Hey! It’s been a while since we last posted. Our move from New York to the land of 10,000 lakes went off without a hitch. Well, there was a small hitch, actually. We packed up the car, hitched up a trailer, and started heading west—Midwest, that is. Now, almost a year later, your favorite duo is back in action and ready to help small businesses, like yours, build better brand strategies!
To help us get acquainted again, we thought it was time to revive our blogging efforts with a fun, helpful series, “Branding Your Small Business.” How it works is each month, we’ll cover a different topic and discuss best practices for effective business branding. We’ll focus on why branding is essential to:
- Creating a company identity
- Establishing the right voice
- Targeting your audience and user persona
- Attracting the best talent when it comes time to grow your business
We’ll also throw out some great resources for you to find further tips and inspiration.
So, let’s get started!
What is Brand Identity?
Let’s do a quick rundown on what brand identity is and how it relates to your business. According to an article by HubSpot, “A brand identity is made up of what your brand says, what your values are, how you communicate your product, and what you want people to feel when they interact it. Essentially, your brand identity is the personality of your business and a promise to your customers.”
The last piece of this definition is crucial. For your brand to be recognized by others, it must be consistent. That means your message, voice, and design should always work together, especially if you’re just starting out as a new business.
Why Is Creating a Brand Identity Always the First Step?
Imagine the following scenario: You’ve already chosen a logo design and featured it on your product packaging, website, and all over social media. Customers are beginning to associate your company with that symbol. Now, let’s say you, or some of your stakeholders, want to change the logo, as it doesn’t really reflect who you are or what you do as a business. So, you decide to change it, which means any customer base you’ve already established must now make the connection that this new logo is still the same company: “If your personality or messaging appear to change frequently, it’s harder for audiences to know exactly what you’re all about” (CoSchedule).
This frequent change also means more costs to you as a business, including:
- New business cards
- New marketing collateral
- New signage, banners, etc.
This isn’t to say that rebranding is a bad thing. In fact, this strategy can be quite effective for business owners who need to evolve their company identities to stay competitive in their industries, due to changes in technology, marketplaces, audiences, etc. The point we’re making is that before you can do any actual business, you first need to decide on the foundational pieces of your brand identity. More specifically, your logo should never go to print or digital, unless you and your stakeholders are absolutely in agreement with the design, colors, and typeface. The same goes with your brand messaging and voice, as well. Creating a brand identity first and then doing business second is both a strategic and cost-effective move (Forbes).
Another great piece of advice, if something, say your logo design, looks suggestive or reminds you of something negative, SAY SOMETHING. If you thought of it, so will your customers! If you’re running a business solo, be sure to get advice from other industry experts and fellow entrepreneurs.
Want More Small Business Branding Tips?
Tune in next month for volume two of our Branding Your Small Business series, “Creating a User Persona.” Remember to stay connected to Beneath The Cloke for more tips and ideas on graphic design, content marketing, SEO, and so much more!
Thanks for welcoming us back and please share our blog below on social media!