Branding is as important for small businesses as it is for large multi-national corporations. It’s important because it can be one of the first impressions someone has of your business.
People make a judgement of your company within 10 seconds. Getting the first 10 seconds right first time is vitally important to ensure that potential customers don’t go to your competitors.
Here are 5 thoughts for better small business branding.
It may seem minor but the colour of something can alter that judgement someone makes within the first 10 seconds of coming in to contact with your company. Red, blue, green, purple, brown, yellow, pretty much every colour can imply something about your business. There are usually two levels to this interpretation of colour. The first is the societal implication of your colour and the company, and the second is the individual implication. Society (we as humans) deem colours to have some generic meaning when in context. Red can mean passion, blue can be professional, green can imply environmental, and purple can suggest luxury. The individual response to colour is harder to predict. Not everyone thinks or feels the same about colours. However the rule of thumb is to use colour to stand out from the crowd. If your competitors revolve around the colour blue, then why not stand out with green. Using colour in this way is a visual method of separating you and your competition.
Go online, research your competitors branding colours, and search for a colour wheel. What makes you stand out from the crowd?
What your business does is hard thing to convey in a brand. It is also vitally important. If someone is looking for a cleaning company but your branding has a taxi in it. Will that confuse potential customer. Conveying relevance, in that your business does X, Y and Z is important to ensure that people don’t go looking elsewhere.
Give your friends, family and complete strangers your branding pack and ask them what they think your business is about. Do they understand what your business is generally offering?
Customers aren’t going to part with their hard earned cash if they don’t trust that you will deliver, that the service or product is any good, or that if something does go wrong that they can get the help they need from you. A high quality logo and brand message can help to convey a sense of trust. If your logo is made from a combination of WordArt and ClipArt then people may think twice about you and your product
As before ask friends, family and strangers what they like or dislike about your branding and logo, plus whether they could trust the company?
What does your brand say about you and your company? Customers in the first 10 seconds, subconsciously read a lot in to your company by just looking at your brand and logo. Is the company reputable? Do they offer what I am looking for? Am I in good hands? Are some of the instanteous questions that people make a judgement on in only a fraction of a second. They may be right or they may be wrong but if the message the customer reads from your business doesn’t fit with what they are after then they will take their money elsewhere.
Think about the qualities of your business and ask your friends, family and strangers whether they think these words match your brand.
Lots of people are after a bargain and lots of people want the best. Do you cater for both, or one or the other? What value does your brand represent?
Think of it like this. A green grocer buys one type of apples. Sells half as they are for 30p per apple, and the other half he cleans, shines and cuts in to pieces, while charging 20p more per apple. Some people are looking a bargain and some people are looking for something else.
Make sure you think about how your business reflects this. Do you offer value and range in your products or services? Giving the customer the choice so they can decide themselves what level of service or product they want, require or need.
Above are five thoughts for beginners on how you can improve your small business branding.