Branding is an often-discussed topic for small business. If you have a clear picture that comes to mind if the “Golden Arches” or “It’s The Real Thing” is said, you know the power and effectiveness of branding. But branding is just for the big companies, right? You might think only mega-corporations benefit from branding efforts, but small business owners benefit from name-recognition, word-of-mouth, and value – all from branding efforts.
What makes branding work for small business? Certainly you must practice having a professional-looking name and logo, but that’s not all. Here are three little things that help make your small business branding a large winning effort.
Become an Expert
For many small businesses, the owner is the face of the business and is often the brand itself. If you can, become an expert in your field that helps put your brand in front of people’s eyes and gives you a step up above the competition. Here are some ideas:
- Write articles – Get published in your local, regional, and even national newspapers and magazines. Getting a byline in well-researched, informative, and polished articles gives you high credibility.
- Speak at professional associations – Volunteer to give speeches at your local professional organizations and conferences. Try the Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, and any other organization that has a connection to your business.
- Form and plan conference events – You could even start a new event or conference and invite the high-profile people in your industry. Being the catalyst of a new and beneficial conference can give you high credibility and an “expert” status in your industry.
Keep Your Branding Congruent
The only way to solidify your branding strategy is through consistency. Regardless of the medium, always ensure that you are staying true to your company’s brand. If your brand is hip and stylish, make sure this shines through in all of your marketing strategies, communications with customers, and even in your own personal attire when you meet customers in person at trade shows or events. The same holds true for branding strategies that are serious and straightforward.
Regardless of the size of your company, you must produce the quality that your customers and clients expect from a top brand. In fact, given today’s movement to support personal, local, and small businesses, you can keep customers coming back by exceeding their expectations. Keep quality consistent in your products, service, and again with your personal style and image, and your brand will get noticed.