Branding is essential for all businesses looking to stand out in their industry. It helps to differentiate from your competitors as well as build a good foundation for all of your other marketing tactics. As a small business owner, it can be hard to know where to start, especially on a small budget. Due to branding being so eclectic, it is difficult to determine what works for your brand without trying it first. It is no surprise that many businesses skip past the branding stage and go straight to business marketing strategies such as paid social ads. This is all well and good, but this is a short-term mindset which will only get you so far. By having a solid brand, you will be able to go as far as you want.
When you own a small business, it can be difficult to find the time to work on your brand, especially when you have been working all day to grow your business, so hiring a branding agency ensures you have some of the best talents in the UK. Not all businesses have the budget for this which makes them turn to digital marketing to make money, but this is simply due to the fact that people don’t know how to brand or what to look out for. Fortunately, branding doesn’t have to cost a bomb, to develop a brand strategy, it just takes a lot of thought and a little bit of creativity. In this guide, we will go through some of the simple methods you can do to improve your brand on a budget.
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Build an Ideal Customer Profile
If you are creating a brand, whether it be a fashion brand or a service you are going to be tailoring it to a specific type of person or demographic. Who are they? Would they rather go on a night out on a saturday or sit at home and read a book? What is their occupation? Do they have any higher education qualifications? When you ask these types of questions, you will start to see a type of person take shape. It is important to have a play around with your ideal client and see if there is a range of people. These are your ideal clients. Creating buyer personas is a great way to understand your audience and tailor your product or service to them.
Define Your Brand Identity
Brand identity is what is going to help people recognise you over your competitors, it is all to do with how you present yourself and how you want your brand to be portrayed by your customers. Think of it this way, if your brand was a human, it would be described by its personality, characteristics and overall appearance. When we speak about brand identity, we talk about the signature visuals such as colours and logos as well as the language and tone of voice used for their marketing.
Before creating your brand identity, it would be prudent to do some thorough market research on your target audience and their interests. You should be looking at factors such as:
- How are you creating value for your customers?
- What types of needs and wants are you aiming to appeal to?
- What does your brand represent or stand for?
- What will encourage people to make a purchase?
- How do you stand out from your competitors?
When speaking to your audience, ensure you are offering them something for their time. If you are struggling to find customers or are a new brand with a small following, it is a good idea to go onto your competitor’s social channels and see how people respond to various tones of voice, language and visuals. Once you know how your customers see your brand, you will have a much better idea of what you need to keep doing, and what you need to change.
Determine Your Visuals
Your brand identity visuals contain a range of segments including the logo, typography and colours. This also includes any imagery that is used to represent your business such as stock images or local photos. When determining your brand visuals you will need to choose the font, colours and logo that you want to represent your business. It is essential that you remain consistent on every platform and channel you are on, so have everything noted down in one document so you are creating a style guide whilst you are deciding. Here are some tips for each segment of your visuals.
Fonts: When choosing fonts, you should understand that different fonts portray different things. It is also important to be able to appeal to all of your customers. For example, Serif fonts look more professional and timeless, but sans-serif fonts look more casual and modern. It is also good to know that if you wanted to appeal to the larger market, having sans serif fonts on your website makes it easier to read for people with difficulties.
Colours: It is no secret that different colours do different things to your emotions, which should be used as a tool for your brand. This is your opportunity to decide how your customers feel when they go onto your website.
Logo: This is where you combine both your font and your colours in one place to create your overall logo. Canva is a great option for this and will help you create your perfect brand.
Define Your Story
Your brand story is important for so many reasons, it helps your customers resonate with you and it is was helps choose you over your competitors. It explains your brand values, goals and strategies to meet your goals. This is why when creating a clothing brand such as Gods Gift, you need to show the story and sell the lifestyle. It is no surprise that this is all done in a story to help customers relate to your brand. Here are some questions to ask yourself when trying to create a captivating brand story.
- What issue does my brand try to solve with its service or product?
- Why does your brand want to tackle this problem? Is there anything personal about this issue?
- What are you actively doing to help this problem?
- What do you plan to do in the future to help this issue and possibly resolve it?
Once you have the answers to all of your questions, put them all together in a story first of where your brand came from, and what it is planning on doing for the future. Once you have created it, save it and also save it into a PDF file to send to your team.
The branding process can be tricky to navigate, but by following these tips, you will be well on your way to creating a successful brand that people will want to follow and work with. Remaining consistent and following your guidelines will ensure that your customers find you everywhere without being confused by two brands that sound the same, but have slight differences as they may think it’s a fake account. Keep your customers updated through social media and build your business from the ground up.