Branding is an important part of owning a small business. Check out these six tips to effectively implementing and communicating your brand.
By Phil Stella
Everything a small business does brands itself. Everything we say or do brands us as worthy resources … or not. But, it’s the marketplace that really determines our brand. It’s what they really think of us. It’s why they buy from us rather than the competition. It’s their reaction to what we communicate as our value proposition.
It’s therefore crucial—as a small business owner—to effectively establish and communicate your brand. Here are six tips for branding your way to success:
Branding tip no. 1: Accurately describe your value proposition.
This is what you do through the lens of who benefits from what you do. You don’t “fix computers,” you “solve technology problems for small businesses.” You may need help with the specific details from colleagues—or even better, from customers.
Branding tip no. 2: Be specific.
Many small businesses provide lots of different products or services. Identify what you do best, what sells the most, and what produces the most revenue…and profit. This narrowing of scope doesn’t limit your appeal, it makes it much easier for the marketplace to remember what you can do for them.
Branding tip no. 3: Consider a rebrand.
If your company name no longer communicates that value proposition—or never did—it’s time to consider re-branding. What makes more sense: The Andrew Peters Group, Inc or Tech Solutions, Inc.?
Branding tip no. 4: Reinforce the brand.
If you’ve taken the step to rebrand, it’s time to then make sure everything customers and prospects see and hear reinforces that brand promise and value proposition. This includes your visual branding—logo, business cards, website graphics. You should even update your voicemail greeting. Add a branding line to it: “Thanks for calling Tech Solutions, your resource for small business technology installation, training and repair…”
Branding tip no. 5: Invest in your brand.
Commit the necessary time and dollars to create effective, efficient and engaging MarCom strategies and techniques. Hire one or more small business branding/marketing experts to help you.
Branding tip no. 6: Become fully immersed in branding.
Take full advantage of all marketing and branding-related learning activities COSE, your chamber or professional groups provide. Attend workshops or webinars, read blog posts, discuss the topic when networking at events. There are a lot of resources out there to help you take your branding to the next level.
Now, the next steps are up to you. Search for experts who are ideally positioned to pro-vide you cost-effective support. Commit to attending several professional development events this year. Make learning about these topics high on your list of objectives when-ever you network at a business event … and Brand Your Way to Success!
Phil Stella runs Effective Training & Communication, www.communicate-confidently.com, 440 804-4785, and empowers business leaders to reduce the pain with workplace communication. A popular trainer and executive coach on writing, communication styles and sales presentations, he is also on the Cleveland faculty of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.