5 Elements of Branding that Every Small Business Should Know
It is a reality of business that it does not matter how good your product or service is; if nobody knows about it you cannot sell it. As obvious a statement as this seems to be, new business owners continually fail to give enough attention to promotion.
Branding is a particularly important aspect of promotion. It is what helps you develop recognition and differentiate yourself from the competition. Your brand is not just your business’s name, it is the personality of your company and how you want your business to be viewed as a whole.
Any brand is made up of a number of different elements that will be determined by the nature and character of your business. Here we will look at five of these elements, how they work together and how to combine them into a successful and engaging brand.
The Value Proposition does not necessarily mean that you offer better value than your competitor. The Value Proposition is essentially the feature of your product that your customer will value. This might be the quality of the build of the product, a unique feature that your product has or the level of customer support you provide.
The Value Proposition helps to distinguish your brand in the marketplace. It is important to find a way of establishing your Value Proposition with your customer.
Ethos and Value Proposition sometimes overlap. The Ethos of your business represents a core value that motivates you to sell your product. It might be that you simply want to provide the best customer service or the highest quality product. It might also be more abstract and appeal to a different target market, for instance you might want to make your product from recycled or natural materials.
Whatever the Ethos of your company it should inform your brand identity. Figure out what audience your particular Ethos will appeal to and develop a way to convey that Ethos to them clearly and simply.
Voice is one of the more difficult aspects of your brand to establish. It should convey the personality and character of you and your business but at the same time needs to maintain an appropriate level of professionalism and not alienate or put off a large portion of the target market. However, a too impersonal Voice may prevent people from identifying with your brand at all.
Most of the other branding elements mentioned are somewhat flexible and can be adapted as the business changes. The job of the Logo however is essentially to stay the same. This means it is important to get it right the first time. Hiring a professional to help in its design is the best way to do this.
The Logo needs to encapsulate many of the other elements of the brand into one single design. The character of the voice, the ethos of the business, the value proposition of the product all need to be communicated through the logo design to some degree.
All of the effort you put into your business’s branding is ultimately directed towards one goal: Engagement. Each element of your branding has to work to engage your target market in some way. This will result from familiarity with your brand, through its logo, direct marketing, online presence, word of mouth and many other factors.
In developing your brand it is also important to engage directly with your target market. By finding out where your target customers are, whether online or in the real world, you can develop a relationship with those customers on a personal level.
Becoming involved in online discussions, supporting customers who have been let down by competitors and establishing collaborative projects with customers are just a few simple ways in which a business can use Engagement to develop their brand.