Something that seems to be very alien to small businesses is thinking about their brand. Having worked with many small businesses throughout Northern Ireland, not one that I have dealt with puts any value or invests in their brand. They always focus on the product and service. And of course, if that's what your selling, it makes sense. But your brand is what adds value to it. Yes, you heard that right, your brand adds value to your product. If your branding looks cheap and you're selling an expensive product, you will struggle to sell it.
Investing in designing a good logo and building a brand can have a huge effect, long term on your business and it’s something that every small business needs to focus on.
What is a brand?
A brand is more than just a logo. A business's brand is how everyone outside the business perceives your business. When we think of huge companies like McDonald's, Apple or Ryan Air, we automatically have a perception of them in our heads.
A brand incorporates your logo, identity, website, culture in the business, and your voice.
Of course, if you are a small business, a one-man band, essentially we are talking about you and the values that you hold.
Small Business. Logo and Brand Consistency.
For small businesses when we talk about Brand, usually we are really just talking about your logo and brand consistency. This will be your main focus and is something that is worth investing in, rather than making it an afterthought.
Imagine you sell luxurious hand creams. They are high-end products with premium ingredients aimed at the top end of the market. But due to whatever reason you just use a logo that you made yourself and that’s it. You aren't a graphic designer, it was made with some clip-art and just looks amateur. Now let's think for a minute… If you are trying to convince someone to pay more than the average cost for a premium product you need to at least make it appear premium. If you stick a bad logo done with clip-art on the bottle then the perceived value of the product, never mind the actual quality of the product, won’t be of the higher end. People won't pay for it.
The art of marketing is the art of brand building. If you are not a brand you are a commodity. Then price is everything and the low cost producer is always the winner - Philip Kotler.
Use the same logo, same colours on every aspect of your online presence. From your website to your social media accounts you want people to immediately identify your business. This helps put your business in the forefront of peoples minds. Key examples would be Cadbury with their distinctive purple or Easy jet and their stand out orange.
Some businesses get branding correct on their website, then lose all sense of sensibility when it comes to social media. They use different colours/voice/images and make it hard for the user to distinguish the brand. Your brand should be so distinguishable that when a customer sees your website/Facebook page/Instagram account for a couple of seconds they immediately know that they are on the right page, they shouldn’t have to sit and decipher if its the correct page or not.
Use your correct logo for the profile pic, use appropriate images in the cover/header photo that people relate to your brand. Speak with the same voice that you use in-store or on your online website.
People don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel - Maya Angelou
- Put effort into your Brand
- Be consistent with your logo and brand colours