You may think branding is for large corporations that can afford snazzy commercials, large retail displays, and sports sponsorships. Nope. Any sized company can increase business through effective branding.
For example, if you were to search for a company to clean your air ducts, would you choose the one that has clean uniforms, vans with decals, an accurate description of their services, and an informative website? Or the one with mismatched vehicles, an outdated website, and reviews of poor performance?
Of course, you’ll choose the first one because these are elements of successful small business branding – customers’ perception of the company’s reputation, offerings, and service. A company uses logos, mission statements, mottos, and more to help reinforce the intended branding and positive customer perception.
Why You Need Small Business Branding
No matter the size of a company, branding reinforces the features and benefits of a brand. With effective branding, your business maintains a consistent message for your audience while delivering strong and steady recognition of your products or services. Think of it as being at a networking event where you don’t have to reintroduce yourself constantly.
Here are some of the benefits you’ll receive with successful branding:
Think of driving down the road and looking for someplace to eat. You probably are scanning options based on the logo alone. Why? It’s a quick visual of the reputation the company has built and how its products are perceived. When you see the different restaurant logos, specific aspects of the company come to mind – clean, healthy, fast, etc.
Your small business can take these same lessons by creating a quality logo that reinforces your product offering and company characteristics and then using the logo across your website, vehicles, uniforms, social media pages, and more to increase awareness.
Why do people repeatedly choose the same chain restaurant rather than trying a local restaurant? Because they have confidence in the product that the brand is offering. They know what the product is and that the company consistently delivers the same product in the same manner and quality.
At some point, you’ll probably have a brand guideline document. This is a guide to your company’s fonts, logos, colors, tone, and more, so you are sending out a consistent message. These guidelines are a great way to make small businesses look big with consistent messaging across your website, advertisements, sales tools, menus, vehicle wraps, billboards, or whatever promotion methods you use. And, you are also reinforcing your message.
A customer will choose a recognizable brand when searching for a service or product because of confidence and familiarity with that brand. Also, the recognition or recollection of a brand helps with referrals and recommendations.
Tips to Make Your Small Business Look Big
Hopefully, we’ve given you an understanding of how even a small business can benefit from branding. Now, let’s look at some tips on using branding to promote your company and make your business look big.
- Digital advertising impressions. Here is where logos and mottos work great. You are getting brand awareness without paying for a click, and your brand is beginning the recognition process in your audience through repeated and consistent visuals.
- Remarketing campaigns. Remarketing campaigns target customers who visit your site without making a purchase. So, not only can remarketing drive the lead nurturing process by converting a lead into a buyer, but you’re also giving the impression to a potential customer that your business is everywhere.
- Referral campaigns. Now the confidence in your brand pays off. Start a referral program that rewards the referrer. With the branding efforts you’ve put in, you’ve provided the confidence for customers to refer your business and increase your lead generation.
- Social media advertising. Social media can be very cost-effective and targeted for a small business that is either local or has a segmented audience. Just like display advertising, you’re getting impressions, and your branding within the advertising reinforces recognition.
- Influencer marketing. Influencer marketing can come with high costs. However, there are ways to scale the efforts to your business, especially with a local or niche market. For example, you might match up with a local foodie with a significant following or a nationally recognized personality for a specific interest. Be sure to amplify any influencer marketing to get the most from it.
- Be a thought leader. You’ve probably seen small businesses whose CEO or president make appearances that make them look like thought leaders or experts in their industry. Some ways to accomplish this are YouTube videos, local news interviews, opinion pieces, speaking events, or local event sponsorships.
Many small businesses think they can’t compete with big companies when it comes to big brand recognition. However, small business branding is available to any company with the correct branding efforts, and even the smallest businesses can look more prominent.
Don’t know where to start? Let The Light Digital use proven techniques to develop your brand and make your small business look big.