A brand is what consumers associate with a given business. Logos, slogans, mascots, color schemes, typography, and many other elements make up a company’s brand. McDonald’s, for example, is instantly recognizable by the golden arches, Ronald McDonald, or even its signature shoestring french fries.
But what does this mean for your small business? How can you get the most from your branding and drive your company to healthy growth? Below, hooed.com discusses the basics of branding and its relation to small business success.
What Is Branding?
Branding is a marketing practice that involves creating various elements (e.g., names, symbols or designs, typography, etc.) unique to your company. The goal with branding is to make a memorable experience for your customers and provide clear expectations of what your company offers.
Your brand should essentially represent what your company is all about and how you hope to be perceived by consumers. In other words, it’s a method of distinguishing yourself from the competition and selling the concept that your business offers something that others cannot.
How Does It Impact My Business?
Branding makes a significant impact on many areas of your business. Your job is to make sure it has a positive impact! For instance, your logo and other elements should elicit instance recognition for consumers. And it should convince new customers to choose your company while encouraging existing customers to stay.
Over time, a well-recognized brand, top-notch product and service quality, and excellent customer service will establish trust within your industry. And effective branding will support your marketing efforts, inspire consumers to buy your products or service, and even affect buyers’ self-concept.
Knowing When to Change
Because consumer behavior, consumer expectations, and industry trends continuously evolve, your business must be ready to change your marketing strategies at all times. For example, be aware of when you need to offer customers new information on your website or release a new product to the market. It can be helpful to use a guide or template to help visualize your go to market strategy for a new product or service. This kind of framework will aid you in covering the necessary steps to succeed.
Another way you can boost your marketing strategy is to constantly research your competitors and figure out how you can offer consumers something more. Maybe this means simplifying procedures, offering a better warranty, or providing faster results.
Furthermore, remember that the product or service itself is never what consumers want. They are after the benefit that comes from using the product or service, and it’s your job to advertise the result of your company’s offerings.
Knowing When to Hire Professionals
You may have an entire in-house marketing team, you may have two or three marketers on your staff, or you may have none. Depending on your unique situation, you will need to evaluate how you should improve your branding and marketing strategies to determine whether or not to hire professionals.
For example, if you do not have the time or expertise to produce high-quality web content, bringing in a professional could be well worth the investment. Consider the pros and cons of hiring freelancers and full-time employees so that you will know how to navigate the hiring process.
For instance, freelancers will provide specialty services at an hourly or project-based rate, while full-time employees will require a salary. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about giving employee benefits to a freelancer, but having a full-time employee on-site at all times could prove helpful for a wide range of tasks.
Your brand is what consumers will associate with your business. You want to make sure you have all the pieces in place for a positive-impact brand that will help you reach your short- and long-term goals. Along with heeding the advice above, keep looking for other methods of strengthening your brand. Before long, you will be acquiring new customers and keeping more of your existing customers satisfied!
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