Building a customer base is at the core of any business. Whether your business is dedicated to providing a specialized service or offers a wide range of products, without a strong, loyal customer base, it will never grow and thrive. Branding is both your identity within your industry and your commitment to your customers. Effective, accurate branding clarifies the purpose of your business and your intended audience, and creates a consistent approach across everything from your business cards to the promotional items you offer customers and contacts.
Branding should be part of your vision for your business from the beginning. This allows you to analyze what you truly do, your goals for your business, and how you want to appeal to your audience. As you build all of the aspects of your business, including the image of your sales team, development of your products and services, and the appearance of your marketing materials, your brand provides a foundation to create consistency and dependability. Maintaining this image helps you gain customer recognition, which is vital when it comes to standing out from your competition.
As you work toward branding your business, keep the following tips in mind:
- Be clear on who you are and what you do. Even as your business grows and adapts to changing trends in the market, your brand should give the same impression and meaning your customers have grown to trust
- Know your audience. No business appeals to every person with every need. Understanding your niche and crafting your brand to appeal to members of that audience strengthens your appeal and allows you to focus all of your attention on consumers most likely to be interested in your products or services. Something as simple as choosing embroidery or screen printing for your team apparel makes an impact on the impression of your business
- Make recognizable choices. The shape of a certain soda bottle, the color of medication to soothe stomach ailments, and even a friendly giant who makes children want to eat their veggies – these seemingly simple choices became ingrained in consumer minds, immediately linking them to their products. Making unique, memorable choices for your brand helps you stand out and become the first thought when a consumer is considering the type of products and services you offer
- Signal changes subtly, but effectively. As the market changes, your approach may also. Signal these changes with subtle changes to your brand that keep it comfortable and recognizable for your loyal customers while gently introducing the change in a way that appeals to new consumers as well.