The importance of business branding can never be over-emphasized. Branding gives your business more recognition, sets you apart from the competition, and helps your customers to identify you easily. According to Jerry McLaughlin, brand is the perception someone holds in his head about you, a product, a service, an organization, a cause, or an idea.
Typically, what a brand does is that it creates a mental picture of the services your business offers. When people talk about your company, they remember the ideas you promote, and the values you stand for. For example, what comes to your mind when Amazon is mentioned? The largest internet based retailer in the United States which offers a multitude of cloud computing products that are both cost effective and flexible.
For this reason, businesses are beginning to leverage unique branding strategies in order to attract new customers and increase their sales. Today, many branding strategies have been identified and proven to be effective. However, for small businesses operating on a shoe string budget, the smart strategies outlined below will help to create a reputable business brand.
1. Use an appealing brand name
Appealing brand names along with unique taglines both have the ability to attract new customers. When we set out to buy any product, our brains make its selection based on recognition of familiar brand names.
For example, over the years, Coca Cola has often used these tag lines: “Refreshing” and “Get a Coke and a smile.” What is Coke’s brand? It’s their emotional promise which appeals to the human brain that you will enjoy a great soft drink each and every time. To choose the best brand name, you must make it simple, be consistent, create a positive image about it and think of a brand name you’ll not need to change in the nearest future.
2. Create a unique logo
Apart from an appealing name and tagline, another thing that catches the attention of customers is a unique logo which serves as your trademark. It’s something which communicates your brand’s unique qualities and values to your customers.
Everybody knows that the popular logo that has an apple with a bite on one side belongs to Apple Inc., the IT giant which produces the Apple Mac, iPhones, iPods and iPads. Creating a logo has become an almost effortless activity in recent times. With free online tools like the online logo maker, you can create a unique logo that’ll effectively typify your brand image.
3. Leverage social media
Social media remains one of the most effective tools for creating a brand name in this digital age. It enhances the visibility of your brand, creates brand loyalty, and ultimately helps you to grow your sales. One of the strongest points of using the social media is its worldwide acceptability.
As at Jan 2016, there 2.3 billion active social media users; and that’s about one third of the world’s population. However, you need to carefully choose networks that support your brand image. Facebook is mostly used for promoting awareness; Instagram is quite useful for promoting images, LinkedIn for building professional connections, and twitter for expanding your business audience.
4. Carve a niche for yourself
Of all the methods used for branding, this is about the most important. For branding to be meaningful, you need to come up with genuine ideas. It will be counterproductive for you to build your brand around other people’s ideas. Doing this shows lack of originality, and it could cause a dent in your reputation.
Carving a niche for yourself involves doing things differently, and standing out with your own unique ideas. For example, Sheetz is one of the main competitors of McDonald’s, but you’ll notice how fast they’re taking their market share from this fast food giant through a carefully curated brand that’s entirely different from what people have been used to.