Branding for Small Business

What small business owners don’t understand about branding

Branding for Small Business is like a Branding Iron

Branding for Small Business is like a Branding Iron

Branding is most clearly associated with big multinational brands like Coke, Caterpillar, Nike.  But the reality is that every  business, including a small business, have a brand. They just  they don’t realize it.

There area some big misconceptions about branding held by small business owners.  Let’s begin by looking at what branding isn’t limited to.  Branding isn’t limited to the most obvious visual clues.

  • the name of your company
  • your graphic design used in your logo
  • your tag line
  • the colors you select for your logo, the background on your Facebook or Twitter accounts
  • what appears on your business card or in your advertising

All of these graphic design elements play a role, but the core essence of branding…branding that really works and that makes a measurable and burning impression with your audience is the whole package.  It is very similar to the branding irons of yesterday only it involves much more.  It is…

    • the way your store looks when a visitor walks in
    • how customers are greeted when they visit your store

  • the voice mail message you leave on the company phone
  • the impression the front door to your store gives to visitors
  • the way the merchandise is laid out in the store
  • the signage in-store and outside of the store
  • the faces of the employees
  • the level of service they receive
  • the activities that you, as the owner, associate with and promote among your customers
  • the consistency with which you engage with your customers via email, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter
  • the words you use in those communications to convey your brand
  • the image and perceptions customers have after their first, second or third experience with your brand
  • the marriage of the experience with the promise that was implied by the name of the company, the tag line, the graphics, the communications

The branding of your small business is the entire customer experience.

As a small business owner, try to see your business through fresh eyes.  Look at all the areas outlined above and identify and fix the disconnects.  Make your brand a strong one that communicates a clear message and experience to your current and future customers.  Your small business will thank you.  So will your customers.

Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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