Many small company entrepreneurs make a critical error before they even make their first sale: they overlook the importance of business branding. It’s possible that we’ve been conditioned to believe that “brand” refers only to large corporations like McDonald’s, Apple, and Toyota. Thanks to the progress of the digital age, you no longer have to spend millions of dollars on your corporate branding strategy to make a big impression.
This article will teach you why business branding is critical to your success, regardless of the size of your company, and how you can establish a large business branding plan even on a tiny business budget.
Create An Eye-Catching Branding Aesthetic On A Budget
To begin with, your brand is much more than your logo and your Pinterest-worthy colour palette. It is made up of your vision, purpose, devoted customers, workers, and overall narrative. But for now, let’s concentrate on how you can leverage free and low-cost resources to build an aesthetic for your business that rivals the top players in your sector.
Work For Me Options
You may hire a freelancer on Fiverr or Upwork for as little as $5 for logo development and assistance with other brand assets like business cards and promotional materials. Of course, the higher the price, the better the outcome.
Options For DIY
If you prefer a more DIY approach, Creative Market provides inexpensive (and even free) alternatives for professionally-designed assets that you can use to construct your branding materials. Logos, typefaces, PowerPoint presentations, and just about anything else you can think of! Color palettes may be found on Pinterest, or you can use a free tool like Coolors.co to locate comparable tones to your favourite colours.
In the end, this is just a minor part of your entire branding, but it’s critical to get it right and stay consistent.
Understand Your Own And Your Competitors’ Strengths And Weaknesses
Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for 20 years, there’s never been a better moment than now to undertake a SWOT analysis of your brand (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). Here are some questions to consider and steps to take at each level of your investigation:
Strengths: Emphasize Your Assets
- What are your brand’s distinguishing features?
- What resources are available to you to help you grow?
Weaknesses: Identify Your Weaknesses
- What might you do better?
- What constraints could impede progress?
Opportunities: Identify Opportunities For Growth
- What are you and your rivals not doing yet to capitalise on opportunities?
- What fresh trends might you include in your material for your target audience?
Threats: Threats Should Be Reduced
- What do you and your competitors both do well?
- What does your competitor do better than you?
It may seem like a simple thing to do, but big companies always do this kind of research to stay ahead of the competition.
The emergence of the Dollar Shave Club is an excellent illustration of this in action. Gillette held 72 percent of the US market and was worth billions when it started in 2012. Dollar Shave Club had 51 percent of the online razor market in 2016, compared to Gillette’s 21.2 percent. How could Dollar Shave fully eclipse the Gillette brand, which has been in existence since 1901?
Company executives lived, breathed, and acted on their SWOT analyses. They realised they’d never be able to compete with Gillette’s well-established reputation. They may, however, be less expensive, more handy, and more accessible.
Make Personas For Your Company
To execute a genuinely outstanding corporate branding plan, you must first understand who you’re talking to and, equally important, who you’re not talking to. This is when brand identities come into play.
A brand persona is a fictional portrayal of your target consumer. Of course, you need to know the age, gender, location, marital status, and other surface-level information about your audience members. However, I advise you to investigate their objectives, beliefs, pain issues, and even the books they read and blogs they follow.
The more specific your personas are, the more powerful your brand message will be when presented to answer their specific challenges.
You may survey your current audience using free resources like Facebook polls or Quora to find out what questions they want answered and what issues they need fixed. So, regardless of your budget, recognising the personalities of your brands can help you mix it up with the big boys.
Recognize The Power Of Storytelling
You’ve probably seen major corporations like Nike launch ad campaign after ad campaign with the goal of making you feel something. Again, multi-million dollar budgets will be beneficial for this kind of emotional magic. Consider the following Carhartt marketing campaign, which stars actor Jason Momoa:
You don’t even know it’s an ad for a pair of trousers until the final minute of the film, but by then you don’t care since you’ve already been drawn in. So, how can you implement this effective branding approach on a shoestring budget? Simple.
Find your own distinct approach that makes prospective clients feel a connection with you.
Consider the following Furkids Animal Rescue advertisement:
This video features poor production values and comically bad acting. Despite this, it has received 6.5 million views and hundreds of shares on YouTube and Facebook. This is because Furkids went against the norm by having its audience experience the pleasure of adoption rather than the guilt of not adopting, as many other animal shelter commercials do.
Video is perhaps the most shareable material you can generate, but if it’s too frightening (or expensive) for you at this point, try practising your storytelling talents via social media captions or updates to your followers.
To recap what you learned in this article, the four techniques were:
- Create An Eye-Catching Branding Aesthetic On A Budget
- Understand Your Own And Your Competitors’ Strengths And Weaknesses
- Make Personas For Your Company
- Recognize The Power Of Storytelling
Hopefully, seeing how these branding techniques used by big businesses can be used by small businesses on a small budget has inspired you to start using them in your own company.