Your Guide to Creating Powerful Brand Strategies for Small Businesses

Are you looking for ways to build your brand? You're likely to ensure that you're maximizing your efforts by looking inward first. A strong brand starts with a clear understanding of your company, its values, and the traits that make it unique.

It Starts With a Promise

Distill what you want your business to deliver into one simple sentence, and you get the beginnings of a brand promise.

For example, if you service air conditioners, your promise may be to 'get the job done right the first time.' But it could also be to 'use the best quality parts made in America.' Or, it might even be 'to arrive onsite the same day.'

Many businesses stumble with branding because they don't have a clear brand promise. Without one, there's no solid foundation to build on. Your brand promise is the north star that guides everything you do, from hiring to establishing supply chains to advertising and more.

And this is critical to creating a brand that stands out.

Here's an Example

Let's say you're the air conditioning business that promises to get the job done right the first time instead of the others mentioned above.

When hiring, you're likely to put a premium on finding skilled technicians who can deliver on your brand promise over supply chain managers who can source American-made parts. You'd also be less inclined to hire a network of contractors that can get anywhere in your service area on the same day.

Your ads will emphasize your brand promise of getting the job done right the first time, not parts or same-day service. And you'll run them in places where quality-minded individuals are likely to see them.

Sounds simple, right? Yet, in the race to stand out, many businesses rush to tactical solutions before doing their homework, resulting in mushy, inconsistent brands that promise one thing one day and something else the next—making them easy to overlook.

So, before you begin to think about branding strategies, understand who you are first. Lean Labs can help you do so with 20 Questions to Consider When Establishing a Brand Identity.

Put On A Good Face

Once you understand your brand, defining its face through brand design is key to standing out. This includes anything visual that represents your company, starting with your logo.

It also includes type fonts for advertising and signage, colors, and imagery. Brand design can even extend to tone and voice in ad copy and anything else that gives your brand personality.

Corporations spend millions creating and curating brand design, but you can do so on a shoestring budget if you spend wisely where it matters most.

Find A Good Graphic Designer

Think of a time in your life when appearances mattered most. Did you get help from a hairstylist on your wedding day or enlist a personal trainer to whip you into shape for a tropical vacation?

A good graphic designer can do the same thing for your brand, developing a logo that puts your best foot forward, signage that gets noticed, and a website that shines.

Online staffing sources like Upwork and Fiverr provide access to thousands of qualified individuals at rates even the smallest budgets can accommodate. 

Focus on Your Website

Your virtual storefront is likely to get more traffic than any physical space you have, so make sure your website leverages your brand with flawlessly executed design and function that makes sense.

Keep it simple, with minimum but concise copy. Consumers today want visuals, so consider icons for navigation over words or phrases. For inspiration, look to these 40+ Most Notable Big Name Brands that are Using WordPress, a platform that can cost as little as $200 upfront with monthly fees as low as $11, according to Website Builder Expert.

Consistency Is Key

Think of the brands you believe in most. There is a chance, excluding minor tweaks here and there, these brands have had the same logo, look, and overall feel for decades. Guinness, arguably the world's most iconic brewery, has been true to its brand since 1759!

The takeaway here is that branding done right is branding that doesn't change at a whim, particularly when a business doesn't know what its brand stands for. Stick to your promise. Refrain from changing your logo or colors because you're bored with them. And above all, don't be fickle.

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