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Have you given much thought to your brand? If you’ve spent time (and money) on logos and design, you may think that you’ve got your branding covered. But branding is not just about colour palettes and fonts; it goes much deeper than that. It’s about your small business’ identity, your values and how you work, as well as what the business looks like and sounds like.

Building your small business brand

What is your product or service?

A clear definition of what your product or service is, what it does and why customers buy it, is a great place to start. If you struggle to articulate this, your brand will be unclear and that results in confusion. Think about where your business sits in the market, what your customers are like, how your business differs from others.

Values and vision

What are your values and what is driving your business? By defining what these are, you can identify the things that will resonate with your target customers and ensure these are reflected consistently across your brand.

What do you stand for?

Think about core messaging, what do you stand for? Is it about quality? Is it about having specific expertise? Could it be about empowering your customers, or is it to do with social responsibility or building communities? Your brand needs to epitomise your core message, so if your focus is on quality everything you do needs to reflect this. From the paper you use to print brochures, to the language you use for internal communications.

Culture

What’s your company culture like? Many small businesses (especially if they’re micro businesses) don’t give much thought to company culture – it kind of evolves. But culture is an important differentiator – it’s something that can attract, or repel, potential employees, investors and customers – so you need to think about what aspects of your culture are good for your brand.

Brand with your end game in sight

What do you want for your small business? Do you plan to tick along nicely as you are, or go global and build an international brand? Whatever your plans it’s a good idea to align your branding with these goals so that it doesn’t hold you back. If you think like a small business and brand accordingly, it can be difficult to break out of this mould and get taken seriously as a big player later in the game.

Do you need a new brand name?

If you’ve addressed the points above and find that your brand name doesn’t reinforce the key elements you’ve identified, perhaps now’s a good time to think about an alternative? A brand name needs to communicate with your audience about your business and what it stands for, so that you don’t have to constantly explain it yourself! A bad brand name can have a detrimental effect on your overall brand awareness, cause confusion or just not resonate with your target audience.

You can get help with all the points above at the Bordon Hub. Book here for our building your brand session on Wednesday 1st August, or leave a comment if you have any questions about branding for small businesses.