The basics of building a brand

Every independent company needs to establish a solid brand identity to reach consumers and break into new markets. Managing your small business means creating and curating a brand that demonstrates the enterprise’s personality and objectives to customers. However, it’s easy to forget that a corporate image isn’t comprised entirely of marketing materials like slogans and logos. A brand is the identity that clients learn to recognize as they continually visit your establishment and buy your merchandise. Below is a look at the basics of branding your business.

Excellent customer service
A large part of a company’s identity is the customer experience, especially after small mistakes. Mashable notes that consumers frequently discuss negative topics like a shipping error, so businesses must go the extra mile and provide excellent customer service. This shows that the organization cares about its clients and will put in the effort to keep everyone satisfied and smiling. Jamie Viggiano, the marketing director of TaskRabbit, states that his company relies on positive reviews to generate leads.

“We work hand-in-hand with our member services team to ensure that every customer experience is a positive one – one that they will proactively and passionately share with their friends. You can surprise and delight customers – at minimal cost – which will inevitably generate positive WoM,” Viggiano told the news source.

Look for ways to improve customer service in your establishment to ensure that patrons are happy. If there are ever any issues, fix them and then take another step by offering a promotional discount or a small gift as an apology. Customers will notice this effort and may tell their friends and family members to start visiting your business.

Don’t follow the leader
It may seem simpler to copy an industry leader’s brand than to develop your own from scratch, but you shouldn’t take the easy road. According to Venture Beat, following in another company’s footsteps won’t help your business differentiate itself from the competition. In fact, you might unintentionally reinforce a competitor’s brand while showing consumers that you’re more of the same and have little else to offer. Chris Mayfield, who works at Crispy Design, notes that forging an identity may seem scary, but it’s a necessary step.

“For small companies, a risk is exactly what they have to take. This is generally their one chance to do something incredible,” Mayfield said.

There may be some minor bumps in the road that you can always correct later. Monitor how consumers respond to your brand to see if there are any areas that require improvement. If the feedback is positive, take note so that you can reuse those strategies in the future.

The right logo
While abstract features like customer service are part of your overall brand, you still need a visual representation. A logo is a necessity for your business because the small graphic is how consumers will learn to recognize all of your advertisements and marketing materials. The symbol must be unique and communicate how your business is different from the rest of the marketplace.

Designing a logo is a very difficult process because images are subjective. Your customers may never agree on what makes a great emblem, so you have to test various models to see what earns the most positive response. Dan Schawbel, author of “Me 2.0,” told Fox Business that multiple logos should be shared with online customers to find the best version.

These are only three parts of creating a brand for your company. What do you think is most and least important when developing a corporate identity? Are abstract features like customer service critical or should owners focus on developing marketing materials?

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