Cadbury’s and Tata are examples of brands along with your local grocery shop and your favorite chai-walla. The strength of the branding activities of your favorite local shop will determine why you choose to wait for 15 extra minutes to avail their products.
Things to think about branding
Maximum exposure of your company’s branding tools (logo, name, business card) is what you should aim for. Visibility is very important; if your targeted consumer groups do not see you, there is no use of your branding activities.
Speaking of websites, it’s not enough to simply construct a random website with your company name and logo on it. Remember, that 98% of your customers will check you out online before availing your services. You should aim to reflect your carefully constructed brand image on your website. Update your website design at least once in 2 years to maintain online visibility.
A small business owner needs to take brand-building seriously from the beginning. It is an important exercise which should be started as early as possible so the business starts to develop a clear competitive advantage over the competition.
Spread your brand creatively
You can distribute small token gifts like pen, notepads or key rings with your company’s logo printed on it. Make the design attractive so that people keep it with themselves for a reasonably long period of time.
As a small business owner, you must realize your relative advantages. It will be easier for you to create multiple branding channels and integrate them. Moreover, you can use your imagination freely.
Be creative and think of an advertising medium that will appeal to your audience and increase the strength of your brand. If you sell perfumes, send out pamphlets on perfumed paper and if you run an online business offer goodies like Internet management tools on your website.
Do a little market research. Get feedback on your branding activities by having one to one talks with some of your customers, suppliers and executives.
You can also have a target group on which you test drive all your branding activities before actually hitting the market. Alternatively, you can build an online forum where customers can interact with you about their experiences.
Remember colours and fonts
Whether it’s for your website, a poster or a flyer or a PowerPoint presentation make sure you always use the same colours and fonts. This is also plays a large part in brand recognition. Make a note of the RGB color reference of your brands colours.
Branding is not just marketing
Remember that branding is not just marketing activities. It’s everything you do as a small business - how you answer the phone, give customer service, or even how you are dressed. It is about making people feel and see the values that you adhere to all the time and over a long period of time.
Building a brand takes time. You can’t do it in 3 months, it takes years for a brand to take shape – look at some of the most well-known brands and they have been in business for many many years. That’s not to say that you can’t slightly change a brand over time, especially the brand elements (logo, colors etc) but the values should remain the same.