If you’re in the small business world, your brand identity might not be your biggest priority. You’ve got bigger fish to fry. Like customer service, managing operations, and – of extreme relevance during a pandemic – staying profitable.
But branding does matter. It influences how your entire business is perceived by the customer. A strong brand identity can help develop loyalty, reinforce purchasing decisions, and ultimately drive profits.
So what encompasses brand identity? There’s a lot that goes into it. Not to be confused with brand image, your brand identity covers nearly every aspect of how your business is presented. Brand identity is formed from the name, the logo, colors and other visual elements, personality, values, and voice. It’s the sum of all these parts working in tandem.
The result is a stronger, well-defined brand.
Here’s how your small business can get in touch with its brand identity.
Know the customer
You may have a very precise idea of what your brand needs to be. That’s understandable. If you’re a small business owner, it’s basically your baby. However, I’d encourage you to be a bit more flexible with that idea. Obviously, it’s imperative that your brand identity be representative of your business. But at the end of the day, your brand also needs to appeal to your customers. According to Gensler, 94% of customers will recommend a brand they’re emotionally engaged with.
Keep the customer in mind as you consider the different elements of your brand identity. Who are they? Where do they live? What are their interests? Answering these key demographic questions will help form a persona of your target audience. A deeper understanding of your typical customer will help drive branding decisions.
For example, who your target audience is will impact what values your brand chooses to project. According to Fundera, 89% of customers will stay loyal to a brand because they share values. Again, you might have an idea of what values you want to represent. But when it comes down to it, you need to pick values that appeal to the customer.
Once you have a good idea of who your customers are, you’ll need to dig from there. Take a look at your competitors. Ask yourself what makes your small business unique. If you already have a clearly defined USP (unique selling point), it needs to be integrated into your brand identity. Doing so will help showcase to customers why they’re doing business with you instead of a competitor.
Another way to stand out is to be more memorable than your competition. This is where your logo and other visual elements can come into play. For example, color can improve brand recognition by as much as 80%. (Forbes) Investing in high quality assets and testing different designs can pay dividends for your small business.
There’s a reason 95% of organizations have brand guidelines – even though only a fourth of them consistently enforce them. (Inc.) Consistency is a critical component of your brand identity.
Brand identities are complex beasts. They need to be carefully crafted, monitored, and enforced in order to ensure that customers are getting the right message. If your Facebook presence isn’t on the same page as your website, there’s going to be dissonance. Inconsistency dilutes the brand and causes confusion. But when your brand has a consistent presentation across each of its platforms? You’ll actually start to see revenue increase up to 23%. (Forbes)
Better Branding With CoGoBuzz
With CoGoBuzz, our state-of-the-art marketing service, we’ll help build and refine your brand at the digital level. With our advanced WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions, our service creates a digital footprint for your brand – both in-store and out. CoGoBuzz comes loaded with a whole line of awesome features designed to more effectively engage your audience. Take advantage of a digital text-based loyalty program, full profiles for every customer that connects to your WiFi, and so much more!
Have any tips to share on establishing a brand identity? Sound off in the comments!