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  • Spencer Campeau

Effective Brand Strategy For Small Businesses

Updated: Jul 5, 2022



If you’re a small business owner, you know the importance of coming up with a brand strategy. You see it every day when you walk into your store or restaurant, and I’m guessing that it’s not always pretty. The same goes for many other small businesses.


The unfortunate reality is that most small businesses neglect to create a cohesive brand strategy for themselves. In fact, most don’t even think about their brand at all! But having an effective brand strategy can do wonders for your business in terms of visibility and customer loyalty — so why not jump on board and start thinking of yourself as more than just another brick and mortar?


The Small Business Brand Strategy and Positioning


A brand strategy is a plan for communicating your company's unique value and differentiating itself from the competition. It's an overarching guide for all of your marketing efforts, which means that it needs to be aligned with what you're doing in other areas of the business: product development, operations, human resources and culture.


The first step in developing a solid brand strategy is to assess where your business currently stands—what are its strengths? Weaknesses? Opportunities? Threats? Then consider what you want it to become over time—the kind of company you aspire to be and the ideal customer experience that will enable this change. Finally, define how those two elements will come together into one cohesive identity so customers know exactly who they're working with when they do business with you.


Brand strategy is the art of putting together a plan for your business's brand. It's about making sure that you're communicating with your audience in a way that makes sense, and that you're doing it in a way that's consistent with your values and goals.


It's about knowing who your audience is, what they want from your brand, how you can deliver on those needs and wants in a way that feels authentic to both the brand itself and to its users, and what kind of growth trajectory you want to see over time.


A brand strategy is made up of several components that work together to set the tone of your brand, and guide you as you develop products and services, create content, and interact with customers.


These components include:

  • Core Values: What does your business stand for? What do you value above all else? These values should be reflected in every aspect of your business, and they will serve as a guidepost when making decisions about how to run your business.

  • Mission Statement: What is the purpose of your company? Why do you exist? Your mission statement should answer these questions clearly and succinctly, so that everyone on your team can easily remember what it is they're working towards.

  • Brand Promise: How will people know if they've found you? What promises can you make to them that will differentiate yourself from other similar businesses and make them want to come back again and again? This component should also be reflected in everything from product design to marketing materials so there's no doubt about what kind of experience customers can expect when interacting with your company.

  • The Target Audience: Who are you trying to reach with your brand? What demographic do they fall into? What is their background? What makes them special? The more specific you get with this information, the better chance you have at successfully reaching them!

  • Value proposition: This is the promise that your product makes to customers. It's what they can expect to get out of it, and it's what they'll pay you for. For example, if you're selling a food delivery service, your value proposition could be "We'll bring your favorite restaurant right to your doorstep!" That's what you're promising people in exchange for their money—they can order food from the restaurant of their choice, and someone will deliver it to them at home or work.

Brand Identity Elements


Brand identity is one of the most important factors in a brand strategy. Brand identity is the set of characteristics that define your company, product or service for potential customers. Your brand identity includes your logo, tagline and color palette. It's also made up of the way you talk about your company and products in marketing materials, social media and on your website.


Brand identity elements are the foundation or building blocks of your business's brand. They are the tools and pieces you will use to build your brand's story.


These pieces include:

  • Name: This is the name of your product or service. It should be unique and recognizable, and it needs to be something that will stick in people's minds. If it's too long, people might not remember it. If it's too short, people might forget what you do.

  • Logo: This is your logo. It's the visual representation of your company, usually a symbol or icon that represents your brand. It should be simple and easy to recognize so that people can see it and know who you are right away.

  • Colors: Color plays a huge role in brand identity because it helps connect with people on an emotional level (think about how happy red makes you feel). It can also be used to show off important aspects of your business—for example, if you're selling ice cream, a bright yellow color could represent sunshine and fun!

  • Fonts: Fonts are another thing that sets brands apart from one another; each one has its own personality! Choose a font that reflects who you are and what kind of message you want to convey through your branding efforts.

  • Tagline: A tagline is a short statement that describes your company's mission statement or purpose. For example, "We're here to help you find your dream home!" or "We're here to help you find your perfect pair of shoes."

Promote Your Brand Effectively


Marketing is the most important part of your business. It is not an expense, it is an investment. It can be easy to forget this fact when you're busy focusing on the day-to-day operations of your company. But marketing doesn't just mean advertising and sales; it's about building a relationship with your customers and potential buyers.


Your brand identity is one of the most important things in establishing a long term relationship with customers who trust that they'll get exactly what they expect from you each time they make purchases from you or use your services. A strong brand will help them remember why they love working with you—and also tell others why they should join their ranks!


The Big Picture


This is the big picture of what your business is trying to achieve. It's where you want your brand to be in the next 3-5 years. It's a long-term plan that outlines how you're going to get there, and it should be as specific as possible without being too detailed.


To start, write down every goal you have for your business—revenue goals, profitability goals, time frame goals (e.g., "We'll have 100% customer retention by 2024"), etc.—and then combine them into one overarching objective: "Make $1 million in revenue by 2027." That sounds like an easy enough goal right? But now think about those things that could prevent it from happening—a competitor launching a better product than yours; not being able to raise enough capital; or even just not being able to get people interested in what you're selling.


This is huge. Start by creating a brand strategy statement and then building out the rest of your brand based on that.


It's important to start by creating a brand strategy statement. This is the most important thing you can do with your business, and it's a good idea to revisit it every year as you grow and change.


The brand strategy statement will be your guiding light when making decisions about every aspect of your company's identity: what products or services you offer, how you communicate with customers (including both inbound marketing and customer service), even how much time you spend on social media. It will also help define the core values that guide everything else in how the company behaves externally. Finally, this document will serve as an enduring reminder of why the business exists; having an easily accessible resource that keeps all these different aspects connected helps keep everyone focused on building a strong foundation for growth.


Conclusion


Ultimately we think the key to an effective small business marketing campaign will always be a solid brand strategy, and with that in place the sky really is the limit. With your chosen logo, colours, messaging and mission in place you'll have a solid base upon which to work your marketing plan and start connecting with customers on an emotional level.


In the end, it all comes down to this. Your brand is a reflection of you and your values, and as such, no two brands can be exactly alike. The trick is to find an effective balance between individuality and brand awareness that works for you and your business. At the end of day, make it work. Otherwise, you're just spinning your wheels in place.



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