Five branding secrets for startups and small business

Customers can recognise brands at a simple glance. So when you are building your brand, it’s important to keep the following factors in mind to create a strong foundation for your business to grow.

1. Never assume you fully know your customers

Even though you may have set up the business, or have been a part of the setup for a long time, you shouldn’t fall into the trap of assuming you know your customers. Without research, you won’t accurately understand what your customers want and could end up with a brand promise that doesn’t reflect their needs.

You can conduct surveys, focus groups and monitor social media to really get inside your customers’ heads. Pay attention to ideas that come up regularly – customers will tell you what motivates them and what style of communication they prefer.

2. The brand promise

Now that you know your customers, it’s time to ask them and other members of your organisation about what sets your company apart from the rest.

What’s so captivating about your brand? How does it differentiate from your competitors? It could be the personality, the product or a unique customer experience. Whatever you think it is, it should be represented through all of your marketing messages.

3. Consistency is key

Each brand has its own personality, story and way of relating to customers. If your brand messages are conflicted, they can cause confusion and a loss of trust in your business.

Tone, visuals and general representation must work in tandem with each other to communicate the correct vision. When you’ve got to the point where you know what sets your brand apart, try creating a brand document to guide your marketing messages. This will give your employees a guide to create consistent messaging.

4. Customer experience

Creating a great customer experience is a key element of brand continuity. Being a small business, it allows you to interact with your customers on a personal level, creating a strong business relationship. You can gain a good reputation for being customer-focused and genuine by having a well-trained front line workforce. With this, you can slowly build up a strong customer base who are loyal to your brand.

5. Feedback, feedback and more feedback

Feedback is essential for your business to thrive. You can gain insights from stakeholders, customers and employees to ensure you’re not tripped up by your own blind spots. Don’t just do this once though; as your brand develops over time keep gathering feedback so you don’t start moving backwards.

Read and comment on the original YFS Magazine article.