Building a Brand for Your Small Business

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Are you a small business owner?

And still looking for cost-effective means to brand it?

Giving your new venture a good start with branding is not a big deal as you may think. Many of the entrepreneurs fear that creating an identity for their brands demands good investment and expertise. In the present digital era, building a brand is not that expensive or daunting. If you are looking for a stronghold in the marketplace, all you need is a strong branding strategy at the heart of your business. Here are a few pragmatic steps which you could follow for this:

  1. Define Your Brand

    Identify Your Customers - Branding is not just for corporate giants, you can do it too. As a first step, define your brand by identifying your potential customers. Just find out the real audience to whom you desire to sell out your products or offer your services. Ask yourself what’s the age group you prefer, their income, the gender, and what are the benefits you expect to bring to your customers. Moreover, always keep in mind, benefits doesn’t mean the features of your products but of your brand as a whole. Get it written down right away. Thereby you will get a clear idea about what you are going to offer and what your marketplace will be like.

    Your Mission - Every business has a mission. What is yours? Is it yet to define? If your answer is yes, it’s high time to get ready with one now. Because it is the foundation to start with the groundwork for your branding efforts. What we are talking about is, know your goals and consider your business’ values and ethics to determine your mission. Once you define this, you will get a clear picture of what you are trying to achieve. This will help you to streamline your branding efforts more effectively.

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    What Makes You Unique - It’s doesn’t matter how incredible your products/services are. There will always be someone on the other side doing the same. Therefore, if you want to stand out in the crowd, find out for yourself what makes you different. For instance, if your product is toothpaste, yours must be the one with natural ingredients. Or if you are offering a consulting service, yours must be a cost-effective one. Well, it doesn’t matter how big or small that difference is, bring that point to the spotlight so that your customers could easily identify the uniqueness with yours.

  2. Make it Memorable | Develop your Brand Identity

    Have you ever noticed any brands with similar products who had successfully developed their brand identity and have got people-favored? Take Coke and Pepsi, for instance. What has made them different? They have unique and catchy names, logos which would draw anyone’s attention, and many more related features. You must be wondering how to get this done. There is nothing much, other than these:

    Pick a right name - You might think what’s in a name. When it comes to success, naming your business means a lot, especially for a startup. To stand the competition, the prime key is to get a unique and impressive name for your business. The name you choose should reflect the value and uniqueness of your business. There are primarily six standard categories of business names. This includes initials or abbreviations, owner’s name, trendy words, mainstream words, made-up words, and obvious words which involves the type of business you do. Go through these and choose the one that rightly meets your purpose. Finally, once you are ready with it, recheck if the name is available for you and not trademarked already. You may check it in the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), the federal database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

    Have a logo - Your logo is the major key to your visual branding strategy. Sketch a few designs which you would like to get displayed, the ideas you prefer to convey. And choose from those. But remember, it should be unique and not a generic one. Make it more catchy with visually pleasing color. And more importantly, be smart enough to convey your ideas through the logo. Which means, you can wrap different concepts which you would want to convey through this logo. In case, this seems not your cup of tea, you may seek help from professional hands to get this done.

    Domain Name - Clean and easy-to-use websites are one of the top secrets of successful businesses. As an entrepreneur, this is really important for you to keep your business running. For this, the initial step is to find out a unique domain name (address of your website). See that the domain name you have chosen is not taken by anyone else. You may check its availability on domain registrars such as Wix, GoDaddy, NameCheap, Squarespace, Web.com and the related. In case, the URL you have chosen is already taken but you need it, you may request the company to buy it from them.

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  3. Grow Your Community

    Once you are ready with the above, your next move should be to expand your community. If you observe closely, you could find that this is the backbone of all successful brands.

    Blogs - Blogging is one the effective means. Write about your startup, and share it with as many audiences on social media.

    Social Media Posts - It is not necessary to remain active on "all" social media platforms all of a sudden. You can select one or two among them including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn, and start sharing your content on them. By investing your time and resources this way, you could run brand awareness, slowly engage your online community and build it up.

    Social Media Groups - If you are not savvy in social media, you may join some social media groups such as Meetups, LinkedIn networks or Facebook groups and see what’s trending.

    This list of guidelines is still incomplete. But if you take into consideration all these important tips, you can build your startup to next new level. Above all, remember that your customers are your real asset. Offering good customer service would improve your brand’s reputation, and your customers would definitely stick on to you, once they receive good experience from your end. Therefore, always invest your time and efforts in such branding strategies which really work!

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Guest Monday, 20 May 2019
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