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Branding is just as important for small businesses as it is for big names. Indeed, many corporate brands try to look more like small firms in order to appeal to consumers that prefer to support independent brands.

Many small business owners already understand that branding is essential to their business, but a surprisingly high number of them don't really know why.

They recognize the link between successful businesses and strong branding, and aspire to build a brand that creates similar success for themselves. And they understand that branding is not just a logo or how their business is perceived externally. But too few realise that successful brands have this branding at the heart of the business. So much so that in many ways you could almost substitute the word brand for business.

Branding strategies are mandatory to reach out and influence your target audience. They must be well-defined and well-executed for advancing your business’ goals thereby impacting on all aspects of your business. It connects to your consumer’s needs, feelings and engages with your competition in the marketplace successfully.

How To Develop Brand Strategy

Brand building steps

Here are ten tips on how to successfully implement branding for your business:

Purpose:

Your brand should communicate its purpose to the market place and also potential clients. It should clarify the solutions the company provides to its customers and how it makes it worthwhile for them to do business with you. It should inspire trust in the prospects minds and encourage them to engage with you.

Stand out from the crowd

Think about who your audience is. What are your top competitors doing in terms of their site look and how they are expressing themselves? Look for some core commonalities, and simultaneously prepare to identify where you can innovate and differentiate.

Be consistent

Think of your outreach as being interconnected, like a body. The brand is the brain. Public relations, advertising, marketing, and sales are all extensions of that brain, and they must be coordinated and aligned. The copy, design and language your team uses is must always be based off of the brand. If possible, don’t use multiple designers or multiple copywriters. Find people who capture the essence of your brand and use them consistently.

Flexibility:

While consistency helps to define your brand, flexibility allows you to reposition your brand in creative ways to attract the market place. Consistency defines the standards, while flexibility adds freshness and novelty. Flexibility ensures longevity to your brand through innovation – keeping in mind the times and context of the marketplace.

Always consider your branding when communicating with customers

Don't lose your pride or dilute your brand positioning with indiscriminate discounting. Try offering more, rather than slashing prices. Promotions are an opportunity to reinforce your brand mission.

Understand that a brand has two owners:

The marketer owns 50 percent and the customer owns 100 percent. The marketer produces products, services and the marketing messages about them. Your customer experiences the brand, and in the digital age, they are in ultimate control of the messages they receive. Therefore, check in with customers and, at the very least, include those internal players who have the most customer contact. It’s best to include all the key stakeholders, including internal people who deliver your brand’s experience

Competition Awareness:

Knowing the strategy your competitors have adopted to enhance their brand can give you clues about what needs to be done to increase your brand’s awareness. You should understand and analyse what principles and strategies they use to enhance their brand’s reach. This will give you an idea of what you have been missing when it comes to implementing your brand strategy. You can learn from their success and failures and tailor your brand strategy accordingly. But ensure that you don’t end up being a copycat as that will impact your brand negatively.

Authority:

Establish yourself as an authority in your field. By establishing yourself as an expert who can solve your prospects problems intelligently, you create a reputation for excellence in the marketplace. By becoming the source of knowledge and solutions to your target audience’s problems, you establish yourself as the go-to person in your domain, attracting clients in droves.



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