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3 Tips for Consistent Small Business Branding
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Many years ago, there was no social media, no Internet (at least not commercially) and no email. If small business owners wanted to advertise their product or service, they had to choose from a traditional menu of options—radio, local television, outdoor billboards, local newspapers and direct mail to name a few—to reach their targeted audiences.
Today small business owners connect with customers in India almost as easily as they do in Indiana. They promote their businesses around the world in a multitude of ways. However, with opportunities come obstacles. One of the biggest challenges business owners face in marketing their products and services is maintaining consistency in their branding. Here are three tips for business owners interested in building a solid foundation for their brand so that it won’t crack as they grow their business on it.
- Create One Name Across Your Social Platform – If your business name is “Bob’s Plumbing” or “Main Street Shoes,” and you haven’t yet grabbed your name on the more popular social media platforms, chances are it’s not available. The same way you found out that your web site URL was unavailable when you decided to create a domain name a few years ago, hundreds of millions of people around the world have been registering account names on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and the other social media sites over the past decade. It may take some creativity and a few failed attempts, but when you find an available name on your top social platform (e.g. Twitter) make sure you can get the same name on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and other social sites. Even if you don’t plan to use those sites today, register the name before someone else takes it.
- Use the Same Keywords – One of the keys to consistent branding is using the same set of descriptive words to describe your company, product or service. Create a list of 5-10 key words that customers and prospects might use in searching for your brand online. Incorporate these words into your social bios, blog posts, tweets and status updates. The more unique the key words, the better your chances are for standing out among the crowd. For example, many business owners describe their product or service as “the best” or “excellent.” How many companies describe their product or service as “stupendous,” “extraordinary” or “flat-out AWESOME?”
When it comes to deciding on posters, brochures, newsletters and direct mail pieces to showcase your content, visit the Brother CreativeCenter to find hundreds of DIY templates to help you pick the right piece and format to present your message to your customers and prospects.
- Have a Face Behind the Logo – Given the choice, most customers and prospects would much rather talk to a person or “face” online rather than a logo. As you build out your brand on different social sites, make sure people know that human beings are working behind the scenes and are easily accessible if needed. Additionally, if part of your branding program includes creating thought leaders or faces of the company, be sure to connect their social platforms with your corporate brand. It “humanizes” the relationship and deepens the connection customers will have with your company.
Today, more than ever before, small business owners need to be proactive when it comes to marketing and brand building. Technology is enabling even the smallest companies to play in a global economy. It’s imperative to make sure your brand sits on a solid foundation and that your messaging is consistent across all platforms.