With the average small business set to spend $75,000 on digital marketing in the next year, it’s essential that your money is spent wisely. Small businesses who are trying to make a splash by creating a memorable brand need to make clever decisions to compete with more established brands. Just a few clever branding tips can ensure that you stay competitive without going way over budget.
If you’re interested in ways to get an advantage in the branding wars, follow these 7 tips.
1. Go With a Throwback
A way to build a strong brand for a new company is to plug into the history of your industry. The way to do this is to have a brand that takes on a classical feel or connects the past with the future.
Looking at Coca-Cola’s classic logo or the one used by Levi-Strauss. They use classical fonts and historical imagery. It might be hard to take this on if you’re in a new industry, but there is a genealogy to every new invention.
Think about what your family history could mean relative to the industry you’re in. If you’re manufacturing pasta sauce or another traditional food, talk about your family’s Italian roots or whatever is appropriate. If you’re in the nature and preservation industry, talk about your Native American roots or the history of the country itself.
2. Squeeze Between Competitors
You’ll need to do a lot of research on your competitors no matter what industry you’re in. If you fail to take a sober look at what your competitors are doing right, you won’t know what you could be doing better than them.
Find a niche where you can fit between different companies. There is an overlooked demographic in just about every industry. Building a connection to that group will immediately win you the trust of a reliable base of customers.
Don’t undercut or even acknowledge the other companies in your field. Merely move around them via an approach that makes their perspective seem archaic.
3. Keep It Simple
Keep your branding approach simple. Simplicity works when it comes to helping people to remember your brand name and when they want to find you online. A simple name like “Portland Spice Shop” will help people find you when they search for a spice shop in Portland.
Keep your branding simple and you’ll be able to have a clear message. When you try to be too clever, you could lose your audience. Your focus should be on clarity of message and sharing what your company is about in just a few words.
4. Create Short Videos with a Spokesperson
Thanks to the proliferation of HD video devices and high-quality cameras on just about every mobile device, anyone can make great looking videos. Take things up a notch by hiring a local professional videographer to shoot and edit your commercials.
Put together a series of short videos featuring a spokesperson. 10-20 second videos will do well on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Longer commercials could be added as interstitials for long-form YouTube clips.
Make a variety of different videos to speak to different audiences. The beauty of internet marketing is that you can target individual markets with extreme focus for a very low cost of entry.
5. Create A Unique Logo
Building memorable logos is no small task. Having a unique and memorable logo will help your customers see your products and services a mile away. By choosing a logo that communicates your brand’s image in a unique way, you can tell customers a lot without having to use very much text.
Choose a simple and unique color scheme. The simplicity of brands like McDonald’s, Gucci, and Google are reliant on very simple color schemes. Work on creating your own unique palette that can tell customers a little about your company without much information.
Your logo could be based on your family name or the region you’re in. Do plenty of research beforehand to ensure that you don’t copy anyone else. Use this as an opportunity to stand out.
Get feedback from friends and family and try to take it objectively. No idea is perfect in the first round. Get inside the head of a graphic designer and you can avoid a lot of common mistakes.
6. Align With Community Values
By aligning with your community’s values, you show a commitment to building a connection and an audience locally. One of the best ways to do this is to hold rallies, events, or promotions to support specific causes or groups. If you’re overtly political, there has never been a better time to wear your politics on your sleeve.
If you’re not political, there are plenty of causes for children, animals, or the environment which are totally uncontroversial.
If you’re more interested in sports and community events like that, you could sponsor a bike race team or an adult softball team. Sponsor a little league team and you’ll get the opportunity to pitch your business to parents while they’re waiting for their kids’ turn at bat.
7. Link Up With Local Brands
Connecting to local brands can help to build community and allow you to share your audiences with one another. If you’re in the health and wellness industry, find other brands that share the same ethics that you do. If you’re in construction, you could connect to landscapers, lawyers, or developers who might share your vision.
Many brands struggle to promote their business on their own. If you can group together and hold events or promotions, you can multiply your impact on the community. You’ll end up building a stronger local base with your combined power.
Branding Tips You Follow Should Feel Natural
If you don’t feel like all of these branding tips apply to your business, don’t try to fit into a mold that doesn’t feel comfortable. Customers will know when you’re faking it. For the best results, stay true to yourself and always be honest with your customer base.
If you’re working on creating a marketing brochure for your brand, follow our guide to make sure it’s a home run.