What is branding? In short, it is the practice of using your business name, logo and message in marketing material so that your current and future consumer can spot you from a mile away. You want them to say, “Oh, that’s _______”.
However, branding does more than create recognition, it also builds trust and loyalty which in turn allows you to build great relationships and repeat customers. Well branded marketing campaigns can expect more sustained customer relationships and sales over longer periods of time than companies not using their brand as part of the strategy.
The largest and most successful companies in the world all have used branding in their marketing communications and some have built their brand into billions of dollars. Tide, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestle, Ford, Boeing, Kelloggs, and many more have all successfully built their brand to the point of superior recognition.
Good news! Gone are the days of having to be a BIG BRAND BUSINESS. There are small businesses out here crushing it! Some are even a one man or one woman show. They do this by creating a brand. One that is authentic to themselves and at the same time, identifies with their customer.
Here at Beecome Irresistible LLC, we focus on helping make your small business buzzworthy. We do this by partnering with you to identify and create your visual brand. Then we help you formulate your marketing strategy and use tried and tested P.R. tactics to share it with the right audience.
Branding is a long term strategy for any business that should be implemented into marketing channels from the very beginning. If you own a small brick and mortar business in a small town or city you should still follow branding strategies just the same as if you were a national franchise or corporation. There is no excuse to not use a branding strategy for your business and that includes small e-commerce websites. Point blank. If you own a business, you need to brand.
If you’re low on company funds or just getting started. You can start small in various different ways, some ways you may have already been using.
1. Voice mail – Every business has a voice mail for when there is nobody there to answer. Make sure you use your company name in the voice mail. In some cases, it’s even better to use it twice, once in the introduction and secondly in the end.
An example might be “Hello, you have reached 1.) Beecome Irresistible. We’re sorry but we are unable to answer your call at this time, please leave us your name and number and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you for calling 2.) Beecome Irresistible. Have a great day.”
This reinforces your company name and builds recognition which helps condition consumers and customers to remember your name from all the other names out there and that is what you want to do at ALL times.
2. Mail Communication – This section will apply to email as well. You can use your company name and logo at the top of all letter heads including email. Reinforce your company name in the signature area after your messages as well. Example:
Kim L. Ross
Beecome Irresistible LLC
Branding | Marketing | Public Relations
Constant reinforcing of your brand is crucial to the life of your business. Once in the Letterhead and once after the signature. Beginning and end.
3. Phone Numbers – Local or national, a custom number can help do wonders when it comes to sales call centers or retail locations. While finding a custom vanity toll free number can prove to be somewhat costly, you can still use local vanity numbers for your location even if your a national business. You won’t always have a short business name , so by using industry words mixed with abbreviations for your company you can help reinforce brand image just the same. Be creative and you may find some easy and fun ways to implement your company name or niche into an easily recognizable phone number.
4. Advertising – In all advertising channels, focus on ways to include your company name and logo. Audio advertisements use your name twice. Once in the beginning and once at the end minimally. Display and television ads always make sure you company name or logo is always present and visible. Display ads will include online banner advertising as well. Contextual advertising always use your company home page in the visible URL section to simplify the viewing of your company name. The extension of the URL should not be present as it will distract the eyes from the home page name. In this example, sometimes we only use “buzzworthybiz.net” instead of “buzzworthybiz.net/services” because we know once the customer is on the website, we’ve made it easy for them to find the services tab. If you have a good/easy to remember web address, use that instead of shortened urls to increase brand awareness or recognition.
There are many other ways to add branding strategies into your marketing, just remember that every mention of your company name is another way to reinforce your company image to the consumer. Thus increasing recognition and ultimately, $ales. Anything that involves your company’s communication to consumers, businesses, employees, press, peers, etc. should always be branded. You will find that a good branding strategy can carry your business a long way and strengthen your company for a solid future in business.