Branding 101: Essential Branding Tips for Small Business
Branding - it’s a big buzzword in business, especially when you’re just starting. But what exactly is branding, and why should it matter to your small business? According to Shopify, branding creates a distinct identity for a business in the mind of your target audience and consumers. Put simply - branding is the personality of your business. It’s not just a logo or a striking color palette. It’s the heart and soul of what makes your business, your business. So let’s talk about branding, why it matters, and how to use it.
What is branding?
As I mentioned before, branding is the personality of your business. It’s your company's logo, visual design, mission, tone of voice, product mix, quality, and so much more. The key here is to understand that branding goes beyond how you visually present your business to your customers; it also guides how you interact with them as well. That’s why I encourage you to think about branding as your business’s personality. You’re not only presenting your business to the world but also interacting with the world too.
Pro Tip: A great exercise to determine the personality of your business is a “word dump.” During this process, you sit down and write out all the words describing your business. Don’t be afraid to get your team or audience involved!
Why does branding matter?
So why does branding matter? Think about it as preparing for a first date. It’s not only about the outfit, your hair, and all those other physical assets; you want to be mentally prepared as well. The same goes for your business! You could have the best logo, designs, etc., but if you don’t know how to interact with your audience or clients appropriately, the date is over before it even begins. That’s what good branding does. It goes behind the visual and includes the more “mental” aspect of client interaction.
Pro Tip: To go beyond the basic branding, consider your brand’s tone of voice, customer service, quality of products or services, and pricing. It’s all about the identity of your business!
How do you use branding?
Now that your branding is down, it’s time to get to work! You should take special care to make sure your brand is put into practice across all your marketing channels and in your day-to-day interactions with customers. Having “good” branding is just a start. Ongoing brand management is just as vital to the success of your business!
Pro Tip: Having clear brand guidelines is essential to good branding. Your brand guidelines should include not only your logo variations, logo do’s and don’ts, and color palette but also other essential information. Don’t forget your mission statement, a list of products and services, price points, a description of the “feel” of your storefront, brand voice, etc.