What is a brand and do you have one? Make it easy and simple to read!
“Your brand is what people say about you when you aren’t in the room” ~ Jeff Bezos, Amazon
On ranches, a farmer would create a symbol that represented their family name or perhaps their ranch name and brand their livestock so it would be known whose it was. Branding for your business is similar: you have come up with a name or a symbol that represents what you’re about and you are presenting that to the customer. The idea is they will associate that name or symbol with the services you are offering.
Branding doesn’t have to be difficult or costly
Branding these days seems like a big undertaking that costs a lot of money. That’s not the case as you have a brand once you establish your business. Now it’s up to you to make that brand known to the consumer. Why would you do that? Let’s say you have a printing company. You want people to always come to you instead of your competitor. You create a symbol to represent your business (this is a brand) and perhaps it’s your initials in a circle. You want as many people as possible to associate that symbol or logo with where to go for printing, good service, fair pricing, and any ideals you have formed your business on.
Simple and easy to read
How do you do that? Your logo should be simple and easy to read. You want it to be prominent on your website and any marketing materials you use such as the street or building signage, direct mail, newsletters, even your email signature. Pick a color or two that is meaningful to you and carry that out with your logo and when you make any graphics so people will associate that color with your business too. Think of Target and its red bullseye logo. The other part of branding is your messaging. What is it that you are selling or doing for people? Is that clear on your website? On your signage? You can have a stunning website but if people can’t tell what you do it means nothing. People are searching around wondering what it is you actually do- that isn’t clear branding. If you wonder if that’s you, ask a friend to look at your website or promotional materials and give you feedback on how clear your message is.
What is a brand audit?
If you’ve been in business for a while, you can do a brand ‘audit’. Take the time to see if you are doing all you can to tell your story. Identify your strengths and weaknesses, the customer’s perception of you, and decide if you need a strategy to make your brand stronger or better. The first step is your website as mentioned before, second is reviews- do you have any? Are you promoting them? Are you using Google My Business to your advantage? That leads us to social media- which channels are right for you and are you using them? Do you take the time to post and follow up? These days that’s an integral part of running a business. Do your images on social media adequately represent what it is you do or stand for? Does the text do the same?
What is your competition doing?
Can they inspire you? Are they doing something innovative you haven’t thought of? Or do they spend more time on their messaging and/or is their messaging clearer than yours?
Lastly, what do your customers say?
Not getting feedback? Offer a giveaway if they will fill out a quick card with a survey or if they will sign up for an email from you with a survey. If you are comfortable and see customers on a regular basis, just ask for their feedback. People genuinely want to help you be the best you can be. So sure, you can pay a company lots of money to create a brand for you and get the word out but you can do this yourself too. Sometimes you might need to spend a little money to help make a logo or on something such as a direct mail piece to advertise your business. Know there is a return on your investment with potentially lifelong, loyal customers.
As always, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask your small business marketing questions.
WineHaus Marketing is located in downtown Beaverton. We work with small and mid-sized businesses wanting to improve their online presence. We focus on three key areas that drive success: Website Design, Social Media Marketing, and Email Marketing. For a free consultation, call 971-724-2347 or email email@example.com.