A strong brand name is a synonymous to sustained success, be it a start up or an established business. For, it communicates the vision of the company and lays down a promise to build trust and nurture the relationship with the customers. Your brand defines what your business is about and how your customers and prospective customers should think of it.
In other words we can define a brand as a means to stand out a business from the crowd while reaching out the targeted audience. Communicating your brand story is not a one day task. You need to build a clearly mapped out strategy and identify channels to reach out to your audience every single day. Like big business houses, small businesses too need to use branding to leverage competitive edge over their competitors.
As essential is branding to repeating your business success every day as is to build a successful brand strategy to achieve those recurring results! Sadly a lot of small businesses compromise their brand building owing to shortage of funds. It is one of the biggest myths that you cannot run successful brands on small budget.
You do not need a lot of funds or short term loans for kick starting online branding of your business. In fact most businesses begin as bootstraps these days. Right from everyday interaction on your social media business page with your customers to posts you share on your website, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter or other social networks leads to branding of your products and/or services. However branding of a business plan is not limited to posting online only. Let’s find out what all branding entails for sustained business growth:
1. Define Your Brand Story
You need to define your brand story effectively so that it stays with your customers forever. One of the best examples for the same is Apple’s campaign that invited people to “Think Different”. Needless to say how Apple stands apart from its competitors. Apple products cater to “premium” audience which is happy to pay for enhanced products with better design and performance. Think of your unique brand story. If you could successfully reach out to your audience, sky is the limit for your growth. Besides, a brand name and logo are essential part of sharing the brand story with your customer. Make sure your name and logo are easily recognisable.
2. For Sustained Growth, Build Community
For sustained growth your branding efforts are not isolated to advertising and marketing campaigns, you need to focus on building your own community comprising of your target audience including your customers and future buyers. Particularly, small businesses should pay exclusive attention to building community online on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and on other social networks. You can also run a small business blog and run interactive campaigns such as contests and feedback rewards to engage your customers. It would not be practical to use all these channels together, so you can concentrate your efforts on one or two of these channels, where a majority of your targeted audience is present.
3. Your Product Is Your USP
Unless your product delivers the promise you have made, you are unlikely to reach your audience. So always stay focused to improve and develop your services. It ought to be an ongoing process. In the above example, Apple is not only perceived as a better brand but it also delivers ‘excellence’ to the customers. The downfall of Nokia and Yahoo could be the stark example as how the great brands can face a debacle as it fails to deliver at par with the competitors.
4. There Needs To Be Consistency
Many small businesses lack consistency in voicing their brand story. You need to be consistent about the brand message and tone throughout. Right from your company’s name, logo and aesthetic design you need to ensure the same tone in your marketing materials online as well as offline; for example, at your business page, website, trade shows and conferences. The consistency in brand messaging leads to brand familiarity and leads to customer trust. Thus building great brand stories is certainly not a rocket science but a consistent effort to deliver value to your customers. Great brands not only concentrate on providing great products but also use customers’ feedback to stand apart from their competitors and focus on leading the competition instead.