Branding is the act of taking charge of what people think of your brand. See, whether you cultivate your unique brand or not, people are going to form impressions about it. Is branding important for local businesses? Of course! Branding is the conscious and strategic effort to make sure that your audience thinks of you in the exact way that you want. For example, if you want people to think of you as their go-to local vegan restaurant, just having an organic brand’s reputation won’t do you much good. You need to tell people precisely what you are all about.
It lets them identify you, understand you, and remember you. Let us now share the five primary ways how branding for new websites, especially small businesses, helps you achieve success and sustain it over a long time.
Making You Relevant to Your Community
A clear and concise brand identity lets people in your community better understand you. When you market yourself as a local business and identify the local needs that your product/service is designed to fulfill, you tell your audience that you know them and what they are looking for.
A clearly-targeted brand enjoys an easier time carving out its place in the local market than a business that struggles to define its identity.
To make the most of it:
Identify your local target market. Are you serving a street, neighborhood, or town? Being clear about who your audience is will help your marketing be more focused and local branding more specific.
Declare your brand values. What do you stand for? What is your brand vision? Do you only source from local buyers? What local social causes does your brand support?
Offer transparency. Customers expect their local businesses to be more transparent than the big, global chains. So, offer complete product transparency and build an authentic brand. Share your product stories and behind-the-scenes struggles and triumphs.
Once your community accepts you as their local business, repeat customers will increase, and brand equity will enhance.
Differentiating You from Others in the Area
One of the major advantages of branding for business is that it visually differentiates your brand from everybody else’s. You can establish your brand as different and better from everybody else through a unique logo, a specific color palette, and consistent branding.
Consider the example of a local ad agency. There are ten more serving the same target market. So what sets you apart? Sure, your well-designed advertising logo can give your brand a visual identity but what else?
Dig deeper and find your niche. Are you a startup specialist? Experienced in promoting women-led businesses? Do you know what it takes to market to a particular audience? The more specific you are in your branding for small businesses, the easier your audience will find it to understand you as a brand and consider you an expert.
So, focus on developing your core brand identity and highlight your strengths. Your high-quality product and great customer service will do the rest.
Helping Customers Connect to the Brand
The promise of consistency helps people connect to the brand. Brand consistency is having the same tone of voice across marketing platforms, displaying the logo the same way all over your branding elements, and having the same color palette in everything relevant to your brand. But it’s also so much more. It’s the expectation that every time you visit the business, you’ll get a certain level of customer service, the same high-quality product with the same features, and the same price points.
When your local customer sees your brand logo displayed at the local fair, it’s like an old friend beckoning them over. It’s nostalgia, the promise of having a satisfying experience over and over again. And it’s achieved through consistent branding for business.
Why is branding important for local businesses? It establishes trust and loyalty and makes people come back for more.
Enabling You to Charge a Premium Price
Effective branding can make your business look rich, high-end, and an expert in the field. These perceptions can help you enjoy better brand equity, resulting in you being able to charge more for your services and your clients happy to pay it.
When you have convinced your customers that your brand is worth more – through impactful branding, your brand becomes a status symbol. Think of Apple’s products. While the manufacturing cost of making an iPhone may not be as high as the price tag would have you believe, the company can still charge exorbitant amounts because of the prestige the market attaches to an iPhone. In simpler terms, iPhone is not just a cell phone. It’s a symbol of innovation, technological finesse, and premium quality.
And all of it has been possible through Apple’s successful branding. So, while you may not have the marketing budget of Apple Inc., creative branding can deliver you similar results in your local market.
Giving Focus to Your Growth & Marketing
Marketing is built on having a clear understanding of three core concepts:
What is your core product (the goods or services you are selling)?
Who is your target market?
What is your unique selling proposition?
Exploring your brand identity helps you answer these questions, and branding allows you to present the findings in clear, visual terms to your consumers.
Consider the example of a local dentist. A focused brand strategy will help the dentist’s office know which local magazines to promote, the kind of price points that are more suitable to the local community, and which dental procedures the clients need the most. The information will help the business invest more in relevant areas, offer products that have the best potential to sell, and know the best price brackets that get the most profits.
So is branding important? A small local business does not usually have the deep pools of marketing budgets. Therefore, relying on creative branding can go a long way in establishing a local business’s success and prosperity. You create fierce customer loyalty when you appeal to the local consumers, specify solutions to their problems, and align your brand’s core values with your community. In time, your customers become your brand ambassadors.
And what makes all of this possible? Branding done right.
Rabia Iqbal is a graphic designer and branding strategist. She is a versatile designer with an eye for detail and aesthetic juxtaposition of colors, fonts, and graphics. Her work brings clarity to the brand, optimizes them for the digital channels, and helps refine the message. Rabia is also an active part of various design communities and loves sharing her insights with her peers. Follow her on Twitter: @RabiaaIqbal
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