Branding is an important aspect of any business, but it is especially vital for small businesses to stay competitive. Branding is a time and money consuming process, so make sure it’s intentional. This way it won’t go to waste when your company engages in marketing or advertising campaigns later down the road.
The intentional branding system is a methodology for building brands with purpose. It’s a strategic plan to tell your company’s story well and ultimately excel in branding through consistency and clarity.
Intentional branding does not just involve logo design or the words that show up on your website’s homepage; it includes everything from how you present your company out there to how you deliver your products or services to them. In this article, we’ll cover a few tips to construct a more holistic and intentional brand for your small business so you’ll have a stronger brand presence that aligns well with your brand mission.
A lot of small business owners get so excited to start their companies that they forget how to get to the foundation and backbone of their businesses. One key aspect of branding a company is to identify a company’s ‘why’, because it provides the central core from which all other actions you take can emanate. The branding process includes the process of creating a coherent and distinctive identity for your company. Branding helps customers understand who you are, what you do, why they should care about what you have to offer. All of these elements are rooted in your ‘why’ – your brand message, who you’re speaking to and why your business matters.
Branding is about more than just aesthetics and what meets the eye. A brand also includes an experience, that ‘gut feeling’ that customers get from interacting with your business and how clearly you convey what your company stands for. Focusing only on the aesthetics will result in a shallow and forgettable brand. It’s not about selling your aesthetics, it’s about authentically connecting with your customer.
No, you don’t always need a fancy logo ASAP, or a website, or a lead magnet, or the other million things that people keep on telling you what to do and have. Start with what you can do now, according to your resources. Don’t get too hung up on crossing your laundry list full of brand assets you don’t even know how to use.
I get it – There’s a lot of information out there. And it can be really difficult to know where to start and how best to invest your time, energy, and resources when you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur or small business owner. Sometimes it’s best to just do YOU. Take a look at what you have currently, which platforms would be best for your business and start experimenting with them. You will find ways to create the best pathway that fits you and your business.
One of the hardest things to do as a small business owner is to stand outside your brand, to look at things objectively. I’d even go and say it out loud: It’s not possible. However, you can train yourself to do this by looking at the facts, do some market research and take a look at case studies. Ask questions such as: What kind of visual is being used by successful brands out there? What kind of message do these brands communicate? What type of language is used to create the right tone and voice? And the most important thing: What kind of storytelling resonates with your target audience? At the end of the day, your brand is not about you. It’s about serving your audience. So following that logic, it shouldn’t be surprising that the things you personally like may not translate to what your audiences like. Always think from their perspective.
Trends are created to eventually fade away (and they might come back… eventually. We can’t really tell when, though). Branding is a much more personal process, and it should be done with intentionality at all times. If you take a look at world-famous brands out there, take Vogue as an example, do you see a decorative, non-functional logo? Remember, this is even a fashion brand – an industry that is filled with the use of visuals and driven by trends. No, they chose a classic, timeless feel for their brand. If you want to create a lasting, intentional brand, make your decisions with a purpose and plan for the future, not just what’s going on right now.
When you put in the effort to brand holistically and intentionally, you are contributing to your business success. Understanding what makes your company unique is important to build a holistic, intentional brand. You need a strong “why” behind your decisions and not just aesthetics or following trends blindly. Whenever possible, work with a brand strategist who can help you build a personalised roadmap for your brand. Still unsure what to do and where to start? Let’s chat! We offer a complimentary brand assessment so you can find ways to be more successful with your brand.
Every business is unique and they deserve a branding strategy that reflects their values, mission, and personality. The key to success for any company is understanding its identity; not just how it looks but what it says about you as an organization. We hope these tips help you navigate through your branding journey. If you’re looking for more, you can visit our blog here, where we share everything about branding.