5 Great Tips on Successful Small Business Branding

5 Small Business Branding Tips

We all understand how important brands can be.  There are brands that signify all over the world.  Nike.  Harley Davidson.  Starbucks.  These are companies that are more than just the products they sell.  They’re lifestyles.  They’re statements, both about the company and the consumers who choose them.

If you think bold, memorable branding is only available to big companies with massive marketing budgets, think again!  No matter your industry, you can cultivate a unique brand that resonates with your clients.  Want to know how to do it?

Small Business Branding Tips

1. Clarify Your Company’s Purpose

For a brand to be meaningful, it must connect to your company’s reason for being (which, incidentally, assumes you have a reason for being above and beyond simply earning an income.)  Why did you start your company?  How do you think you’re making the world a better place?  Without a firm grasp of your purpose, you’ll never be able to communicate what’s unique and important about your company.

2. Enlist Your Employees

Along with clarifying your purpose, you must also ensure that every single member of your staff understands that purpose and knows how and why to communicate that purpose with every customer.  In a perfect world, your purpose isn’t something that’s pounded into your staff.  It’s something you hire for.  When you hire an employee who shares your values, then you’re on the right track.  Effective branding isn’t an afterthought.  It infuses everything you do!

3. Create a Rallying Cry

So for my company, Profit First, our purpose, our rallying cry is “We want to eradicate entrepreneurial poverty!”  We say it, and we mean it.  Every morning huddle (our quickie standing meeting) reiterates our purpose and the steps we’re going to take that day to accomplish it.  Our rallying cry lets us communicate our purpose and values quickly … to anyone and everyone.  That’s our brand.

4. Enlist Your Customers

You know your purpose.  Your staff knows your purpose.  But do your customers know your purpose?  Letting your clients know that they’re buying more than just your goods or services is key to enlisting them in your brand building efforts.  Consider the Life is Good brand.  When people don a t-shirt, they’re making a statement about a lifestyle, rather than just getting dressed.  Folding in what makes you unique and worthwhile is a big part of successful branding.

5. Hire a Pro

Sometimes we think we should be able to do it all, but no matter how talented you are, you need help in the areas that aren’t your strength.  If marketing isn’t your thing, consider hiring a consultant or agency to help you crystallize and evangelize your brand.  Professionals can help you avoid spinning your wheels and wasting money on ineffective tactics.

Your brand is more than just your company name and a slogan.  It’s the expression of your values, your quality, and your unique vision.  Branding done right cements you in the minds of your customers.  It makes it easy for people to understand who you are and what you do.  Branding differentiates you from your competitors, and it speaks to your ideal customer, resonating with the people who will most appreciate your work.

Dollar Brand Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “5 Great Tips on Successful Small Business Branding” was first published on Small Business Trends

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4 Powerful Marketing Tips for Your Small Business

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4 Powerful Marketing Tips for Your Small Business

There’s so many ways to develop a brand, and so much advice on how to do it. It can be hard to distill the enormous amount of information available to small businesses who need help letting people know why their company is so important. Here are my four best tips for growing your business and your brand.

Get to Know the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is quite amazing and most people don’t realize how many resources they have. In addition to connecting small businesses that need funding with lenders, they offer tons of information on every aspect of running a business, including developing a marketing plan, the relationship between marketing and sales, and how to set a marketing budget.

Use Social Media — but Don’t do Too Much Too Soon

Entrepreneurs getting started with social media marketing often make the mistake of overdoing it. You don’t need to be everywhere, and your messaging doesn’t need to convey all things to all people. Begin by picking a small number of social media channels that are going to help your business. Then stick to messaging that’s closely related to the core value proposition of your business. Facebook is great because it can target customers based on local geographies and other parameters. Sure, it’s a little old fashioned, but it’s basically the yellow pages of the internet age, and it’s also a way to connect people directly to your business. Others like Twitter can be used in a similar way, but Facebook is a great starting point.

Take Advantage of the Cloud

The great thing about being a newer, smaller business is that you’re not handcuffed by the same technology investments as your older, larger competition. You’re free to invest in all kinds of cloud services that place the burden of technology management on someone else. Cloud services are easy to get up and running, and they give you near infinite room to grow. On the marketing front, cloud-based services like Canva, allow you to create graphic designs for social media and other marketing efforts. Constant Contact can help you send email newsletters to current and potential customers. And there’s certainly no shortage of cloud-based marketing automation applications to choose from.

Protect Your Most Valuable Marketing Asset — Data

It doesn’t matter what business you’re in: You’re going to be generating lots of data about orders, seasonal spikes in sales, customer preferences, contact information and much more. That information will fuel all of your marketing efforts going forward — and it needs to be protected. That’s why you should consider a cloud backup service like Carbonite. With cloud backup, your data is easily accessible from any internet-connected device — and cloud backup protects your business data from malware, computer theft, accidental deletion and natural disasters.

Norman Guadagno is Chief Evangelist and Senior Vice President of Marketing at Carbonite, a provider of cloud backup and recovery solutions for small and midsize businesses.

Small Business Owner Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “4 Powerful Marketing Tips for Your Small Business” was first published on Small Business Trends

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