No matter what size your business is, it’s essential to prioritize branding. Critical to making your company stand out, engaging your audience, and securing customer loyalty, branding sets you apart from your competitors and facilitates commercial success.
While major corporations have multi-million dollar campaigns at their disposal, smaller businesses are typically working on a much tighter budget. Fortunately, you don’t need megabucks to successfully brand your business. To find out how to build a brand that inspires an audience and stands the test of time, take a look at these top affordable strategies now:
Identify your brand
Many people assume that a brand is created when you choose a logo or select custom colors for your letterheads but there’s far more to building a sustainable brand than that. Although your company’s typography and graphics should always reflect its brand, the brand is far more than the sum of its parts.
Before you can design your artwork or create your website, it’s essential to identify what your brand means and what qualities you want to champion. Think about how you want your target audience to view your company. Should they associate you with impeccable customer service, luxury goods, and extravagance or do you want to convey the qualities of affordable quality and reliability? Are you overtly on-trend or trustworthy and traditional?
When identifying your brand, think about how you view your company and what you want to offer your audience. Crucially, you’ll also need to consider what your target demographic is looking for in relation to your services and products. Furthermore, establishing your ‘Point of Difference’ and figuring out what sets your firm apart from its competitors is another vital aspect of the branding process.
Establishing your brand can take time but it’s not something you want to rush. A well-honed brand will last forever, so you don’t want to be stuck with qualities that don’t reflect your company’s ethos or operations. What’s more, once your audience has associated you with key qualities, it can be difficult to change their minds. By spending the necessary amount of time really identifying what your brand says about you, you’ll have the grounding you need to move forward.
Design your artwork
Now that you know more about what your brand is and what it says about your business, you can begin creating artwork to reflect your brand message. Unless you’re an experienced artist or designer, you’ll want to get expert help with this.
Working with designers who specialize in your niche is always a great way to get the expert input you require. If you’re launching an independent clothing brand, for example, you may want to work with an established fashion web design agency. Alternatively, if you’re opening up a fleet repair auto shop, you probably want to seek out a B2B design agency to assist with bringing your brand to life.
Creating the right artwork is undeniably tricky, which is why it’s worth finding the right designers to work with. As well as looking great and being versatile enough to work in various mediums, your company’s artwork should reflect a clear brand message.
Before signing off on any graphics or designs, really assess them in relation to your identified brand qualities and see if they correlate. Many successful entrepreneurs incorporate market research at this stage of the branding process, as it helps to gain an insight into how your target audience will react to your potential designs. By getting opinions from the people that matter most (your audience), you can ensure that your core designs and artwork are on message.
Begin content marketing
As your brand begins to take shape, you’ll want to get to work developing a comprehensive content strategy. In addition to creating original content for your own website, you’ll need to content to publish on other platforms. By establishing yourself or your company as experts in your particular area of operations, you can gain the trust of your audience.
Increasing your credibility is important for all businesses but it’s particularly vital for new brands. Consumers won’t automatically associate you with reliability and authenticity because they have no previous experience on which to base these assumptions. With content marketing, however, you can convey your brand’s qualities and publicize the qualities you wish to highlight. In doing so, you’ll gain the trust of online users and generate loyalty amongst your target audience.
Remember – content marketing isn’t solely about writing copy to be published online. Content marketing refers to a wide range of tools, including images, videos, webinars, vlogs, e-books, white papers, audio, e-courses, email marketing, and much, much more.
To really maximize the impact of your marketing, create a content schedule that features numerous different types of content. This will make it easier to ensure your content is placed on relevant platforms and will give you the opportunity to engage with your audience via their preferred method.
Find suitable partnerships
There are many businesses out there targeting the same audience but they all your competitors. By partnering with other firms that are reaching out to the same demographic, you can reduce your costs and maximize results. Of course, it’s crucial to find businesses that offer non-competing services or products, so scour the internet for firms that fit the bill.
In addition to enhancing your marketing efforts and minimizing expenditure, this is a great way to diversify your own product range and explore how your products could serve a different range of markets. When you’re able to do this successfully, your brand achieves cross-market appeal and your business can grow exponentially – that’s exactly what you want to happen.
Maintaining Your Brand
Building a brand is essential for success but maintaining your brand is equally important. Mixed messages or inconsistent branding will confuse potential customers and lead to lost sales, so be sure that all future marketing reiterates your core values. By doing so, you’ll strengthen your brand in the minds of your target audience and establish a greater foothold in your industry.