8 Steps to Creating a strong Brand For Your Business

August 28th, 2014 by Sheryl Kosovski Filed Under: Articles

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It’s time to start thinking about your company the way the large companies do. Strong branding can set you apart and make you the obvious choice for clients that are looking for the services that you offer. When you don’t have a strong brand customers will only know how to judge your business by the price you charge. Generally they will assume that your work is the same as every one else’s and the only way they will have to decide who to work with is to look for the lowest price.  To stand out from the competition you need to make sure that the look of your marketing products are in line with what you and your company stand for. As a small business this is crucial as it is going to let your customer know why you are the price you are charging.

So what exactly is branding? It is the look of the images and logo you use, but it is also what you value and what your business stands for. It is a representation of your business personality. The visuals set the tone for how your business is perceived by your customers. Your branding expresses how you communicate your style, strengths and specialties to your market. It’s what makes you unique and different from your competition. It includes your aesthetic preference, but most importantly it should inform the client of your specialty and the unique way that you work with them. Then every piece of marketing that you use should express that same message.

 

Take Action 

  1. Review your past work: Look back at the projects you have done in the past. What are the types of projects that have brought you the most work and that you feel were the most successful. Now think about why those clients chose you over your competition. It might be helpful to survey past customers to find out what their experience working with you was and why they chose you to work with.
  2. Provide something exceptional or different: Setting yourself apart form others in your field can help you attract more of the clients that you prefer to work with. If you are clear in the way you communicate those differences to possible customers they will have a way to identify you as having the specific skills, or style of working they are looking for. This will also help you weed out those projects you would prefer not doing. These distinctions can be the services or products you offer, the way you work with clients, or how you provide your clients with a unique experience while you are working with them.
  3. Express your personality: A big mistake entrepreneurs make is thinking they have to be “business like”.  In making that decision you risk not letting your potential customers know who you are. You want them to know if you have a crazy sense of humor, are really detail minded, are open and approachable or are a free spirit. By seeing your personality in your marketing materials your clients will have a way of determining if you are a good fit for them to work with.
  4. Choose a strong name, logo and look: Make sure the name you choose, your logo and the look of your website and marketing materials all tell the customer who you are and what you do. Everything from the colors you choose, the typeface you pick, and the words you use all should help your clients understand the benefit that you and your company are. What makes your company different from your competitors. All of these choices are for your customers not you. The best thing to do is to ask your clients what impressions they get from your brand to make sure they are getting the message that you intend for them to get. If you hire someone to do your design work make sure they understand your differentiating factors and who your clients are and what their needs are.
  5. Create an About Page for your website: Make sure that you have an about page that is consistent with your brand and lets your clients know who you are and what they can expect when working with you. That includes not only your past successes but also shows some of your personality. The about page should set the tone for all of your written communications, so it’s important to be honest and to help the client understand your vision and goals and why you started your business in the first place.
  6. Make sure your brand is evident in everything you do: A consistent message, aesthetic and design is extremely important to help your clients anticipate what to expect when working with you.
  7. Over Deliver: This may mean always sending a hand written thank you card after a job or giving your client a discount card for their next purchase. When I had my decorative painting job I would often get flowers and leave them in the room I had finished painting so the client could see the finish at its best when they first came in the room. You want to delight your customers and have them feel that they got more than they paid for so they will go out and tell others about you and that will help you get more customers and will be perceived as part of your brand.
  8.  Be consistent: Everything you do and say must express your brand. Always double check, before you send anything out to make sure that the information you are sending out is consistent with your brand and the experience you wish to provide your customers. Remember that this includes the feeling you want to invoke through your communications.

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