Fidelity bank banner Bayelsa State banner
How to build a successful small business brand

By News Express on 01/05/2017

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 1,555


A brand is the sum-total of the experiences your customers and potential customers have with your company. A strong brand communicates what your company does, how it does it and, at the same time, establishes trust and credibility. Your brand lives in everyday interactions with your customers, the images you share, the messages you post on your website, the content of your marketing materials, and in your posts on social networks.

How can a small business develop a strong brand on a tiny budget?

Here are 10 tips to help you get started.

Be unique: One of the most iconic brands of our time – Apple -- was reborn after it launched, in 1997, an innovative campaign inviting people to Think Different. Today, Apple products are perceived to be better designed, more fun, and more reliable than products from Apple’s competitors. What makes your business unique? What’s your story? What do you do that others in your industry do not do?

Grow your community: Many of the world’s best brands – including Google, Amazon, Facebook, Virgin, and Skype – spend modest sums on advertising and, instead, focus on building and improving their communities. Those companies understand that if people trust a brand’s community, they will extend trust to the brand.

Small businesses have many opportunities to build online and offline communities. For example, you can build online communities on Twitter, Facebook, your small business blog, on Instagram, or on other social networks. And, remember that you can’t be in all places at once. Pick one or two places, where you can focus building your community, and invest your time and resources there.

Build great products and services: Earlier this year, market research firm, Millward Brown, published its annual BrandZ study, ranking the world’s leading brands. When you consider that the number one reason people write about brands is to share experiences, Apple’s top-ranking is not surprising. People love Apple’s products.

Some companies stop focusing on building great products and services when they become successful. This is a mistake. In 2008, Nokia was the world’s ninth most valuable brand. In 2011, Nokia was ranked 81st and this year, it fell even further. Even a strong brand will suffer when it creates average or below average products or services.

Have a good name and logo: A strong brand is easily recognisable. Recognition starts with the name of your business. The name will appear on your business cards, letterhead, website, social networks, promotional materials, products, and pretty much everywhere in print and on-line, to identify your company or your company’s products and or services.

It’s not enough to have a recognisable name. People commonly associate brands with the brand’s logo. As you think about your logo, keep your audience and products/services in mind, because you want your logo to reflect your company. A good logo builds trust, and a strong logo will help to pull your brand together. Think about the logos of some of the world’s most admired brands (Apple, Google, Amazon, etc). How do you feel (emotionally) when you see their logos?

If you want to learn more about naming your business, read more about start-ups and small businesses and how to name your company. And, on getting a great logo, read more on logo designs and tips.

Find your voice: What you say is important, but do not overlook how you say it. Your company’s ‘voice’ is the language and personality you and your employees will use to deliver your branding message and reach your customers. Successful brands speak with a unique voice. Think about the brands you admire; what makes them unique? How do they communicate with you and other customers? What do you like about their voice?

Be consistent Many small businesses mistakenly change their messaging, subject to their audience. For example, a company might take a more serious tone on their website, but a very light-hearted tone on their Facebook fan-page. This can confuse your customers and potential customers. To build and maintain a strong brand, every aspect of your brand should be as good as your product or service, and you must be consistent in presenting your brand. This includes not only your company’s name, logo, overall aesthetic design, products and services, but also your marketing materials, website, appearances at trade shows and conferences as well as content posted to social networks, etc.

Why should you care about brand consistency? You should care because brand consistency leads to familiarity, and familiarity leads to trust. Many of us recall how several organisations change or improve their marketing by redesigning their websites, to better and more effectively communicate with customers and potential customers. The old sites, most of the time, were cluttered and at times, confusing. A cleaner design and greater consistency always results in significant benefits.

Keep your promises Although this is commonsense, you would be surprised how many small businesses tarnish relationships with their customers by failing to keep their promises. Happy customers, who feel good about your business, are your best source of referrals. For example, Zappos has built great trust and credibility with customers by promising quick delivery (between 2-5 business days); but Zappos goes even further and upgrades most customers to free overnight shipping. As a result, Zappos has very loyal and zealous customers.

Stand for something: Think about brands you love. Those brands commonly stand for something (or against something), and connect with their customers emotionally. One of my favourite companies, 37signals, develops software to help people collaborate. The company believes that most software is bloated and difficult to use. They don’t compete on features; they compete on usability. They have developed a reputation as a company that stands for easy-to-use software. What does your business stand for (or against)?

Empower your customers: You are not absolutely in control of your brand. You can set your brand’s direction, but how your brand is perceived is determined by your customers and potential customers. People can become your brand’s ambassadors – spreading your ideas and brand to their own networks. Spend time nurturing relationships with such people. Who are they? What can they give and get in order to help your brand? Ultimately, successful brands recognise that if they help their customers succeed, the customers will in turn help the brand succeed.

Deliver value Value doesn’t always mean lowest price. You can focus on product leadership (having the best products in the marketplace, like Apple), operational excellence (having the lower prices in the marketplace, like Ikea), or great customer service (Virgin, Zappos). You can also focus on a combination of those things.

As you think about the value your company delivers, you can ask the following questions: What sets your product, service and company apart from your competitors? What value do you provide, and how does that value differ from that provided by your competitors?

Think about which of the benefits are emotional – the most powerful brands tap into emotions.

I would love to hear from you, send in your comments. What makes your small business unique? What’s your story?

For more on the subject, you can contact me for in-depth discussions, business advisory services and training, using a WhatsApp message or an SMS.

•Lawrence Nwaodu is a small business expert and enterprise consultant, trained in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, with an MBA in Entrepreneurship from The Management School, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, and MSc in Finance and Financial Management Services from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Netherlands. Mr. Nwaodu is the Lead Consultant at IDEAS Exchange Consulting, Lagos. He can be reached via nwaodu.lawrence@hotmail.co.uk (07066375847).

Source News Express

Posted 01/05/2017 7:04:40 PM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

REVEALED: 3 natural ways to get stronger erections, last 25 minutes on bed, and increase manhood size without using drugs. Also, Natural Prostrate Enlargement Remedy.. Get In HERE...

 

You may also like...
30 hoodlums in NSCDC net

INEC suspends announcement of results of Rivers re-run...

Irate tycoon gives FG ultimatum, threatens to relocate...

‘Akwa Ibom not behind Tukur’s sack as PDP...

Alfa buys boy for N500, kills him for...

APGA Acting National Chairman asks court to stop...

PEFTI, Adedokun to fete female filmmakers

Access, Airtel, Innjoo Mobile, News Express, others endorse...

Edo Assembly adopts 60-day business calendar

UN yet to receive letter on Boko Haram...

Balancing inequalities for Presidency in APC, By Uthman...

Group demands the investigation and information relating to...

 

Latest News 13 soldiers sentenced to death, life imprisonment Banks, ex-CEOs indicted as N720b cash disappears Presidency: Atiku, Dankwambo meet over ticket Policemen in Osinbajo’s convoy attack Customs officials Anambra: Police raise the alarm over spate of missing school children Traditional ruler kidnapped in Kogi, son killed MOSOP berates Shell, Nigerian Military over alleged repression of Ogoni farmers Abia not owing core civil servants — Civil Service Union 2019: South East APC caucus begins aggressive mobilisation for Buhari’s re-election AGF, EFCC, boycott house sitting on probe of recovered loot Quack doctor arrested over death of 2 patients in illegal hospital International Criminal Court on danger list — Intersociety •Condemns romance with Buhari, other ‘regime atrocity perpetrators’

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (362,106 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (358,455 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (286,810 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (235,339 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (214,594 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (212,586 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (186,533 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (168,482 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (156,301 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (152,730 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (147,625 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (138,856 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (52) Business & Economy (3,347) Business Verdict (45) Columnists (886) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (516) Features (614) Global Business Monitor (284) International (2,139) Interview (157) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (127) News (37,225) Opinion (1,024) Pidgin (10) Politics (5,599) Religion (783) Sports (1,612) Stock Watch (33) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

CBN banner

Firstmobile banner

 

 

NEWS EXPRESS TV

FRANCE vs CROATIA 4-2 Highlights & Goals 2018

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement