How does a small, locally owned business develop a brand that can compete in today’s fast-paced and competitive market? It sure does sound like a daunting and costly task, but it doesn’t have to be. Take advantage of external resources by reaching out to a local marketing and branding company to seek their expertise in all things brand content marketing. Strong branding is just as important for local businesses as it is for large multinational corporations. We’ve broken it down by putting together this list of 6 branding and marketing tricks that are simple for small, local businesses to implement.
let your logo do the talking
Although a brand encompasses much more than just a logo, it is still a big part of branding and marketing, and more than likely, logos are one of the first considerations when companies are looking to build a brand. Logo development is a crucial part of the branding process, as it is often one of the first things that a customer will notice about a company, so it is important to make a great first impression. Many principles of logo design are rooted in psychology and many branding agencies understand the logic behind these principles. For SMB's, researching and reaching out to a few local marketing and branding agencies to work with will likely be well worth the investment. Branding experts can dive into the science and logic behind specific shapes, colours, and fonts, and use their knowledge to create logo designs that will appeal to your ideal customers.
establish a Mission Statement
A mission statement is an important step in developing your brand. Typically, a mission statement is a clear and concise summary of a company’s purpose, values, and goals. Many companies use their mission statement as the guiding force in all that they do as it defines core beliefs and paves the way to reaching their desired objectives. In essence, a mission statement helps to create a roadmap for a business's growth and success, hence why it is an important tip for local businesses wishing to establish a strong brand.
One key benefit of developing a mission statement is that it provides clarity and focus to a business's branding and marketing efforts. By clearly articulating the company's values and purpose, a mission statement can help create a consistent and recognizable brand identity. This, in turn, can make it easier for customers to understand what the business stands for and what it has to offer.
Furthermore, a mission statement can help a business differentiate itself from its competitors. By highlighting unique values and goals, a company can stand out in a crowded market and appeal to customers who share similar beliefs. This can create a loyal customer base that is more likely to return to the business and recommend it to others.
There are also plenty of internal benefits that a mission statement can encourage. By involving employees in the development process, a mission statement can help to create a sense of shared purpose and direction. This can improve employee morale, motivation, and productivity, leading to a more positive work environment and better customer service.
Overall, developing a mission statement is a crucial step for any local business looking to establish a strong brand and effective marketing strategy. It provides clarity and focus to a company's actions, helps differentiate it from its competitors, and can have internal benefits for employees. By taking the time to develop a well-crafted mission statement, a business can set itself up for long-term success and growth.
Define your Brand Positioning
Defining brand positioning is crucial for small businesses as it helps establish a unique identity in the market and enables them to differentiate themselves from competitors. Brand positioning refers to the way a business positions their brand in the minds of its target audience and how it distinguishes itself based on key attributes and values.
In some cases, enlisting in help from a local marketing and branding company can help with determining a company's brand positioning, as it can be quite a detailed process that may be too overwhelming for small businesses to tackle on their own. To define brand positioning, a business must first conduct thorough market research and gain a deep understanding of their target audience. This includes identifying customers’ needs, preferences, and pain points. By analyzing the market landscape and studying competitors, the business can uncover opportunities to position themselves uniquely. They should then articulate their brand’s mission, vision, and values, which serve as guiding principles for the businesses and help shape its positioning strategy. This involves determining the key attributes and benefits that make their product or service stand out from the competition.
Once the brand positioning is defined, it serves as a compass for all aspects of the business, from marketing and communication to product development and customer experience. A small business with a well-defined brand position is able to establish a consistent and cohesive brand identity, which builds trust and credibility among consumers. It helps create a compelling brand story that resonates with the target audience, and fosters a meaningful connection.
Furthermore, brand positioning enables small businesses to effectively communicate their unique value proposition to their target market. By highlighting their distinct attributes and benefits, they can carve out a specific niche in the market. This can help attract customers who align with the brand values and are more likely to become long term customers.
Adapt to the digital age
At this point in time, most businesses know that social media is a powerful marketing tool that they should be using. Local businesses can especially benefit from the power of social media by using it to build their brand, gain recognition, and connect with their community and target audience. By leveraging social media platforms, local businesses can reach a wider audience than they would otherwise be able to interact with through traditional marketing tactics. These platforms serve as an avenue for businesses to showcase their products, services, and unique offerings to a larger audience. People are visual creatures – even more so now because of the popularity of social media. Sharing visually appealing photos and videos that communicate the value that a business provides, is a great way to engage with customers, and attract new ones. Social media platforms also allow businesses to engage directly with customers by responding to comments and messages, which creates a more personal connection. This is especially important for local businesses, as it can help them embrace the community they are in, connect with other businesses, and potentially benefit from local marketing campaigns.
With the right strategies and consistent efforts, social media can be a valuable asset for local businesses to thrive in a digital landscape. However, we understand that a social media strategy can be a lot to manage on your own. This is a great example of a time when a local marketing and branding company may be a valuable resource for a company to explore. If you’re interested in how our team can make your social media dreams come true, reach out to us today.
Don't forget about tradition
In today’s digital age, it is easy to overlook the significance of traditional marketing tools, but tangible items still play a crucial role in building a strong brand identity, especially for small businesses.
Marketing materials such as flyers, business cards, and signage, provide a unique opportunity for businesses to make a lasting impression on their target audience. Not only do these items serve as powerful visual representations of a brand, but they are also a more permanent reminder of a business’ offerings.
By incorporating consistent brand design elements across these marketing materials, businesses are able to reinforce their brand image and leave a lasting imprint in the minds of potential customers. Smart, eye-catching design paired with strategic placement of these marketing materials can help small businesses to increase their chances of being noticed and remembered. For example, a well-designed flyer posted in an area that catches visual attention, or having carefully crafted business cards ready to hand out at various networking events, will ultimately drive customer engagement and conversion.
Additionally, these types of marketing materials provide SMB’s with the opportunity to convey their unique value proposition and key messages through compelling copy and visuals. Concise and impactful messaging is going to capture the attention of a target audience and motivate them to take action.
follow the (Brand) Guidelines
Creating a brand guideline is a crucial step for any business looking to establish a strong brand identity that your customer base can easily recognize. For small local businesses, having a well-defined brand guideline can be particularly beneficial as it can help them stand out in a crowded market and compete with larger companies.
As a Growth Marketing agency, creating a brand guideline for our clients is standard practice. Building a brand or completing a rebrand project is a time and money investment, and it is important to get the most out of it. Developing a brand guideline will clearly outline the specifics of a brand and how to use elements such as fonts, colours, logos, and more.
Here are some reasons why creating a brand guideline can help small local businesses grow their brand:
A brand guideline provides a clear set of guidelines on how the business should present itself across all channels, from the logo and colour palette to the tone of voice used in marketing materials. By maintaining consistency in branding, small local businesses can establish a strong visual and emotional connection with their audience, which can lead to increased brand recognition and loyalty.
With so many businesses vying for customers' attention, it's important for small local businesses to differentiate themselves from the competition. A brand guideline can help businesses define their unique value proposition and communicate it effectively to their target audience. This guideline is an effective SMB marketing strategy because it clearly articulates what sets them apart from the competition, and can attract customers who share their values and are more likely to become loyal fans.
For small local businesses with limited resources, a brand guideline can be a valuable tool for streamlining the branding process. By having a clear set of guidelines to follow, businesses can save time and money on design and marketing efforts, as well as ensure that all materials are consistent and on-brand.
A well-defined brand guideline can help small businesses appear more professional and trustworthy to potential customers. By presenting a cohesive and consistent brand image across all channels, businesses can build trust and credibility with their audience, which can lead to increased sales and revenue. Small businesses also appear more professional and experienced by having a complete brand guideline prepared and available to share with vendors, or business partners.
While a brand guideline provides a clear framework for branding, it also allows for some flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions and customer needs. Small local businesses can use a brand guideline as a starting point and make adjustments as needed to ensure that branding remains relevant and effective.
Overall, creating a brand guideline is a key step for small local businesses looking to establish a strong brand identity and build a loyal customer base. By providing consistency, differentiation, efficiency, professionalism, and flexibility, a brand guideline can help small businesses compete with larger companies and stand out in a crowded market. Whether you're just starting out or looking to revamp your existing branding, investing in a well-defined brand guideline can be a valuable tool for growing your business and achieving long-term success.
Marketing and branding is important for all businesses, but for small, local businesses, it can be the key to success in today’s competitive landscape. By understanding brand positioning, having a solid mission statement, utilizing various marketing channels, and having a great logo, businesses can create a powerful presence that resonates with customers and sets them apart from the crowd.
If you’re ready to make your name known but don’t know where to start, send us a message, we’re happy to help.