Building a small business brand can simultaneously be both a simple and a very overwhelming task. But let me be the first to say, “YOUR BRAND IS NOT ONLY YOUR LOGO AND COLOR PALLETTE!”
Your brand is everything you do; whether it’s how you manage your finances, how you interact with unhappy customers, or what your social media posts say and look like. That is your brand. Your business’s brand is what people think, say, and feel about your brand.
And as such your company’s brand identity is instrumental when working to grow your small business. Without a strong brand that people can buy into, it doesn’t matter how well your operations run. It doesn’t matter how many leads come down through your sales funnel. Your business won’t be as successful as it could be if your business is not staying true to its brand identity
So, here are 8 absolutely necessary components of your Brand’s Identity:
BRAND DEFINITION is literally what your business is — who you are, what you offer, and to whom you your products/services are offered.
Have you ever gone to a website and read about what a company does for pages and pages? You scroll indefinitely, and with all of that information you’re still unsure what that company DOES.
Don’t be that brand.
Your brand definition should be the foundation of your brand identity. A well thought out and stable brand definition should be 100% clear to anyone who comes in contact with your brand. This may seem like a given, but it’s often communicated in an over-complicated way. This makes ”what exactly do you do” the first hurdle in the introduction of your brand to anyone that may be listening. Don’t make it a hard one to get over. Keep your brand definition as clean and concise as possible.
BRAND VALUES are the ideals that your brand identity represents.
What do you stand for? What specific beliefs do you hold about how business ought to be done? Whether your brand values are based around quality products, reasonable prices, or sustainable business practices, these are the things you believe in, that you want your customer (and of course employees) to believe in as well. Many consumers care about doing business with like-minded companies, so make your brand’s values known.
Not only should you make them known, you need to make them part of how you do what you do. You can tell people you care about sustainable business practices all you want, but if you are not showcasing what that process looks like out in the open, then it is doing no good at all.
BRAND PROMISE is the guarantee that you’re offering to your customers by doing business with your brand.
Your brand promise should be adopted by every one that represents small business’s brand in every part of what they do. It ought to come out naturally in your messaging (preferably as one of the first things your audience reads), how you talk to and interact with customers, and your dealings with vendors. Your must align your brand promise must be aligned with both your brand values and your brand experience (to be discussed later).
You don’t want to be lied to. So being promised something that is not delivered makes us feel betrayed and we will avoid that interaction at all costs in the future. Don’t put your brand in a position to (whether knowingly or otherwise) lie to your customers about what you can do for them.
BRAND IMAGE is the visual face of your business — its “look and feel.”
Your brand image is made up of all of the elements used to visually communicate your brand definition. These can include your logo, brand graphics, colors, fonts, and images. Having a well-designed and well-defined brand image will make your company memorable, help define its personality, and greatly improve its public perception.
Is your brand image a strong one? Is every part of your brand’s image supporting your brand identity? If not, or you’re not sure, Vision+Brand can help with developing, refreshing, or strengthening your brand image.
BRAND DISTINCTION is the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of your brand identity.
Distinction with a well-defined USP is what makes your brand stand out from the crowd. Today’s consumers are constantly bombarded with brands every single day on commercials on tv radio and music streaming services, ads on social media, billboards as we drive, in the aisles of every store we shop in. They need to know how to organize them all in their minds. When you’ve got a clear USP that distinguishes you from the others, such as an exclusive feature, special benefit, or unique personality or distinct point of view — and you communicate this clearly to the consumer — your brand identiy then holds a special place in the consumers’ minds, and they will remember you.
Remember, it’s not enough to just be better, you need to be different.
BRAND POSITION is the position in the market held by your brand identity.
Your brand’s market position helps the consumer know how to think about your offerings, especially when there are many other businesses offering the same thing. Do you offer a premium choice for the consumer, with high quality and a high price? Is your high level of quality matched with a medium price, making you a high value option? Perhaps you’re the economy choice, which for some is a lucrative place to be.
Understanding your brand position focuses around three elements: Consumers, Capabilities, and Competitors. You will need to get ag rip on three things.
- Understand what your customers want
- What your brand’s capabilities are
- And how each competitor is positioning their brand.
BRAND MESSAGING is the voice of your brand— what you say, and how you say it.
We all see this brand messaging in action every time we watch a commercial on tv. All of the funny insurance commercials with caricatured personalities, exotic birds, anthropomorphic reptiles and the like. They’re funny, rarely if ever serious, and always tout the same short recognizable brand promise.
Brand messaging refers to things such as your tagline, positioning statement, brand promise statement, key messages, and marketing and social media copy. Messaging strategy is an important part of brand building. The talking points you use and the writing style you adopt help define your brand. The personality of your brand should show forth in your messaging (whether it be serious and knowledgeable, or fun and entertaining). Your messaging is used to invite consumers in on an emotional level. It should always be relevant, consistent, and true to your brand.
Brand Experience is the journey your customers take when interacting with your small business’s brand.
How you deliver your offerings is critical. The experience your customers have with your business solidifies their opinions and contributes to powerful word-of-mouth advertisng. You must create an engaging customer experience from acquisition to closeout. To do this you must do two things. First of all, ensure the quality and performance of your offerings. And secondly improve the process of interacting with your company to align with your overall brand identity.