The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Brand Identity

branding a small business
If the term ‘brand’ only brings a logo to mind, there’s quite a lot more you need to consider for a full brand identity.

In fact, having a decent logo does not translate to a decent brand for your business. And it’s even more than clean fonts and a pleasing color palette. Your brand is a cohesive, complete picture of what comes to mind for a customer when they think about you. And it requires an ever-evolving brand strategy even after the launch of a new logo or business name. By revisiting your branding on a regular basis, your business will remain relevant to your target audience, ultimately elevating your overall identity.

 

Your brand is a cohesive, complete picture of what comes to mind for a customer when they think about you.

 

The face of your business

While a logo is not the entirety of your brand’s identity, it is the “face” of your business. And your logo needs to be concise and accurate. In an instant, it should communicate your business name and even something about your industry. Above all, it needs to be professional – a brand someone would trust. If your company’s logo is not succinct, people won’t take the time to figure it out. And if your logo is not memorable, you’ll be forgotten. 

Think of a logo that is synonymous with speaking the business name. McDonald’s. Nike. Apple. Their logos are strong. They quickly imprint onto the visual part of the brain and leave an impression. A strong business brand begins with a strong logo that carries throughout every part of what you do. 

 

The heart of what you provide

By catching a potential customer’s eye with your business logo and overall branding, you’re defining your identity. After you draw them in with a professional presentation, you must also connect emotionally. Loyal customers stick with a business because of things like the trust forged over a long period of time and a company’s involvement in the community. Of course, the quality of your products or services and of the customer experience you provide is really at the heart of your success. But your client’s perceived value of your offerings is typically greater than what you provide in reality. 

Some things to consider:

  • What sets you apart from your competition?
  • How do you connect emotionally with customers?
  • What is at the core of what you offer?

New customers choose to work with or buy from your business for various reasons. Customers become loyal because of deeper connections and identifying with a business’s brand identity.

 

The message you communicate

Earlier, we mentioned McDonald’s. We’re guessing “I’m lovin’ it” came to mind. When you see the Nike swoosh on a pair of shoes, do you think “Just do it”? These taglines are used to communicate an identifying and memorable message to accompany their logos. Not all businesses benefit from a tagline, per se, but they do benefit from a consistent pattern of communication and overall brand message.

Defining your mission or core values can be a great place to start. A mission statement is a strong foundation for brand strategy and communication, and it also helps you and your team focus on the why behind what you do. Once you’ve created those core values or a mission statement, sprinkle it throughout your messaging – on your website, social media pages, collateral pieces, advertising, etc.

Apple, Inc. ends every press release with: “Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.” This sentence highlights what Apple seeks to do as a business, but more importantly, it ties the consumer into the brand by building a strong emotional connection. Don’t we all want to leave the world better than we found it? So shouldn’t we all feel a little bit better spending our hard-earned cash on the latest Apple products, knowing they share this value?

Branding your business starts with telling a story: your unique story that compels consumers to choose you. After capturing your target audience’s attention, you can then win them over again and again with the strength of your brand identity. If you’re unsure of how your brand is currently received, ask a few of your customers. What do they say about your brand? This is a great place to start.

Our N2DIGITAL team now offers branding packages for businesses like yours. Work with one of our expert designers to begin transforming your brand identity into a compelling story. Contact us today!

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