Whether you realize it or not, your small business has its own DNA, its own genetic makeup that you and your employees have created. Behind your company’s name, there are ethical principles, values, predictable behaviors, goals, and a voice, among many other traits.
Imagine you stop at a rural bait shop and the grumpy shopkeeper, Bob, looks you up and down before asking what you want, without a smile. In 5 seconds, Bob has already begun to reveal his “brand,” which includes judgment, a mistrust of outsiders, and an unfriendly tone. To put it lightly, Bob has little chance of growing his brand.
The DNA of your small business is crucial, but perhaps just as important is the literal dissemination of your logo, colors, and mission into a recognizable brand through daily-use products that will reach your potential clients and customers. We’ll come back to that later.
Think about what is behind your own business’s brand while we explore why branding itself is so important:
- Referrals. Customers at a different business see your branding on a calendar and ask if they have used them before. This is the critical moment of a word-of-mouth reference, an absolute necessity for a successful business. “Oh yeah, they’re great – every time we order from them the quality is excellent.” “Quality” has now been established with your brand and you may have just earned a new customer.
- Guarantees. It is no secret that consumers love guarantees and your branding should reflect that. Merely by looking at a business card, the potential customer might be assured that shipping is free, that satisfaction is guaranteed, or that products are environmentally-ethical. The more that guarantees are apparent and repeated, the closer your brand is tied to these assurances.
- Improves YOUR focus. Try something right now, if you will: try to form your business’s entire philosophy into one, long sentence. If this is difficult, it needs work. As Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” If you were writing a research paper, this sentence would be called the “thesis statement”; if it were a movie, it would be called a “logline”; and for a small business, it is a mission statement boiled down to the absolute essentials. As an example, and to help Bob, let’s write one for him: “Bob’s Bait and Tackle strongly believes in offering only the highest quality equipment and freshest bait at a fair price in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere; we also offer homemade sack lunches, cold beverages, and a weekly fishing contest, creating a one-stop oasis for your day on the lake.” So use this as an opportunity to really think about what your brand means, the most important aspects, and then make sure that you and your employees are committed to those qualities above all else.
- Recognition. Once you know your brand inside and out, advertising that brand is critical to success. Large corporations spend millions on advertising their brand through mediums such as television, magazine, and billboard ads, but for a small business, the budget requires other methods. The advantage that small businesses have, however, is that they are usually seeking customers locally, and this presents the opportunity to spread your brand through print. This is what we do at net, a fellow small business in Vancouver, Washington – yes, we will happily print a small set of business cards, but we are in the business of doing something more for you: helping you create your brand. This is why aspects such as logos, color schemes, and your company’s philosophy are so important to us – from letterheads and business card notepads to brochures and flyers, we can help in creating that unified brand on each product that can be spread throughout the local community and establish the recognition your company needs, all at a price that is suited to a small business budget.
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Contact PEFY.net of Vancouver, Washington to
discuss your small business branding ideas!
PEFY.net is proud to call the beautiful Pacific Northwest our home, and our advanced environmentally-friendly practices reflect that. From soy-based inks to the latest in toner technology that leaves almost no eco-footprint, green is not just a color to us – it is a commitment. That is part of our brand!