It takes a lot of courage to open a small business. You must have absolute confidence in your idea and a willingness to work harder than you ever have before. That should guarantee success, but it doesn’t. After three years, only 5% will still be in business.
New businesses don’t normally fail because their product or service wasn’t any good. They fail because their brand didn’t attract the right customers. Many entrepreneurs are great at their business, but don’t get their story out to the people who would be most interested.
It’s necessary to Build a Brand as an integral part of the overall marketing strategy. Running a business feels like a 24/7 job, but without establishing a brand this effort can be fruitless. A great brand will connect with consumers at a very basic level, building memories and a relationship. Harley Davidson has been phenomenally successful to the extent that ultra-loyal bikers tattoo the Harley logo onto their bodies.
1. Define the Target Audience
Over time, the target audience should expand. Initially, be as precise as possible. The brand identity should appeal to this ideal consumer.
2. Define a Mission Statement for Your Brand
Why does the business exist? What is the company passionate about?
3. What are Your Key Benefits and Qualities?
What makes your business unique? What is your product’s “sizzle”?
4. Invest in a Great Logo and Tagline for Your Brand
Hire a professional designer or agency to create something unique and timeless.
5. Choose a Business Voice
The voice could be formal, casual, conversational or whatever suits. Use this voice consistently in customer communications.
6. Build Your Message or Pitch
Using your business voice, in simple, clear words tell consumers who you are and why you are important to them. Let your personality shine.
7. Use Your Brand Everywhere
Everything – business cards, ads, websites and packaging – should include the logo.
8. Be Consistent
Branding is a long-term project. Be consistent with the voice, message and logo.
9. Advocate for Your Brand
Wear your brand’s color or cap and have employees do the same. Give customers a place to post reviews or leave suggestions.
Building a solid brand can make your business into a very successful competitor. The branding process encourages you to form a clear direction and visual identity. Your brand is your story. Tell it well.