Affordable Branding For Small Businesses – 5 Things Everybody Should Do​

Branding has a reputation for costing so much money it’s only available to large established companies. We’re here to tell you that’s not at all the case. Branding is nothing more than intentionally creating a public experience for your business. It’s how you choose to present your business to the world. 

While parts of branding can be incredibly expensive most things don’t have to be. Here are five things that every business can (and should) do to brand their business.

Get a brand identity pack (logo, letterhead, return labels, etc).

For as little as $200 you can have a unique custom brand identity pack designed for your business. While some companies spend tens of thousands of dollars on identity packs that is not a requirement. Most businesses won’t see any real ROI from spending $50k on this. Almost all businesses will see increased customer retention and increased brand loyalty from having something though. For $200 you aren’t going to get perfect – but you will get results.

Establish a mission & vision that you and your staff believe in.

If you don’t have a mission statement then your implied mission statement is, “We just want to make money. We don’t really care about anything except making money.” While that’s not always a bad thing it’s also not a very good thing. Establishing a mission and vision doesn’t take long to do. Maybe you’re a local convenience store, your mission might be “We provide affordable products at a location convenient to our customers to make their life easier.” You can fulfill that mission easily by asking your customers periodically, “Is there anything you’d like us to carry in our store?” 

Establish company culture with intent.

Your company has a culture regardless of if you’re aware of it. If you’re not aware of it then there’s a good chance your culture is negatively impacting your customers. Have you ever been to a store where all of the employees seem grouchy, unprofessional, and even outright rude? Sure everyone has a bad day sometimes – but when everyone in the building consistently has the same attitude it’s more than a bad day – it’s a cultural problem. 

Establish a culture where your employees will want to work and your clients will want to work with you. If you care about customer satisfaction then compliment your employees when they go above and beyond instead of criticizing them for spending too long on the phone. Think through your values as a business and teach your employees to adhere to those values. This simple ‘attitude change’ can have wonderful impacts on any type of business.

Keep your brand consistent

Consistency is key when building a brand. When you design your brand identity pack make sure to include light, dark, and color variants of your logo. This allows you to use the same logo on any type of material regardless of the background. Get the hex/RGB codes for your brand colors and make sure those exact colors are used on all of your marketing materials. When reviewing anything that involves your business be that marketing materials or how the shelves are arranged in your store ask yourself, “Does this follow my brand & vision? If not, is there anything we can reasonably do to change that?”

Understand your customers by creating personas

Marketing demographics are boring. Yeah, 73% of your audience might be female, 22% is aged 22-35, and 93% of your customers happen to buy from Honda. That information is useful but it’s also soulless. Give your marketing demographics meaning by creating customer personas. A customer persona is nothing more than turning demographics from a market segment into a functional person you can relate to. After all, one of the keys to effective marketing is relating to your audience. Don’t worry about getting the numbers perfect. Accuracy is nice but the ultimate goal should be to humanize your customers. Your customers are not just numbers, they are people. Nobody likes going to the DMV. When you treat people like people they are much more likely to do business with you. Don’t be the DMV.

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