Small businesses are going big on branding, and with good reason. Whether you are a retailer, landscaper, contractor, accountant, financial manager or virtually any other small to mid-size business, branding is the key to a successful marketing strategy. It is the foundation of your identity, the summation of your products or services and – most importantly – the inspiration for customers to choose you over your competitors. In this article, we’ll talk a little about what branding is and why branding is important for small businesses.
What Does Branding Include?
Many small business owners make the mistake of seeing their brand merely as a logo and tagline. Branding encompasses and influences every single aspect of your marketing communications, including:
- Strategic positioning
- Visual identity
- Brand voice
- Company mission and values
- Business cards
- Web design
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Traditional advertising
- Digital advertising
- Outdoor advertising
- Direct mail
- + More
Because branding impacts both traditional and digital marketing simultaneously, it is becoming more critical than ever for small businesses to bring their marketing and creative teams under one roof. We discuss this notion in detail on Forbes.com.
How Branding Helps Business
Branding is not an instantly measurable investment like, say, pay-per-click advertising. But, it can pay huge dividends in the long run. The value of branding to a small business lies in loyalty – the stronger your brand, the more connected your customers feel. Instead of simply purchasing from you, they’re identifying with everything you stand for. Other options (aka your competitors) don’t exist, because they know and love your brand.
Brand loyalty is exponentially more valuable than one-and-done transactions, because it turns customers into repeat customers, referral sources and, essentially, walking, talking advertisements.
Small Business Branding: Ideas, Examples and Inspiration
As a branding and creative marketing agency in New Jersey, we’ve had the pleasure of helping many local businesses build their brands. Here are a few case studies to get your creative juices flowing.
What all of these have in common is that they go beyond graphic design to take on distinct personalities for the respective businesses they represent. Remember, a brand is an entire identity, not a logo.
Developing Your Unique Brand Strategy
There is no template for small business branding, however, there are proven processes that we follow to create an accurate and passionate brand strategy in any vertical. We always take clients through an initial brand discovery session, which creates the framework for the creative assets (logos, fonts, stationery, etc.). We will provide a short guide to brand discovery and brand strategy here on our blog in the near future. In the meantime, feel free to contact us if you have specific questions regarding branding as it relates to your small business.