The Importance of Branding your Business in Small Business Marketing

Note to reader: The Created in Colorado team educates themselves constantly about small business marketing.  We learn from leading marketing experts on new trends and we review the basics on a regular basis to keep both our business on track as well as give you the best advice possible to create success in your business.  Amidst a rolling bustling business we often forget to apply the simple principles that help your business move forward and grow. Today’s topic, “The Importance Branding your Business Correctly” is based on the article produced by www.entrepreneur.com. These are likely basics that you have already answered for your business---but a refresher course might prove valuable!

Source: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/77408 

Understanding Branding: Definition

"Definition of branding: our brand is our promise to our customer. It tells them what they can expect from our products, and it differentiates our offering from our competitors'. Our brand is derived from who we arewho we want to be and who people perceive us to be."

Define your brand

"Who you (your business) is should be based to some extent on who your target customers want and need you to be." 

Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable at times.  It requires, at the very least, that you answer the important questions below:

ü   Mission

ü   X-factor

ü   What need is my business fulfilling

ü   How your company will fill this need

ü   Key messages about your company

Simple takeaway: My business/product/art solves problem x and everything I do in my daily operations contributes to and supports developing and promoting my personal brand.

Brand Recognition = Logo Recognition = Key Messages about your Company

The foundation of your brand is your logo.  An effective logo conveys your message, your brand, it conveys your promise for consistency and quality in your products.  Your logo should be found everywhere including email signature, messages, social media profiles, and distributed literature, packaging -- did we mention everywhere?

Example: What do think of when you see the NIKE swoosh? There is no need to be told what the logo stands for, the name, its mission and key messages pop into your head immediately!

Your LOGO is your brands identity; this very important image is what conjures up your key messages about your company when it is seen by your audience. Ideally it should be simple and eye catching. A strong logo that represents your brand can occasionally take years to develop.  Don't be overwhelmed with this, if you are up against a wall developing a brand that is right for your business, consider having one built.  Www.99designs.com is a place to start, designers complete with each other to build you the perfect logo.    Once you have a logo make sure its present in any and every way possible. 


We like to believe that the Created In Colorado logo embodies who we are, and if anyone forgets, its clearly labeled.  You might consider this when you design your logo! :)



A-B-C-D steps...  Have you defined your purpose?

Mission

Developing your mission is important- it’s the mantra that guides you in tough decisions, it is the one thing that defines your company the best.  Be careful though - your mission should develop as your brand and company does, so don’t forget to return often to update it to reflect your company’s current values and direction

X-Factor

Every successful business has an X-Factor.  It’s the secret sauce that makes you, your company and products unique.  Discovering your x-factor early on is important.  If you don’t believe your company has an X-Factor- don’t despair – you just have not discovered it yet.  Give yourself this quiz to help discover your secret sauce.

-  what is the gap in the industry that needs to be filled

-  where are the areas where my company can add the most value?

-  if you created more than one path for your company or product, what would they be?

What need are you filling?

No need – no need for a business.  Unfulfilled need = business opportunity. Do your research. Learn the needs, habits and desires of your current and prospective customers. And don't rely on what you think they think. Know what they think. Surveys and questionnaires are a great resource for this.

Example: The birth of the automobile occurred because there was a need for a faster carriages. People wanted to be able to go faster between places and feed their transportation less. Along came the automobile.

How will your mission be fulfilled?

This part also belongs in your business plan, but knowing the basics of how you are going to build, maintain and grow your brand and audience are part of developing your mission. Having a defined action plan of where you will promote your business and how you are going to reach your target audience is the best place to begin this planning process.

Key Messages

What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand? Every employee should be aware of your brand attributes.  Establish what the key takeaways are that you want customers and fans to say about you.  What are your key messages that your brand is portraying?

Action Steps

ü  Don’t have a logo that portrays key messages about your brand? Do your research, find your audience, develop that LOGO! Get help if needed! This logo could be the one thing that doesn’t change in your business for years to come.

ü  Establish your mission and x-factor-don’t forget that each can change in the future as needs change….

ü  Step back and take a 10,000 foot look at your overall brand--  does it reflect your key messages and values of your business?

 

Source of inspiration and bits of content: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230361