Introduction to Branding For Small Businesses
For many small businesses, branding can seem like a foreign concept, or even an afterthought. After all, a superior product can sell itself, or so the thinking goes. However, even the best ideas are hopeless unless they can connect to the audiences they’re trying to reach.
This is where a brand comes in.
Branding encompasses many ideas, concepts, and decisions, but at its core, your brand is the way you communicate your product and company’s values to your customers. This guide is designed to help you get from thinking about your product to spreading the word about your amazing brand.
However, to create a truly powerful brand, it’s important to start with the basics. To build a fruitful strategy, this chapter will introduce you to the basic ideas behind branding, as well as the core elements of a successful corporate image.
“Brands are the face a business presents to the world,
and they communicate everything from core values
to tone and target market.”
What is a Brand?
More than an abstract idea, a brand is a collection of decisions, strategies, verbal and visual cues that define a company’s appearance. Brands are the face a business presents to the world, and they communicate everything from core values to tone and target market.
Stated more simply, your brand is the way the world visualizes your company, making it vital to leave the right impression. Many people confuse a logo with a brand, but fail to realize the number of decisions that go into even a logo. Brands give logos value and meaning by establishing a company’s message, mission and market.
A successful brand is also the starting point for marketing campaigns as it informs the ways and places your company is going to interact with your audience. Moreover, it also defines how you communicate your business to the world, making it absolutely vital to create a strong branding strategy from the outset.
Why Should You Care About Your Brand?
Branding is one of the most important elements of curating your company’s public image. Without a way to attract customers, your business will have a hard time selling even the best service or product. The problem isn’t quality, but information.
A product can’t explain itself or demonstrate value to someone shopping online. A brand can give your products and services context, showing customers why they need to purchase these items in subtle ways.
Brands are also based on company’s core values and mission. This helps create a more personal bond with customers, who are more likely to buy what you’re selling if they’re invested in your company.
By establishing this connection non-verbally and efficiently, strong brands can help streamline the sales and onboarding process for your company.
What Goes Into a Brand?
Until now, we’ve been talking about the big picture. Brands are large concepts made up of several small decisions and components that complement each other. To create a successful branding strategy, you should consider the following elements:
Your company’s logo is perhaps the most crucial component of a successful brand. A logo encapsulates a business’s core values and style with a single image and accompanying small text. In addition, it helps to inform many of the other aspects that go into branding. Creating a logo can be complicated, but using tools such as Tailor Brands’ logo designer can simplify the process.
A logo should be representative of your company while incorporating visual elements that communicate your business’ values and mission. Sharp angles and thin fonts show an innovative and tech-savvy company; green hues and curvy letters show a more welcoming and laid-back firm.
The decisions you make when creating a logo will inform the rest of your branding process, so make sure to set yourself up for success.
A Color Palette
The colors your company uses may seem secondary, but they are a vital part of larger branding efforts. Your logo will likely determine which colors your business will use moving forward, and all your future marketing materials, campaigns, and business communications will include them.
Color palettes are important because they create subconscious associations in consumers’ minds. Red shows youthfulness and bold choices while yellow transmits warmth and optimism and blue displays dependability and strength. Your company’s colors should reflect its values.
Like colors, fonts are going to be used prolifically in all your official communications and marketing materials. They are not as vital as a logo or a color palette, but they help better communicate what your company does. Angular and sleek fonts show a company looking for innovation and the future while rounder fonts transmit friendliness and openness.
A Brand Language
This is perhaps one of the more underrated aspects of a brand. Have you ever noticed how many of the most successful brands’ marketing materials always sound similar? It’s no accident that major corporations and multinational mainstays have codified their own languages, both verbal and visual, to better communicate their values.
Apple is focused on minimalism and innovation, presenting a modern and enigmatic look whereas McDonald’s looks to be friendly and welcoming. Most companies derive their language from their mission and their values. To be successful, you should always consider not just what is being said, but also how you’re saying it. This element also plays an important role in marketing, social media, and business communications.
Get started with the Basics and Learn More
Armed with this knowledge of the essentials, you can start envisioning your brand. Think of how it will look, how it will sound, and what it will say. Start fine-tuning your ideas with Tailor Brands’ logo and branding tools and continue reading Chapter 2 to learn more about how your branding and marketing efforts work hand in hand.
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