Digital marketing manager at 99designs Laura McLeod, provides four simple brand strategies that can help your small business transform an idea into a winning reality.
Companies often spend a fortune on branding, but just because you can spend a lot, doesn’t mean you have to. her top tips for branding on a budget.
One of the biggest challenges for small business owners is to maintain a healthy cash flow and ample budget for every aspect of the operating.
One area that sometimes takes a back seat is branding. This is either because business owners assume branding is just for big companies, or it is perceived to be very costly. Strong branding is something every business should embrace, but it can be done cheaply.
(1) Developing a brand identity
Your brand is the soul of your company and is ultimately your story. Creating your brand is one of the most important decisions a business can make but luckily coming up with a brand strategy is completely free.
Defining what makes your business different from the crowd is key to making you stand out. With this distinction you’ll appeal to different audiences and eventually find your target audience to tailor your brand around.
To market to them effectively what you have to consider is their age, income, gender and would they use your product, and if so, why?
Answering these questions will enable you to create a clear target market and will allow you to shape your brand. Remember that you’re looking for your true fans and that you’re not cutting out potential customers, you’re just refining your core followers.
Now you need to create a mission statement. This statement captures what you do and why you do it, providing your company with a clear direction. If you hit a tough decision or crossroads during the future, your mission statement will guide you through it.
(2) Staying front of mind
Choosing the right name is the first big step to making your brand more memorable. You only get one first impression, so make it count. To ensure your company is set up for the digital world you need to check if your companyname.com is available and then how your URL will look when it’s displayed – this can go wrong.
After finalising your name and story you need to move onto how your brand looks. The first step of this is deciding on a logo. Remember, as your business grows, your logo will become more recognised – so it needs to be something you would be happy with for several years to come.
Unless you have design skills yourself, outsourcing to a designer is the best route. This can be as expensive as you like, but an easy and effective method is to host a logo design contest.
This method enables you to challenge multiple designers to compete against each other to design your logo for free and you only pay when you have decided on the design that best represents your business.
Carry on reading for the final two small business branding tips for those on a tight budget.
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