Written by Ashley Lipman
Branding is about more than the color of your logo. It’s the story behind your business. It’s what sets you apart from the competition and keeps customers coming back again and again. Without solid branding, your customers are left in the dark about your values, what makes you unique, and why they should even choose you in the first place.
Think of the brands you’ve come to love. Maybe you always choose Coca-Cola over Pepsi, or you’re committed to Nike shoes. These might seem like small things, but they’re all the product of excellent branding. Note that branding isn’t just the way something looks, but also the way a product or company makes you feel.
Building a brand today isn’t optional. In this age of competition between industries, every business needs to be on the lookout for ways to gain an edge over competitors. How can you build a brand for your business that stands out? Hint: it doesn’t take a big budget. Let’s dive deeper into why you need a brand for your business, and how to get the branding process started.
There are a lot of confusing myths surrounding branding. It’s not always clear how branding applies to smaller businesses, and why you even need it in the first place. Before we discuss the real value of branding, we need to break down some myths that might be getting in your way.
Myth: Branding is only for big businesses.
While big-brands are most likely to be recognized by their branding, this is not something exclusive to them. Many small businesses think they don’t need branding for their business because they’re too small for it to matter. This is a mistake. As a small company, every little thing matters more. A compelling story and quality logo go a long way in making an impact for small businesses.
Myth: Branding is expensive.
Another barrier to entry for small businesses hoping to develop their brand is the idea that it’s too expensive. On the contrary, branding can be quite affordable. It’s something you can’t possibly ignore if you want to succeed. Twitter, one of the most well-known social media platforms on the planet, bought their logo for only $15. As long as your message is clear, you’re golden.
Myth: Customers don’t notice branding.
To debunk this myth, let’s consider a situation you’ve likely found yourself in before. How many times have you had to choose between two brands at a grocery store? Maybe you’re looking at a cleaning product and don’t know which to choose. You’re going to select the one which seems the most appealing to you. These are branding-based decisions, and your customers are no different.
Branding is Crucial
Now that we’ve broken down the common myths about branding, we’re ready to talk more about why it’s so essential. First of all, humans are emotional buyers. No matter how logical you think you are when you’re online shopping or when you’re browsing a convenience store, you make your decisions based on how you feel first and foremost. Branding knows this, and it takes advantage of these emotions to connect with customers.
Connecting with customers today is necessary if you want to compete against the bigger names in the business. It’s not enough to have a great product or service. You need to know how to market it, and branding is the foundation for any strong marketing plan. Yes, having a great logo and choosing the right colors is important, but these things don’t matter nearly as much as your story. Stories are what bring people together, and customers want to know your story.
Finally, people are loyal to the brands they love. A recent study revealed most people buy from brands that show they care. Show your customers that you care about them and that you take them seriously. Your branding acts as a promise. When they buy from you, they’ll come to expect a certain level of quality or service. This will keep them coming back time and time again.
There’s no denying that you need to build a brand if you want to succeed in this day and age. Now that you know why branding is so powerful, you’re ready to start creating a brand that connects with your audience. Where do you start? Here are the key things to consider when starting with your own business brand.
Start with the story.
People connect with stories, so this should be the backbone of your branding decisions. How can you tell a story through your company products, colors, and marketing choices? Keep your messaging clear across all fronts to be consistent.
Go digital with your branding.
Your branding doesn’t stop at business cards and packaging. The top specialists in all areas of SEO recommend taking your branding a step further by creating a website that really reflects your business and your goals.
Grow your brand as you grow.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to branding, and that means there are no rules. You can go all in during the initial stages, or you can scale as you continue to grow your business. Choose things that make sense for your company, and don’t be afraid to keep building on those things.
Branding isn’t something that’s one-and-done. Your company is always developing, and your branding should evolve with it. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone to attract the right customers. Sometimes it’s these bold steps that are the loudest in the industry.
Are you ready to build your own brand? There’s no time to waste. Businesses all over the globe are recognizing the power of branding, and it’s only a matter of time before the competition heats up further. Create a brand for your business today to see how it helps you grow.