Small businesses can create valuable, helpful engagements with their customers. A small business owner may be the friendly person at the check-out, or the helpful voice on the other end of the line. Unlike large corporations that rely on automated answering services, a small business is more likely to answer the phone with a human voice ready to answer your questions, set up an appointment, or direct you to the right person in the business organization to help. This personal touch by a company’s employees is part of what’s known as their business brand.
Your company’s brand is much more than your business logo, tag line and letterhead. A brand is the total customer experience, including an attractive, easy-to-use website, customer service that really cares, benefits like free advice or consultation – all of these contribute to building a business brand that represents quality.
To develop a brand for your small business, first you need to determine how you’ll reach potential customers, what your business message will be, and when you plan to reach out to prospects – in other words, develop a brand-building strategy that targets the exact demographic you want to reach in an effective manner.
Be consistent in building your company brand. Use the same logo on all paper associated with the company, and place that logo front-and-center on your company website. Consistent marketing creates an intangible value to your products or services, sometimes called brand equity, a business asset that delivers a message to prospects at a glance. One of the best examples? Coca-Cola®. Coke signage is everywhere, and people around the world recognize the ubiquitous red-and-white Coca-Cola logo.
Make sure your company name and logo are appropriate to reach your target buyers. Older buyers react differently to marketing than younger buyers, so target all of your brand-building marketing efforts at the target market with the right message. If you miss the sweet spot of your target demographic, you’ll risk missing out on growing sales.
Integrate your brand into every aspect of your business. Your logo and tag line should appear on company stationery, business cards, invoices, business checks, packaging – every piece of paper should help brand your business.
Other ways to integrate and strengthen your brand include:
- The way telephone calls are answered, i.e. “Madison Sporting Goods, how may I help you?” The customer hears the company name again, and a cheerful human voice eager to help the prospective customer;
- Your customer care policies, including guarantees and warranties, i.e. your company stands behind its products and its work;
- Consumer incentives and freebies that keep customers coming back, creating a family of consumers who spread the word about your business;
- Always delivering what you say you’ll deliver, on time and right; reliability can build a strong company brand quickly;
- Adding value to the customer experience by adding a free gift to each shipment, or offering a buy-one-get-one-free sale. Value is measured, not just in dollars and cents, but in the satisfaction of every customer.
Building a company brand may equip you to build a stable client base faster – repeat buyers, the best buyers a business can have. They come back all on their own to buy more of what you sell.
Take the time to create a corporate brand that delivers the right messages. “We’re here. We’re the best. We deliver real benefits to all of our customers.”
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.