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Building a Brand for Small Businesses

Apr 14, 2014

 

No matter how big or small you company is, your brand matters! Your brand is what makes you, you. It’s what sets you apart from the others and makes you recognizable. Yet small business owners often have a hard time branding – because they are too busy and/or don’t know where to begin. So we created this guide to walk you through the process of branding your business in just six easy-to-follow steps. 

 

1. Define what makes you different from the “other guys”. Think about your favorite store. Is there a reason you prefer that store to another? Maybe it’s the customer service or the quality of the products. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s a local business. No matter what the reason, there is something that sets that store apart from the rest for you. 

 

Now, what sets you apart from your competitors? What makes people come to you instead of the other guy? If you are just starting your company, articulate the reason why you think people should buy from you instead of from your competitors. 

 

2. Personify your brand. Imagine your brand as a person. It can be a famous person, a family member, maybe even yourself. Imagine what the person looks like, what they do for a living, what causes they support. Do they have a family? What do they like to do for fun? What are their pet peeves? Have fun with it! It’s amazing how useful imagery can be. 

 

Brainstorming can also be a very helpful exercise when building your brand. Sit down alone or with your team and start listing words that describe your company and its culture. In brainstorming, nothing is wrong or right – anything goes. Once you feel like you have enough ideas, home in on a few key words or phrases that you feel best suit your brand. 

 

3. Develop a brand tone of voice. Use it consistently. Tone of voice and consistency are hugely important brand elements. Only if used consistently will your brand set you apart from the rest. For example, one of our clients owns a restaurant and came to us a few years ago to design a mailer. Her tone of voice was so fun, upbeat, and warm; it made us all want to go to her restaurant. She has had magnificent success through direct mail and even though her mailing methods have changed, her tone of voice has remained consistent. 

 

4. Be creative and try new things. Within the bounds of representing your brand consistently, feel free to experiment. After all, you never know what might work for your audience. Based on intuition you might think one method is going to be gold, but it flatlines – while the method you didn’t think would work was hugely successful. 

 

That’s why it is so important to measure, test, and repeat. If your audience is large enough you can start by sending two mailers: one to half of your mailing list and another to the other half. Make the same mailer, but change one aspect – the call to action, the mailer style, the promotion. Once you know which mailer was most successful you can either test it against another method or simply take that mailer as the gold standard. 

 

5. Remember that content is king. What do your customers want to know? Teach them; don’t sell them. Creating great content is about finding a balance between selling/promoting your business and offering your audience useful information. You can use postcards, letters, booklets, or flyers to achieve that. 

 

6. Extend your brand. It’s easy to integrate mobile and direct mail with Click2Mail. We have the tools you need to easily create an attractive, user-friendly mobile website. You can also take advantage of QR codes on your mailers that, when scanned, will take your audience directly to your mobile site on their smart phone or tablet. Most people own a smart phone or tablet and do a lot of their shopping, research, and email from those devices because it is so simple. With a mobile presence, you can be accessible to your customers anywhere they are. 

 

By following these six steps, you can build a brand that separates you from all the “other guys” in the marketplace. Click2Mail supports small businesses and with the tools that we offer, you can easily promote your brand. To get started today, visit Click2Mail.com or call 866-665-2787.