Branding is one of the most important facets of marketing for any business, and for a small business, it is arguably the most important.  It’s what people think about your business, and without good to exceptional branding, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd online or elsewhere.  

With effective branding, your small business can stand out from the crowd and make a favorable impression on your highest potential leads and prospects. So, how can you create the kind of branding for your business that puts your business “front of mind” for your best potential leads and prospects?

Master the elements of branding, and you’ll do first-rate branding for your business. There are different opinions on how many elements of branding there are. 4? 5? 6? 8? 10? 16? Without taking a position in this conversation, let’s focus on 9 of them.

The Elements of Branding

  • Brand identity is how people recognize a brand. The elements of this element vary, but they can include color, typography, design, logo, packaging, and messaging. Do you have a business logo? Do you have a brand color? Do you consistently use the same typography and design?
  • Brand image is how people view, think, or feel about a brand. Brand image is what consumers associate with a brand that is based on interactions with a brand. What is your brand image? Are you well enough known in your niche to have a brand image?
  • Wikipedia offers a good definition of brand positioning: “Positioning refers to the place that a brand occupies in the minds of the customers and how it is distinguished from the products of the competitors.” Do you have a place in the minds of your customers? How about in the minds of prospects?
  • Brand personality has to do with human characteristics or traits that consumers associate with a brand. What kind of personality do consumers associate with your brand?
  • Brand equity is the commercial value of a brand that comes from consumer perceptions of a brand. For example, Rolls Royce and Chevrolet have much different brand equity.
  • Chris Cavanaugh of the Freeman Company defines brand experience this way: “A brand experience is about designing a sensory experience that brings a person into a lasting and meaningful relationship with a brand.”  That person is your customer. What experience does your customer have with your brand? This concerns your customer service that starts when your customer is still a prospect and leads right up to the sale. This includes your marketing and other interactions between your brand and your customers.
  • Brand differentiation is what makes a brand distinct from competitors.
  • Brand promise is what prospects and customers expect from your brand.
  • Brand communication is the ways that companies and marketers engage consumers with information about their brand.

What have you done to brand your business? What are you doing to brand your business? Effective branding will help you stand out from your competitors and win new customers and clients.

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