Small business branding is never an easy task and, for many of us, it’s easy to put on the back burner when more pressing issues seem to arise (customers, clients, paying our employees). However, at the rate social media and online community engagement has taken off, small businesses can no longer make excuses for a lack in branding. A brand statement is necessary and needs to be the foundation from which your small business will thrive.
What is a brand statement?
There are a couple of ways to go about thinking about your small business brand. The easiest place to start might be with your current visual identity. Although your logo is not the only piece that dictates your brand, it is a visual reminder to your customers of who you are. Assess whether or not your logo is the best representation it can be of your brand voice.
Then, think about the following elements as they relate to your brand statement or brand voice:
- What tone is appropriate?
- Can you liken your brand voice or personality to a character?
- How will you instill confidence and trust from your customers?
- What sets you apart?
- What is your thriving value? What will push you to succeed year after year?
The importance of small business branding
Small businesses are playing ball with the big kids now. Your brand is just as important as Target’s, 3M’s and Miller Lite’s brand. Why? Because you have the same opportunity as these well-known players to get your message across. Social media has leveled the playing field. We’re all in the same game.
Now, small businesses have equal opportunity to reach the masses online. We need to take advantage of this. But, without a brand statement you’ll be hitting foul balls all day long. (OK, enough with the sports analogies, I know).
Brian Solis has some great thoughts on the importance of brand that as small business owners, we should pay close attention to. As he states:
“Identity, persona, essence and promise, are the new kings and queens of the branding kingdom, thanks to technology and the deeper connections it opens up between brands and consumers.”
If you can excel and what your brand stands for–outstanding customer service, loyalty, personal touch–then you’ll continue to outshine your competition. But, that brand statement must be reflective in all parts of your marketing and communication processes–from your website, to social media, to the sales floor.
Be great, brand great
Business Insider recently published a fun list of how brands can be great on social media. And if that’s not your thing, that’s OK. Choose what it is your brand stands for and focus your greatness there. What are you trying to achieve? What do those who are great at this look like? Feel like? Act like?
It’s not all about your look (remember what Mom said, “it’s on the inside that counts”). Your small business brand statement–any business brand statement–is about how we treat others. It’s how we make them feel at the end of the day.
What will your brand statement be?