Imagine you are in line at Starbucks. You order your favorite drink and sit down to have coffee with a friend. Now I’m not a mind reader but I can pretty much nail exactly what you just imagined. Green accents everywhere. A clean and yummy pastry case. That distinct Starbucks coffee smell. Music playing that is also for sale by the register...no matter where you live we all imagined the same thing just then. Why? Because Starbuck’s branding is top notch no matter where you go around the world. It is the same.
This strong brand identity is a significant part of what makes Starbucks such a successful company.
Branding your business can be tricky and today I am going to address three mistakes that small businesses often make when it comes to branding their business.
1. Confusing your logo for a brand.
This is something I frequently run into with my clients. They assume that just because they have developed their logo then they have created a brand. It is true that a logo is part of a brand but it is only a part.
A logo is an icon or symbol used to identify a brand but a strong brand is so much more than that. Great branding creates the overall image of a company. What do other people think, feel or expect from your business? Your brand is who you are, what your business stands for, the mission, intention, ideal client, message and personality of your company as a whole. These are all aspects of a strong brand that shouldn’t be neglected.
2. Doing it all yourself.
One challenge many small businesses face is the cost of branding their business. While the expense of paying a professional to handle your branding may seem unnecessary
to many small businesses, it saves money in the long run.
Delegating out various parts of the branding process to different team members leads to unclear branding. Ultimately this translates to a weak brand message that looks unprofessional and ultimately communicates to your potential client that your standard of quality and consistency is unpredictable.
Spend the money on the front end and develop a brand that brings people in and converts
to sales. Your brand is an investment worth making.
3. Lack of consistency
New ideas are more fun and exciting than repeating the same thing again. I totally get that. Innovation is important in a successful business, but if you aren’t careful you will lose customers every time you shift gears as a business.You have to stay consistant.
As a small business, your customers need to know that every time they come back to you they will receive what they are expecting. Maybe that is an over-the-top customer service experience, a great product, or quality work they can rely on. The consistency in what you offer your customers and how often you offer it to them will grow your repeat business, and keep new customers coming.