Smart Business Branding in 2022
You've just embarked on one of the most intimidating yet rewarding ventures imaginable — you've started your own small business. While challenging, owning a business can be lucrative and fulfilling. Now that the groundwork for your business has been laid, it's time to consider your company's brand. Creating a strong brand for your company is integral to your success, so where do you start?
What Is Branding?
Many people believe a logo is the majority of a company's brand. While logos are important, branding encompasses much more than what your customers see. Your brand influences how customers feel about your company. A fool-proof branding strategy evokes emotion from customers, sparks long-term loyalty, and creates a personality for your business. For example, Starbucks transformed what was once just a cup of coffee into a customized experience, encouraging customers to call the billion-dollar company "The Third Place," a home away from home.
How Branding Affects the Customer Experience
Customers want to feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves. They long to have an emotional connection to the brands they buy. Consumers desire personalized, tailored branding that appeals to them individually. As a small business owner, you're afforded unique opportunities to connect with customers on a level that's impossible for corporations to duplicate. Use this to your advantage. Learn as much as you can about your customer base, integrate this knowledge into your branding strategy, and follow through with long-term strategies that encourage customer loyalty.
What You Can Do on Your Own
Customer perception of your business is intertwined with business outcomes. As a small business owner, you may be able to do some branding on your own. You can create your business website and develop your brand by carefully crafting relevant and engaging content online. Additionally, you can design your company logo and choose a color palette for your brand.
Keep in mind, however, that while you're branding your business, you're also responsible for every other aspect of running a small company. Know your limits and recognize when you may need an expert to assist you with creating your brand.
Hiring a Pro
If you struggle with creating a brand identity, have too much on your plate as a new small business owner, or simply want the best branding possible, consider hiring a branding agency. A branding professional helps you identify what your customers want from a brand and how to go about creating an identity to suit their needs.
Begin vetting branding agencies by sending over the ideas you currently have, such as logos and product photos. It’s useful to convert a PDF to Word to make any last minute adjustments. You can always turn the Word back into a PDF file when you’ve made these final adjustments.
A professional branding agency takes your dreams and makes them a reality, so you can focus on growing your business and customer base.
Your Brand Identity Determines Your Success
Developing and maintaining a brand identity is crucial to the success of your business. Whether you decide to do it on your own or hire a professional agency, your brand determines how customers perceive and interact with your company.
Join your local chamber of commerce to learn more about branding from established local business owners.