Monkey Boss Ashli came across this article during a “workation” in Colorado. It only validates what Spotted Monkey has been telling our clients: branding is too important to overlook. It is easy to get caught up in the busyness of running your company and and miss the biggest part of it. Do your customers see your company the same way you see it? If you aren’t sure, then your branding may need work.
Keep reading for more.
By Lauren Glendenning
Business owners are finding it harder to get their message heard today in a sea of increasingly competitive marketing noise. yet, many business owners still think branding is a fluff concept created by pricey consultants focused solely on logos, color schemes and slogans.
The truth is branding is a promise.
It’s the personality of your business that gets customers to know, like and trust you. It sets the tone for every single interaction a client has with your company.
So, are you doing the right things to make sure your business is remembered, well known, reliable and distinguished?
Linda Perry, owner of Soul Genius Branding, a Vail Valley boutique branding company, works with entrepreneurs to develop impactful, purposeful brand strategies that give her clients the edge they need to thrive and succeed in their business.
Here are 5 of her tips for doing just that.
1. Define Your Audience
When targeting a specific audience, Perry said business owners often feel they’re leaving someone out, but what they’re really doing is honing in on their message. “I want you to know what your audience is having for breakfast–it’s that details,” she said. “Once you know what problems they have, you have to ask how you are providing a solution.”
Perry helps her clients determine who each and every customer is that a business serves, then she figures out what they all have in common.
2. Think Bigger
Businesses no longer have to think only about a small, local market. Everything you do can have a bigger impact than you believe, Perry said.
She advises clients to create something small every single day, whether it’s a blog post, sharing an article or being of service for free, to name a few. “It’s remembering that you don’t always see your impact,” she said. “Establish your local foot print first, but understand how you’re using social media and the web to expand your passion and purpose.”
Spotted Monkey Tip: Your small business is never too small for social media! Even if you are only targeting your local community, social media can only help you. And if you have a consistent and recognizable brand that you can push on social media, all the better.
3. Identify Your Mission and Core Values
People starting a new business often push before they understand how to pull people in, Perry said. The marketing, or push, is the easy, low-hanging fruit. Focusing on who you are and what you have to offer will help you create your unique brand.
“Core values are things that don’t change, such as integrity, discipline, detail, tenacity,” she said. “If you understand them, you can use them to really them in a stronger message. Your core values are the essence of you.”
Spotted Monkey Tip: Sometimes fledgling businesses will come to us for a new website before they have a logo of their own. It always works out better if you have a logo first! Your logo is the most visual thing about your brand, and it will affect the overall look of your website.
4. Stand Out
Perry sees too many business owners worrying about the competition. She advises clients to not pay so much attention to what everyone else is doing.
“Focus on what you do really well,” she said. “Be consistent in your message and don’t chase what everyone else is doing – you’ll only end up looking alike.”
5. Develop Your Brand
It’s important for businesses to share stories that build their brands and leave lasting impressions in their audience’s minds. Establish your credentials and let people know what it would be like to work with you. Also, don’t make the “about me” section of your website about you at all. “It’s about your client – show them how you’re just like them or how life can be different by working with you or using their product,” Perry said.
Spotted Monkey Tip: The widespread use of social media has made consumers more alert to companies or brands that fake authenticity. Consumers – especially younger consumers – want to personally connect with a company’s message. Don’t be afraid to reveal the human side of your company. Your brand doesn’t have to be a distant, perfectionist ideal.