This is a guest post from Karen Gunton of Build a Little Biz
Is your biz: contemporary or traditional? Cute or classy? Unique or timeless? Affordable or luxurious? Accessible or exclusive? Humorous or serious? Or perhaps it is funky, earthy, dreamy, cheeky, edgy, trendy, or badass?
No matter what stage you are at with your business: from those just getting started all the way to the well established biz, you are sending a message out to the world about your biz. Whether you realize it or not!
In what ways are you sending out your message?
- The look of your biz – your biz name, logo, colors, website, business card & other marketing materials, product images, packaging materials etc.
- The voice of your biz – your tagline, the written content on your site, your product descriptions, the information in your brochures, your emails, newsletters etc.
- Your products – what you are selling, the prices you have set, any packages you offer
- Your marketing practices – how you are getting attention and interest in your thing
- Your sales practices – how and where you are selling your thing to customers
- And you! – how you deal with customers, how quick you respond and follow through, the way you interact online, in person, on the phone
All of these aspects together make up your brand.
Many people think of a brand as being a logo. Or perhaps the appearance of their biz. But that is not quite right. A brand is much more than a logo or a look. Your brand is the message you are sending the world about your biz. Your brand exists in all of the places I listed above.
So go back to the start again. What message do you want to send out to the world about your biz?
And here is a tip: do not try to be all of those things! All you will do is send confusing messages to all the wrong people. You need to attract the right people. (You know: the ones who will buy your stuff and be thrilled with it and tell their friends!) And you need to be clear.
(p.s. That is a pretty small list of brand words, above. It nowhere near covers all of the possible messages you could send. Open up thesaurus.com if you need some help finding the right words for your message!)
Once you have a clear message in mind, you aren’t actually done with your brand. There are two parts to an effective brand. The first is clarity. The second is consistency. So the next step is to look at your biz with a critical eye and determine if you are being consistent.
Consider the look of your biz. The voice of your biz. Your products & prices. Your marketing practices. Your sales practices. And you! Are there any areas where you are sending out a message about your biz that is not consistent with the rest of your brand? Are there tweaks you can make to your business and your business plans that will match your brand?
If your brand message is clear you will attract the right people to your biz. You will let your ideal client know they are in the right place. If your brand message is consistent you will build trust. If people trust you they will buy from you.
And the best thing you can do with your brand is to stand out. Do something different from what your competition and all the other little businesses in your niche are doing, in all those areas of your business. Use your brand to be memorable and be remarkable.
Once you have a solid idea of your brand message you need to keep it in mind every time you work on any task that will help you build your little business. These aspects of your business should all clearly and consistently communicate your brand message:
- your name, logo, tagline, colours, fonts & graphics
- the products you sell, including your pricing and packaging
- your marketing materials
- your marketing, advertising and PR plans
- your sales strategies
- your online and in person business presence
- the written content on your website, marketing materials and business communication
- the visual content you share online and in person
- your social media activities – the audience you are targeting
So before you take one more action to build your biz, stop and take some time to the brand you need to create in order for your biz to stand out, look professional and be competitive.
Most importantly, have fun with your brand! If you do, your customers will too.
karen gunton is a blogger, teacher, and creative designer. her passions are helping women in biz get unstuck and brainstorming awesome ideas for little businesses. she is the author of the new guide “find your spark” which helps business owners hone in on their passion and purpose, and then share it authentically with the world.