Small Business Branding Thoughts From Two Nebraska Girls
We were going to open this blog with a “branding a cow” joke… because we’re from Nebraska. But you guys are too smart for that, right? Plus, neither one of us live on farms! So instead we’ll jump right into why we think small business branding is so important. (And maybe even ESPECIALLY here in the Midwest!)
Why Is Small Business Branding Important?
So many times when we’re working with a new business, the new owner(s) is ready to get started and wants to overlook this part. Because it takes some time. Because it takes some work.
But branding shouldn’t be overlooked.
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter, or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection, or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.”
~ Seth Godin
Why shouldn’t branding get overlooked?
- Good branding creates trust. The more “prep work” you put in, the more professional your business will seem in the long run.
- Branding improves recognition. One of our favorite games to play on our smartphones has us match the company logos and slogans to the company name. (Yes, we’re marketing nerds over here!)
- Branding can help to motivate employees. When you incorporate your company vision into your branding, your new hires and existing employees “buy into” the company in a much bigger (and more permanent, hopefully!) way.
- And our favorite reason why branding is important… Branding can encourage word-of-mouth referrals! You can’t recommend your favorite new product to your friend if you can’t remember the name of the company, right? But if your branding is done right, then you can create an indelible impression on your users. And they’ll remember your name when they want to recommend you!
Branding is how your business makes a name for itself. It’s all of the design work that goes into setting up your “brand,” plus the vision behind your business.
Branding Your Small Business
Your brand will shine through in practically anything it does on a regular basis.
But, what are the components of your branding?
- Your visual brand identity
This includes your logo, your website, your color scheme, and everything else in your branding strategy (more on branding strategy in just a bit!).
- Your brand voice
Everything you write (or have written for you) for your business helps with your brand. From blog posts to articles to mission statements and website copy, it all fits together.
- Your brand values
What causes do you (and your company) support? Are there specific political issues you publicly stand behind? Nonprofits you support? Local or national causes? All of these beliefs will help to form your brand also.
- Your brand personality
We’ve worked with serious businesspeople and not-so-serious businesspeople. Obviously, we like to have a little fun while we’re getting our work done. This fun, sarcastic side comes out in our customer service philosophy and our company culture.
Visual Brand Identity (AKA – Branding Strategy)
Your visual brand identity is considered the artistic direction for your company.
There are multiple components to branding strategy (we’ll be breaking this out into a much longer blog post soon!):
- Business name
- Logo (& logo variations)
- Key colors (& additional color palette options)
- Business slogan or tagline
- Images associated with your brand
- Style for images
Don’t be! Just give us a call today to discuss branding for your small business. We promise we can make it nearly painless!