by Tina Martin of Ideaspired
In today’s hyper-competitive market, branding is everything. You’ll need to intentionally create a brand that establishes your company as high quality and trustworthy in the eyes of the customers.
What’s In a Brand?
Your company’s brand goes beyond its name and good logo — it’s the public perception of your company. In other words, it’s not what your company does but how people feel about what your company does. Good branding doesn’t just happen overnight, and it requires well-executed strategies to develop a positive image for your company. Figure out who your target market is, and use relevant marketing tactics to reach them. For example, social media content usually works better than printed material if your business caters to a younger demographic.
Mix It Up
Being a small business puts you in a better position than a larger company to adapt to market changes quickly and efficiently. Keep an eye out for changes in public perception or sentiment about your industry. Pay attention to social media to see if there are any viral trends you can join in on. Digital content, especially video, is an excellent way to promote your brand and is a low-cost marketing tool that has the potential to generate huge returns for your business. And, don’t wait until you experience a decrease in sales or income to change your marketing tactics. If you think something isn’t working or you’re worried about how a piece of marketing material is performing, make changes or redirections as necessary.
Go with a Pro
Some aspects of your marketing mix you can DIY. For example, you might find it easy to manage your own social media accounts or develop flyers. However, for other projects relating to your company’s branding, such as logo and website creation, it may be best to hire a pro. As the business owner, you’ll still provide creative direction and have the final say over the production, but a professional graphic designer or web developer can handle the technical details and deliver a polished finished product.
When working with third parties, make sure you can send and receive files easily. Sometimes, JPGs can lose quality if compressed into smaller files. To avoid this, use a JPG-to-PDF converter to preserve image quality. These tools also enable you to combine multiple files into one.
Back to School
Real-world experience is great, but a formal degree can often be the catalyst for taking your business and career to the next level. Online degrees have exploded in popularity, and it’s easier than ever to manage your degree program while handling professional and personal obligations. If you go back to school, ensure that the program you choose is accredited and fits within your budget. Look into scholarships and tuition discounts to ease the financial burden.
Build a Great Brand
The most widely known and loved companies are ones that invested in their branding early on and curated a positive public image. As your business grows, be open to changing your branding strategies, while also staying true to your company’s mission and values.