4 Creative Ways to Build a Successful Small Business Brand
Developing a small business brand offers your customers something more than just a product — it provides theme something to align with.
There are so many elements to starting a new business that it can be overwhelming in the beginning. Of course, you need to consider the logistics such as;
Will you purchase a physical store or only sell online?
What types of products will you offer and where will you stock them?
But, these are probably all questions you’ve considered before actually committing to starting a business. Now that you have a sense of what you’ll sell and who you’ll market to, you need to build a strong brand. Brands are more than companies. They encompass ideas and values that align with their customers. Brands create recognizable materials like custom packaging and catchy slogans. If you’re working on trying to build your brand and spread awareness, follow some of these top tips to get started.
Why Is Branding Important?
You might be wondering why you even need brand awareness to create a lucrative business. But, it is essential to your success because brands are able to align themselves and engage with customers in a deeper way than companies without any real identity. Your brand should encapsulate the lifestyle that your target market leads or wants to lead.
For example, if you sell outdoor equipment, your brand voice, website appearance and social media posts should all appeal to people who are interested in outdoor activities such as hiking, rock climbing, biking and water sports. Outdoorsy type people are also usually associated with a laid-back attitude and a healthy lifestyle. This is important to consider before building a brand because, ideally, your brand will also have these same values and interests, which your consumers can identify with. This strong connection leads to brand loyalty and great word-of-mouth recommendations.
How to Create a Successful Small Business Brand
Appeal to Your Target Market
As previously mentioned, you should build your brand around your products and your target market. Consider what types of people will buy from your company more often.
What are their values?
How old are they?
What level of yearly income do they have?
All of these factors are important to branding. You want your shoppers to feel a connection with your brand and that becomes part of the reason that they buy from you. Age and income level are important as well. If your target market is above the age of 50 years old, it’s unlikely that they are using Instagram on a regular basis, thus you don’t need to waste time developing and implementing Instagram marketing strategies as your demographic will not likely see your work. Instead, research which media outlets and websites your target market tends to engage in and put your effort into creating a strategy around that.
Make Your Brand Your Own
Building a brand is entirely about uniqueness. People should be able to distinctly notice how your brand is different from competitors. For example, the Dollar Shave Club does a great job announcing to its market how it stands out—no more pink razors. For decades, men’s and women’s razors have been sold separately based on color though the function of razors is the same. Women have historically paid what is referred to as “the pink tax,” meaning a higher price for the same product, but in pink. Dollar Shave Club emphasizes that their razors are gender neutral and the same price.
This company also uses a subscription-based model to appeal to customers because they recognize that people do not go out and replace razors as often as they probably should. So, Dollar Shave Club offers regular deliveries of new razors at a very affordable price. Clearly, they know and understand their target market. They recognize that women are tired of paying more for a pink razor, and they use this as a slogan to attract people who don’t want to continue using gendered products at a higher price. This is just one of many examples of how brands appeal to their market, but you can take the same approach by considering problems or concerns your demographic has that your products can help or alleviate.
Use Custom Packaging and Promotional Items
When you’re just getting your business up and running, it’s important to expose as many people as possible to your brand in the hopes that they remember you and purchase from your store or site. One great way to do this is by giving out promotional items and using custom packaging. Promotional items are free gifts like water bottles, stickers, keychains–anything someone might use regularly that features your company’s name and logo. The more often someone sees your company name, the more likely they are to remember it and potentially make a purchase.
When you use custom packaging to send orders, you’re showing customers yet another way in which you stand out. Whether you use retail package design with your logo, a cool pattern and company name or even just utilize eco-friendly packaging, you want to make a lasting impression on each and every customer.
Use Social Media to Promote Your Brand
Once you’ve created a brand image and voice that works for you, it’s time to start promoting your brand and increasing awareness. One of the best ways to curate an image that aligns with your brand is through social media posts. With Facebook and Instagram, you can use the business features to target users that match your demographic. But, through these channels, you should be doing more than selling products–you’re creating a vibe for your brand.
Let’s go back to the outdoor equipment example. This type of company very likely has a customer base that is interested in travel and outdoor activities. Through their social media channels, they can appeal to customers with posts about great travel destinations for hiking or photos of surfers and paddle boarders that are visually appealing and capture attention. Before selecting your platforms, you should conduct some research on which age demographic uses which channels the most and tailor this to match your needs.
Without a strong brand identity, your company will find it difficult to build a base of loyal customers that return to you time and time again. Use custom packaging and free promotional items to help potential consumers remember your company. Then, build your brand around your products and the interests of your target market. Promote your brand to grow awareness and continually integrate new strategies for the greatest chance at success.