Small business marketing is an intricate and delicate task as owners have to create unique identities for their companies in order to stand apart from the competition. Branding an enterprise is one of the most important parts of creating a lasting presence in the marketplace. Jonah Berger, author of "Contagious: Why Things Catch On" and an associate professor of marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania recently explained to Entrepreneur Magazine that brands are important so that the public has something to identify.
"You love your company, you think your company is great, but if you're not around, what are people going to be able to remember? And what are they going to tell others?" Berger said.
Indeed, small business owners are the best proponents for their companies, but they can't constantly drum up support and public awareness without creating some type of image. This needs to be included in every advertisement, from direct mailers to promotional marketing products. By branding their organizations, entrepreneurs can ensure that customers have something to remember.
Further, brands can become synonymous with various traits, which play into a company's reputation. Ultimately, this can lead to strong word of mouth and increased sales.
Of course, branding is anything but a simple task. The following are some key steps small business owners should follow when crafting their companies' identities.
Decide on an image
Every company has to carefully curate a unique image for itself, and businesses should take steps to embrace their individuality. For instance, the family-friendly restaurant might want to create a welcoming image while a business-to-business retailer may want to emphasize its professional nature over everything else.
Small business owners should decide what kind of enterprises they want to run. This depends almost entirely on the types of customers that an entrepreneur wants to market to during future campaigns.
Understanding the intended clientele and tailoring a brand to their unique tastes ensures that a company can successfully advertise its products or services. When businesses have brands that aren't appropriate for the target audience, they run the risk of alienating their buyers and hurting sales.
Design the perfect logo
While there are a great many elements that factor into a small business' brand, the logo is perhaps the most important. This is a visual representation of the company, its values and reputation. The emblem should be featured in advertisements, unique promotional products and social media updates so that consumers learn to recognize and identify it.
Logo design is far from an easy procedure. In fact, it requires a great deal of expertise of aesthetics. Small business owners who want to learn how to create great logos for their companies should follow Myron Corp.'s tips.
Lead online conversations
To succeed in the modern marketplace, small businesses have to brand themselves online. A web presence is crucial because so many consumers rely on the Internet for everything from gathering news and buying merchandise. To that end, Ed Roach, founder of The Brand Experts and author of "The Reluctant Salesperson," told Inc. Magazine that companies should brand themselves by leading social media conversations.
"Social media has one very important perspective to share with brand management – the conversation. Like branding, social media is all about the conversation and building effective relationships. They are perfectly suited to one another," Roach said.
By frequently posting on social networks and engaging customers, companies can increase brand exposure. Consumers will gradually think of the brand as an interactive element instead of just another corporate element that a business uses to achieve its objectives.