Guest Author: Marissa Perez // Image via Pexels
As a new small business owner in Indiana, developing your brand is one of the best things you can do to reach your target audience, acquire and retain customers, and achieve your marketing and advertising goals. As Kristopher Jones of Forbes says, branding gives businesses personality — helping them to stand out in a crowded and competitive market, gain the trust and loyalty of their audience, motivate their teams, and create an effective advertising strategy that aligns with the company’s identity.
Moreover, your company’s brand can have a positive or negative effect on the consumer experience. The colors, words, images, symbols, and designs you use to identify and build your brand can be used to make emotional connections with customers, helping to build consumer trust, credibility, and satisfaction.
As you build your company’s brand, there are several branding best practices you should follow. Check out these tips to learn more about them.
Develop Your Brand Strategy
Now that you’re familiar with the importance of branding as a new small business, it’s time to develop your brand strategy. Laura Lake of The Balance Small Business shares some tips for developing your brand strategy, starting with the following:
- Identifying your company’s primary focus
- Defining your brand with a brand statement
- Determining your target audience and brand objectives
- Identifying potential brand barriers
- Creating your company’s branding package
If you want to build your marketing knowledge to help you develop effective brand strategies, consider returning to school to earn a business degree. Online programs are available in many different career-relevant fields, and you’ll have more flexibility than in-person learning.
Create Your Brand Kit
After developing your brand strategy, you’ll be ready to create your brand kit. This kit will ensure that your company’s communications and interactions are in alignment with the identity of your brand — including your business website, marketing emails, social media channels, and ads. Your brand kit should include a logo and any acceptable variations of your logo, a color palette, and your signature font. You may also wish to include sounds if you’ll be creating videos or tutorials for social media.
Decide Between DIY vs Professional Branding Services
If you don’t have the budget to hire a designer to create your company’s brand kit, you can certainly do it yourself using free online tools. However, paying for professional branding services is a worthy investment when you’re getting a small business off the ground.
A brand agency, for instance, can create your branding strategy and brand kit — or you could hire freelancers to create your brand kit, website, and marketing materials. Alternatively, you could run a design contest to get professional help without the added expense of hiring a designer.
Even if you do choose to hire a professional to create your brand identity, you may run into some issues when communicating with your designers and sending large files back and forth via email. Therefore, it’s a good idea to compress PDF files before sending them to reduce the size of your files while preserving the quality of your documents and any included images and fonts.
Reach Your Target Market
Once you’ve branded your new small business and you’re ready to reach your target market, you’ll need to create your target market strategy. The right marketing strategies for your business will depend on your target markets and existing customer base, but several options include search engine optimization (SEO), social media, content marketing, email marketing, online advertising, and traditional advertising methods such as direct mail and radio ads.
The Bottom Line
Branding is essential for any business, especially new ones competing in crowded and competitive markets. As a new small business in Indiana, be sure to develop your brand strategy early on in the startup process to build a brand that consumers will trust for many years to come.
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