How to Evaluate The Impact of Your Small Business Branding Strategy

May 4, 2023

3 minutes

As a small business owner, you know how hard it is to compete with larger name-brand businesses. These big businesses always seem to have cornered the market on the same products and services you provide.

But, we have good news! If you look more closely, things aren’t always as they may seem. You can get people to choose your products or services, even over larger national brands, with an effective small-business branding strategy.

Branding is everything in business! This is especially true today since many businesses offer similar services and products.

So, how can you compete with companies that have marketing budgets that are greater than your yearly income? It may sound impossible, but if you use the right branding strategies, customers may be likely to choose your products over the box names!

Today, we’ll explore why branding is important for your business and what you can do to improve it to reach your customers better.

Why Is Branding Important for Small Businesses?

Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy. But, since big-name corporations typically get the spotlight, many of us do not realize how many small businesses there are. But, according to Forbes Advisor, 99.9% of businesses in the U.S. are small businesses.

Unfortunately, Forbes also notes that many (1 in 5) small businesses fail within the first year of operation. So, what can you do to ensure that your business makes it past the pivotal first years of startup? Simple. Work on your branding.

What is the one thing that all big-name businesses have in common? Consistent and recognizable branding.

Fortunately, you can do the same for your small business as well. But before we jump into how you can improve your small business branding, let’s highlight exactly what good branding can do for your business.

  • Promotes Trust

With so many different brands on the market today, it can be hard to identify trustworthy sellers effectively. This is especially true if they are shopping online. Because of this, many consumers select a big-name brand simply because they trust it.

A consistent, professional, and trustworthy brand is crucial for cultivating trust. Ensuring that your products, services, and customer experience reflect your brand story can help you create this trust. When consumers feel they can trust you, they will be more likely to interact with your business.

  • Boosts Recognition

One of the largest parts of a good brand identity is consistency. If you don’t have a cohesive identity when it comes to your business’s tone, design elements, and slogans, consumers will have a hard time recognizing your brand. 

But, if you use consistent visuals, logos, messaging, and positions, customers will more easily recognize your brand. This can help boost brand awareness. Consumers love familiarity, making them more likely to purchase from your brand.

  • Supports Marketing Efforts

The increasingly competitive marketplace makes marketing efforts one of the most crucial business practices for small businesses and corporations alike.

Unfortunately, small businesses typically do not have the same level of funding as corporations. This means that as a small business owner, you must improve your marketing efforts in other ways.

One way to do this is to ensure you have a consistent visual identity. If you have to re-introduce your brand with each marketing effort, you could risk losing valuable leads and potential sales. With a consistent brand image, unique to your business, your customers can focus on what you have to offer.

  • Builds Company Culture

The day of the aloof big-name box store is ending. Consumers are looking for more personal and humanized brands that really care about them.

Whether you are a small clothing boutique or a software company, customers want to see what you are about. What you value, what you do for your employees and customers, and even how you approach your area of expertise.

These are all things that you can cultivate in a good brand identity. This identity will help you more effectively build relationships with your customers and recruit better employees. When your employees know what you are about and are kept in the loop with company values and practices, they are more likely to stick around as part of a loyal team.

Read more: Here’s What it Means to Humanize a Brand (and How to Do it Well)

How to Do Small Business Branding the Right Way

As we mentioned above, customers today are looking for more than just a product. Consumers want to know why they should buy from your brand instead of your competitors. Your ideal customer’s choice will always come down to who is best telling their company’s story.

No matter why you started your business, you have a story to tell and something to offer your customers. Here we’ll dive into some of the key concepts you need to have ironed out to create honest branding that is true to your identity and purpose.

  • Know Your Purpose

When you first started your brand, you had a reason that compelled you to jump into business. You knew you offered something that your competitors didn’t. You believed you had something worthwhile to offer; otherwise, you wouldn’t be where you are today. So, share this story with your customers.

Now, this does not mean that every time you post something, you must launch into a 3-page essay of why you started your business. However, it does mean that you need to figure out how to ensure that your customers can see your values and unique positions in what you offer.

  • Find Your Crowd

One of the largest trends in marketing today is the customer-focused approach. Realistically, this focus on customer experience and the consumer journey is nothing new, but today it is more important than ever. But, to ensure that you incorporate this focus into your business, you need to know who your customer is.

The simple truth is that now everyone will value the same things you do. Not everyone will want the products or services you provide. But your audience is not everyone.

You, like every other business, have an “ideal customer.” This is the customer you should consider when constructing your content. Keep this customer in mind when creating marketing campaigns and products as well.

  • Create a Visual Identity

In a crowded marketplace, having a distinct and recognizable visual identity is essential for any small business.

Many small businesses think focusing on a consistent visual identity for their business is less important than focusing on content. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Your brand design is the first thing many customers see when they click on your page. If your design is confusing, difficult to navigate, or otherwise off-putting, customers are less likely to buy your products. Having a clean and consistent visual identity will help customers navigate your website. This means they can more easily find the information they are looking for.

Read More: Color in Graphic Design: 3 Ways Color Impacts Your Business

  • Make Compelling Content

Once you’ve determined who your ideal customer is, you need to ensure the content you are creating is meant for them. This means creating engaging and relatable content that is helpful for this customer. Engaging website copy is a crucial part of any business strategy because it helps your customers to get to know your brand.

Some tips for making your content more engaging include:

  • Using short and simple sentences
  • Using active voice
  • Sticking to one point per paragraph
  • Using headings or bulleted/numbered lists to make your piece more skimmable
  • Using visual content (videos and images) to break up text
  • Using clear calls to action

Today, many consumers find visual content even more engaging than traditional written content. Not only are videos more interactive, but they are also easier to share and create more memorable experiences. So, if you want to create even more compelling content, try adding in video advertising to your marketing strategy.

  • Differentiate Your Brand

Look at your competitors and see what they do to separate themselves from the crowd. Now, what makes you different from these other brands? This is a crucial question because it is one of the first questions your customers will ask.

Once you have determined what makes your brand different, include that in your brand’s style guide. This will help ensure you include this information in the new pieces of content, marketing materials, and even product promotions that you come up with. This way, anytime someone encounters your brand, they know why they should pick your products over your competitors.

Read more: How to Create a Style Guide for your Business 

Ready to Improve Your Branding?

Your company’s branding is its most important asset—no matter the size or industry of your business. Small business branding uses many of the same concepts as national brands, but these strategies are even more important for local business owners.

So, if you are looking for ways to improve your branding or even help develop your brand as you start your business, contact us at Cross & Crown. We would love to chat with you about how we can work with you to create the perfect brand strategy for your small business!

Cross & Crown

About Cross & Crown

Cross & Crown is a team of creatives who are passionate about solving problems through design and technology, taking what is there and making it better. Based in Chambersburg, PA, we strive to help educate, advocate, and thrive in a digital world.

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