When it comes to your small business, building a recognizable image and having a consistent feel is essential to your success. Today, we’ll give you an overview of what “building a brand” means and why your brand identity is so important.
What is Branding?
When you think about the traditional term “branding,” you might think of cattle and other ranch animals. Oftentimes, they are “branded” with a symbol that declares them to be a certain rancher’s property.
So what is branding in the business world? When it comes to your small business, you’re essentially doing the same thing. However, instead of using burning symbols, you’re using logos, color schemes, and even language that form a cohesive picture in a customer’s mind.
When a customer knows your “brand,” they know the backstory of business, and they understand what types of products and services they can expect from you.
Why is Branding Important?
Branding is the thing that makes you memorable. If you’ve ever seen a product or package, and you’ve simply known where it was from without seeing a label, then you’ve remembered that company’s branding.
If you’ve ever read an “About Us” page on a company’s website and found that your values align, then you know that their branding has given you a positive perception of the business.
Beyond helping your customers to know that they can feel at home with your business, building a brand also allows you to grow your revenue. Here are a few reasons why:
It Helps You Stand Out from the Competition
In the flooded marketplace, you’ll likely see a lot of products, but not a lot of good branding. If someone’s trying to make a quick buck off a product, that might show in their branding.
Having a “why” behind your business and taking the time to truly create an atmosphere that appeals to your potential audience will allow you to stand out in the crowd.
Branding Increases Business Value
Imagine that you’re walking through a crowded mall, and suddenly, you see a friend you haven’t seen in a while. You’d be excited to see them, right? You would ignore the strangers around you and go talk to them.
This is what good branding does for your business. In a busy marketplace that is saturated with competition, if you have good branding that a customer is able to quickly recognize, they’re more likely to return to your company. You may hardly have to do a thing to get their repeat business because you’ve already put an emphasis on building a brand.
A recognizable business that generates repeat customers is a very valuable business. When you have brand recognition, you can spend less on acquiring new customers.
It Creates Trust Within the Marketplace
When you’re in a pinch, you buy from a brand you know – whether you need something to last a long time or you’re worried about what might happen if you go with a “cheap” alternative.
If a customer recognizes your brand as one they can trust, they’re far more likely to purchase from you. There’s less risk for them in familiarity.
Additionally, trust is important when it comes to the backstory of your business. Just like you would be more likely to trust a person that seems to share your values, customers want to see that you value the same things they care about.
Branding Generates New Customers
If you’ve learned how to build a brand that attracts your target audience, you’ll draw them in right away and generate plenty of new customers.
To do this, you need to understand how to make your customer say, “I NEED that!” Getting someone to want your product comes down to how you position your product in relation to their needs, along with developing well-branded marketing tools that catch their eye.
How Branding Leads to Better Marketing
Building a brand allows you to provide a reliable experience to your customers – no matter where they are. Your storefront, advertisements, and social media posts should have a consistent voice and style.
This consistency is what creates strong marketing. If your potential customer sees your “brand” over and over again, but can never make the connection between the advertisements, they’ll forget you in an instant. But if they see an ad, a video, and a sign that all point to your brand and business, they’ll be far more likely to remember what you sell…and come check out your brand.
Environment (Storefront or Office)
The environment of your physical space can play a big role in your branding. If your aesthetic online is light and airy, but your storefront has a rock-and-roll theme, your prospective shopper is going to be confused, which may mean that they get completely turned off from your product.
Why? They expected you to deliver one thing, but you gave them another. And when it comes to spending money, most people don’t like to be surprised.
The same principle applies to an online store. If you’re running an eCommerce shop, when your customer moves from a social media platform to your store and they see an entirely different aesthetic or story, they’ll bounce right off.
Print Collateral, Signage, and Packaging
When your customer sees signage and packaging from your business, you want them to think, “This is special. This is custom.” If you’re using templates on your word processing software and sending out your product in generic brown packaging, you’ve instantly “cheapened” your product to your customer.
That’s where Print Bind Ship steps in. We’ll print your custom designs for your packaging and printed materials (or assist you in creating a design) for less. That way, you can build a brand identity without breaking the bank.
Website and Online Advertising
Having a website for your business to call home is a huge part of building your brand. It’s the hub of your company, a place where customers can go to truly understand what you do and why.
Marketing campaigns and freebies can go a long way in using online advertising to gain some momentum – and traffic to your website.
(Psst! Using Shopify to let customers grab some merchandise? We can fulfill your orders, package your items, and send products seamlessly.)
Internal (with Employees)
Give your employees some branded swag! Not only does it show your appreciation for all they do for the business, but it also serves as a little free advertising! Print Bind Ship can even create swag that matches your brand!
The Elements of Building a Brand
Learning how to build a brand means learning what elements are involved. This list will give you a quick rundown of the things that you need to consider when building yours.
Mission Statement and Brand Values
If your values align with your customer’s values, they will be far more likely to buy from you because they are far more likely to trust you. The best way to portray your values is through your mission statement.
This statement should include:
- What you do
- Why you do it
- How you do it
A mission statement is a great way to build a personal connection with your customers.
Your brand guidelines are incredibly helpful when you’re creating new content for your business. What kinds of things do you want to convey in your blog posts? Do you know what kinds of fonts and color palettes you will use? What tone of voice will be present in your advertising?
Once you decide on these factors, staying within your guidelines will help you to build a consistent brand.
Your logo is perhaps your most important piece of branding. It should go on all your packaging on all of your products. The more people see it, the easier it will be for them to recognize you.
Ever seen a vague shape and color in the distance and simply known it was your favorite fast food? That’s what you’re going for with your logo, too.
Your website is the place where your merchandise and services live. It’s also the place where your branding should come across loud and clear. If a customer visits your website, they should immediately be able to align it with the advertisement that sent them there.
“Brand assets” can refer to anything that leads customers to your brand. For example, a jingle, a specialized slogan, or a mascot can all become valuable brand assets.
Where to Go from Here
Rome wasn’t built in a day – and your branding can’t be, either. For most small businesses, building a brand is a process of trial-and-error. As you discover more about your business and your audience, you’ll become more in tune with the brand you want to create and the type of message you want to share with the world.
Print Bind Ship can help you to speed up this process with custom-printed items, swag, product boxes, advertising materials, packaging, and more. If you’re a startup, we’ve got a $500 Startup Fulfillment Voucher just for you. It’s our way of saying, “You’ve got this.”
Want a free consultation with our marketing expert? Contact us today to speak with a professional who can help to get you on the path to brand recognition and success.