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5 Branding Strategies that Won’t Break the Bank
Many small business owners hear the phrase “branding strategy” and immediately assume creating a cohesive brand means spending piles of cash with a marketing agency. But that’s not always the case. While we’ll never minimise the value a quality marketing team brings to your business plan, there are plenty of branding strategies business owners can implement themselves without a huge financial investment.
To that end, we’ve created a list of our top 5 branding strategies you can start using today to create a memorable and cohesive brand without breaking the bank.
1. Choose a brand-worthy name
If yours is a brand-new business on the precipice of launching, your branding starts with the name you choose for your company. It’s not an exaggeration to say the name you pick can make or break your business.
It’s always a good idea to choose a name that is easy to spell and pronounce. If you’ve been kicking around a name and find yourself constantly having to spell it out, explain its meaning, or apologize to people for the complexity, you’ll be best served by moving on to another option.
Once you’ve found a name you love, be sure to conduct an internet search to see if your moniker is being used by other businesses and determine whether the domain name is available.
2. Determine your brand identity
Your brand identity is more than a striking logo and stunning website. To determine your brand identity, you must do a little introspection and ask yourself some deep questions about your company.
When it comes to your business…who are you? What is your business mission? What are your core values? How do you define your company culture? How you answer these questions helps you create your brand identity and this, in turn, helps potential customers differentiate between you and your competitors.
If you’ve never conducted a SWOT analysis (or haven’t completed one recently), now would be a perfect time to make that happen. SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and analysing these four areas of your business will not only help you find your brand identity, but it will also help you understand the overall health of your business. If you’re looking for a bit of guidance on how to conduct a SWOT analysis, the gurus over at the Corporate Finance Institute offer this handy tutorial on the subject.
3. Find your voice and elicit emotion
This piggybacks off your brand identity, as an integral part of that identity will be the voice of your brand. When we talk about your brand voice, we’re talking about the way you communicate with customers and/or social media followers and the tone you use when communicating. Businesses that can find their voice and use it to build emotional connections with customers tend to see a financial boom for their efforts. In fact, recent research indicates that 70% of customers who feel emotionally connected to a company spend twice as much with those brands compared to others with whom they share little or no connection.
Learning how to give voice to what matters to you as a business—think of concepts like loyalty, integrity, compassion, gratitude—allows you to connect with customers whose values align with your own, thereby creating that strong emotional connection that benefits both the business and the buyer.
4. Get your business on social media…stat
We know, we know…there are still a few die-hard holdouts who have put off jumping on the social media juggernaut—either because they worry the set up and maintenance will take up too much of their time or out of a futile hope the whole business will just go away.
We hate to break it to all the holdouts out there, but social media isn’t going anywhere, and delaying the inevitable is only costing you money.
This isn’t to say you must immediately create profiles on every platform. Take an honest look at your client base and ask yourself—which platform is used by my customers? Whether that platform is Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or something else…start there. Create a single profile and begin building a relationship with your followers by posting relevant information, insider tips and tricks, behind-the-scenes videos, and helpful graphics. You’ll be amazed at how quickly social media leads to sales…and that just might inspire you to branch out to other platforms.
5. Identify your competitors…then offer customer service that blows them out of the water
Take a look at your competitors and identify the top three. What is it about their business model that makes them so competitive? Odds are customers appreciate characteristics like their availability, communication, reliability, or commitment to customer service.
Once you understand the secret behind their appeal, go the extra mile to ensure your business offers the same perks…only better. If one competitor is open until 5pm, consider staying open until 6pm to make your services available to those who work until five. If another competitor offers great customer service, your goal is to offer assistance that is unparalleled. Going above and beyond expectation strengthens your brand and equates your business with premiere service.
Creating a cohesive brand for your business doesn’t have to break the bank, but it does require investing a significant amount of time in building a brand with a clear voice that appears both professional and cohesive.
Thanks for reading,
Digital Canteen Team