An easily recognizable brand is the envy of many business owners. To have a stranger see your small business logo and exclaim, “Hey! I’ve seen that before! You’re the company that makes those 3D-printed parts!” is the ultimate in brand recognition. But, what if they went on to say that they heard something negative about you or your business? Based on that, they then vow to never purchase any of your 3D-printed widgets, regardless of how cool they are.
In this hypothetical example, it’s easy to see that recognizing your business logo is only one part of the brand equation. It’s an important part, but some small business owners start their companies forgetting that they are creating a living entity. As with people, what occurs inside your business is as important as the logo you dress it in. Take stock of some of these tips from business marketing consultant Premlall Consulting on building your small business brand from the inside, out.
Build your business around your values
As an entrepreneur, your business is going to become an integral part of your life. It’s your baby and using a human analogy again, you’re going to want it to grow into something that you are proud of. Many business owners know what they want to sell, how to sell, and who to sell it to, but they also need to think about what their business represents.
For example, some businesses make an effort to sell products made by indigenous Americans, or women- or minority-owned businesses. They believe it’s a strategy that will resonate with their target customers, and that those customers see that business owner as having values that align with theirs. That perception of doing business ethically, and caring about Native Americans and minorities, then becomes a part of that business brand. Seeing that business’ logo will then also trigger a link to that perception of ethics.
It’s important to note that any employees you hire should also embrace your business values. They may not equal your passion, but they should understand the value that your operational strategy brings to your brand. Particularly if your employees are customer-facing, their role as your small business brand ambassadors can have a big impact on your business, increasing your brand’s value.
Now it’s time to get dressed
Once you have clarity in what values are important to you and your business, you can better reflect those values in your logo and collateral materials, such as your website and business cards. For example, if you want to create a fun and playful culture in your workplace, you don’t want a logo that looks like a law office logo. If you’re the creative type and have experience in graphic design, it’s likely that you’ve had a logo image in your mind for weeks and all you need to do is transfer that idea into reality.
Many small business owners aren’t so lucky when it comes to having professional graphic design skills, however, but fortunately, today’s resources do allow for creating some DIY branding elements. For example, some business card design companies allow you to select a logo, colors, and fonts to create semi-customized or even fully customized business cards.
Now look to your online presence; namely, your website and social media channels. For a simple, basic site, there are some beginner-friendly website builders available. However, they have limited functionality and may not provide you with the most competitive differentiation. If you’re looking for something more customized with a lot of motion graphics or complex e-commerce functionality, hire a professional website developer.
Think of your social media as your promotional, storytelling, and customer-relations channels. Don’t be lulled into thinking that because you’ve managed your personal social media pages for years that you can do it for your business; if you are spending the amount of time on your business social media that you need to spend, then you are neglecting other vital parts of your business operations! Instead, hire an expert in social media management services to man your business accounts. They understand the importance of quick response times, how to deal with unwelcome comments, and can post content at ideal intervals for each channel. Scan online freelance job boards so you can evaluate their individual experience and fees, and see their customer reviews.
Creating an identity that creates a connection
Building your brand from the inside out allows your company to create connections with your customers – connections that they then attach to the “pretty stuff” of your logo and brand identity. If you need additional advice on building your business and effective ways to reach and connect with your customers, give Premlall Consulting a call today.