Top branding tips for small businesses
Your brand is more than just a logo, it reinforces your company values, personality and quality of service to your customer. It's also a well known fact that loyal customers will consistently purchase a product or service from their preferred brands, regardless of convenience or price, so it's important to get it right from the beginning.
Naming your brand
Choose your brand name very carefully as it can have a detrimental effect on your overall brand awareness. The name you choose should reinforce the key elements or objectives of your business. The more your name communicates to consumers about your business and what it provides, the less effort you must exert to explain it.
If you have decided on a name for your business do some research to find out who else might be using your brand name, whether or not your desired name is available to be trademarked and don’t forget to check if it’s available as a domain name, which you can do at 123-reg.com. If you’re torn between a variety of names, try doing some consumer research or testing with focus groups to see how the names are perceived.
Designing your logo
In most circumstances your visual identity or logo will be the first impression for the consumer, so it’s very important to get it right. If you’re not a graphic designer, avoid the DIY approach and invest in a professional designer to create and develop your logo. If you are working with a small budget, make use of websites such as Fiverr.com or Peopleperhour.com to find a freelance designer to suit your desired style and budget.
Consistency is key
Every element of your business becomes a part of your brand, it’s not just a case of deciding on a name and producing a logo. Your brand needs to flow through every part of your business. Create a set of brand guidelines containing guides on your chosen colour palette, fonts, tone of voice along with other elements such as how your brand will be used on employee uniform, marketing literature and advertising. Keep your brand consistent across all media channels.
Know your audience
Before you can truly form a relationship with your customers, you need to know your audience. Who is your perfect customer? What are their interests? The more you know about your audience the easier it will be to maintain brand loyalty. Think about your tone of voice and how your brand will interact with consumers. A well-defined voice will impact the different stages of the consumers buying experience and should implemented across all media, social channels, and even customer support.