Don’t Cut Back Your Branding. Brand Smarter.

Unbeknownst to many business owners, branding goes far beyond your company logo, business name, and the colors of your business card. Branding is the process of establishing a clear and differentiated identity among your prospects and customers. When done well, branding can be one of your company’s most valuable assets, just look at Coca-Cola, Starbucks or UPS. I’ve outlined a few steps below to help your small business put some branding strategies in place. During these tough economic times, the trick is not to cut back your branding, but to brand smarter.

Find Out Why They Like You

First, you should gauge the market’s perception of your business today. Ask your customers why they selected you over your competition, and what they like most about your organization.

Next, determine whether your current value proposition resonates with your customers.

Then, review your business plan and examine every aspect of your brand.

Define Your Brand

Your brand is an intangible asset. Identify how your business differentiates itself from competitors, and how your products and services will satisfy customers’ needs. Finally, think about how to better interact with your customers.

The goal is to get your target market to attribute certain qualities to your business in a way that spurs them to take a desired action. One organization may strive to become the most trusted name in its industry, while another fulfills an untapped need in the marketplace. What is your brand hoping to achieve?

Make Sure Your Brand is Consistent. Consistently.

Deliver consistent messaging of your brand in every possible situation, such as talking to the press, writing an industry article, and speaking directly with your customers. Customer experience with your brand can also be enhanced by elements beyond marketing materials, including:

  • Your product packaging and appeal
  • Your team member expertise
  • The look and feel of your office
  • Website ease of use and navigation

Setup a Twitter or Facebook Page. What are you Waiting for?

Social media is text, video, images, photos, audio and other media generated by and shared with everyday people from decentralized sources. Therefore, any website that invites you to interact with the site and with other visitors, such as Twitter, Facebook, and company Blogs fall into the definition of social media.

These handy social networking tools can help draw attention to your business, attract new customers and turn current customers into die-hard fans.

Social networking is an effective tool to find new customers and build stronger relationships with your current customers. In today’s digital age, it’s important to use social interaction to reinforce your branding messaging.

Track your performance

Measuring the impact of your social media is important too. You can either reach out to an external audience with the help of a third party vendor such as The Nielsen Company, or track brand awareness on social media sites with a service like Sensidea.

Put all of tracking records into one spreadsheet and see whether your branding efforts enhance your business goals.

A Word of Caution

Just a word of caution, branding is a long-term effort and measurable results cannot be always be seen immediately. You need to focus certain aspects of the brand and deliver consistent messaging based upon them. Stick to your branding strategy and you will benefit enormously when the economy turns around. Now stop all of this talk about cut-backs, and go out there and brand smarter!

Photo credit: Google Image

* Original post appears on Spotlight Communications website

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