Branding is the difference between someone able to identify your brand’s name and someone identifying with your brand. What do we mean?
Let’s say someone is shopping for outdoor gear. There are two stores right next to each other, which sell the same things. It’s REI and a competitor.
If you’ve spent any time in the outdoors market, you know immediately what REI stands for. They’re always sponsoring outdoor cleanup efforts, they give back to their customers (literally), and their marketing is consistent.
We know that’s not exactly branding for small business, but it’s a good example. Who knows? With the proper marketing, you could be the next REI-level brand!
For some ideas on how to get there, read below.
- Employee Presentation Matters
Target’s been around so long and has long since become a household brand, so you may not realize the branding choices they’ve made along the way. The one we want to highlight today is the red top and khaki bottoms uniform.
Their employees have the choice of any plain red-colored top and khaki bottoms. This way, they can express their personal style and pick something that flatters them. They get to put their own spin on it, but they’re immediately recognized as Target employees in-store.
In fact, there are memes about non-employees who walk into target wearing that same combination and getting asked questions by customers. Guess those customers didn’t realize the non-employee didn’t have a Target nametag.
Consider implementing a Target-like uniform (the policy, not the colors) at your small business. You can get name tags to add to the ensemble from bestnamebadges.com.
- Consistency is Key
When it comes to branding, the worst thing a brand can do is not be consistent. We’re not talking about how logos evolve over the years – even Target’s logo design has done that.
We’re talking about not sticking to one identity. Think about back when the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) tried to promote their burgers by becoming “International House of Burgers, IHOB.” Twitter roasted them mercilessly.
When it comes to branding, bad attention is bad attention. Teach your customers what your brand is and stick to it.
- A Branding Agency Can Set You Up
Many small businesses never work with corporate branding agencies because they assume they can’t afford their services. While that’s probably true long-term, smaller-scale marketing businesses will likely meet with you and help you create a marketing strategy (for a fee).
You’ll have to do all the follow-through yourself, but paying an expert to strategize for you is worth the cost!
Successful Branding for Small Business
The above tips are great, but they don’t mean anything unless you know what your business stands for. To use them effectively, you need to create a business mission statement. Google’s, for example, is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Once you create a mission statement for yourself, you’ll be able to better apply these branding for small business tips. We wish you all the luck and are always here for you with ideas, tips, and tricks! Bookmark our site for fast quick access.