Every business has to start somewhere, as they aim to become the market leader in their industry. One thing that will help them do this, almost more than anything else is their brand. It is vital for anyone, whether you are just starting out or have been around for 20 years, you need a good brand. But for those small businesses that have just entered their chosen market, their brand will define them, maybe not forever as they can re-brand, but for the first 5 – 10 years it will be how people view them. However, for small businesses, where do you start? Branding is a daunting task but when done correctly it will come off better than you can imagine. Within this article, we are going to look where you should start
As previously mentioned, branding will define your business and how you are viewed. But before you can get there, you need to define yourself, know what you are about. You need to know what your core beliefs are and what the values of your business are before you can think about starting the branding process. A good way to do this is to look at the product or service that you are selling. From here you can begin to look at the market that you are going to be entering and also the customer base that you are going to be targetting. What is the market like? What do your customers want? Do some research into this, looking at who your competitors are going to be and how they deal with and interact with their customers.
Another good thing to do is to think of your business as a person, why is your business doing what it is doing? What is driving it to do these things? Try and understand that while the customers and clients that are involved in your market are after the same product or service, they are all different people and will respond differently to a brand. It is key that you understand this when defining your brand so that you can try your best to appeal to everyone in the market, eventually leading to you having the majority share.
With that in mind, it becomes easier to figure out what the values of your business will be, and what you want to come from your business aside from selling. Once you have all of this, you can start to think more about your physical branding, using what you have found to shape how it is going to look and feel to you. Your brand should do 3 things: Promote your business, connect with your customer base and make you different from those in your chosen market. With the research that you have done, you’re on your way to getting all of these.
Once you have got the definition of your brand done and dusted, it is time to start thinking about building your brand. This will often be where the design studio comes in, helping to create the graphics and the visual identity for you. However, before this, it is imperative to make sure that what you bring to them, the research about your customers, competitors, the market and everything about what your brand will stand for, is 100% consistent. There isn’t much worse than a business with a brand that says one thing in one instance and then says another somewhere else. This will result in customers feeling that they can’t trust you, as they aren’t sure what they are going to get.
Another thing is to make sure that you stay true to yourself. When you enter a market, there are going to be brands there that have the majority share and have been top dogs for a while. It may be tempting to copy what their business model and take some things from their brand. This is not a good move. When brands begin to copy other brands, especially ones that are very successful, customers and clients alike are very unlikely to do business with them as they will feel that immediately get the impression of what they are selling is almost like a knockoff of the first brand. You want to be original and something brand new, not only so that customers trust you but also so that you stand out in whatever market you have chosen, which depending on the product can be very saturated.
Finally, be innovative. If you have something in mind that you want to say or a value that you want your business to uphold, then do it. Instead of shying away from something and following the pack, stand out from the crowd and shout about why you are different and why customers and clients should choose you over your competitors.
If you are a small business owner, we do hope that this article has provided you with a little insight into how you should begin to brand your business and the process that is involved beforehand. Here at Kaizen Brand Evolution, we have helped many businesses with their first-time brand as well as rebrands, so it is fair to say we know what we are talking about. If you are thinking of your brand and would like some help with the process, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 028 9507 2007 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to chat.