Whether you know it or not, every small business must have a brand. Your brand is a big part of what sets you apart from your competitors and helps you build trust with your target audience.
And, it’s more than just your logo or website — it’s the whole package. It consists of your name, your logo, your messaging, your values and so much more. It’s the personality of your business.
Why your small business needs a strong brand
A strong brand will help your small business in a number of ways:
It makes you more visible – A well-defined brand makes it easier for potential customers to find you and understand what you do.
It builds trust – A strong brand helps you build credibility, which is essential for attracting new customers and keeping existing ones.
It differentiates you from your competitors – A clearly defined brand sets you apart from your competition and helps you attract the right customers.
It drives growth – A strong brand can help you attract new customers, retain existing ones, and charge more for your products or services.
Not all brands are made equal. In order to enjoy the benefits of brand marketing for your business, you need to create a strong brand.
Creating a strong brand can seem like a frustrating task, but it’s actually not as difficult as it may seem. With a little planning and some creativity, you can easily build a brand that will help your small business succeed. Today, we’re going to go over the basics of building a strong brand from the ground up.
9 tips for building a brand from scratch
#1. Choose a name that’s easy to remember
Your business name is one of the most important elements of your brand. It’s the first thing potential customers will see, and it will be a big part of your marketing efforts going forward.
When choosing a name for your small business, you want to choose something that’s easy to remember. Avoid using slang or inside jokes that only a small group of people will understand.
Your business name should also be something that’s easy to pronounce and spell, as well as short, so it’s easy to remember. If you can, try to choose a name that’s related to your industry or what you do.
For example, if you’re starting a gardening business, you might want to choose a name like “Green Thumbs” or “Gardeners”.
If you’re having trouble coming up with a good name for your small business, try brainstorming with a group of friends or family members.
#2. Pick a name that has a deeper meaning
In addition to picking a name that’s easy to remember, you also want to choose a name that has a deeper meaning.
If possible, your business name should be something that reflects your values and what you stand for as a company. It should be something that people can connect with on a personal level.
For example, if you’re starting a pet sitting business, you might want to choose a name that reflects your love of animals, such as “Pawsitively Purrfect” or “Tails of Joy”.
You can also use your business name to tell a story about your company. For example, if you’re starting a small business that makes natural soaps, you might want to choose a name like “Barefoot Soap Company” or “Wildflower Soap Co.”
No matter what, make sure your business name is something you’re proud of and that you can stand behind.
#3. Create an effective tagline
Your tagline is another important element of your brand. It’s a short phrase or sentence that sums up what you do and who you are as a company.
Your tagline should be something that’s easy to remember and that accurately reflects your brand. For example, if you’re starting a home cleaning business, you might want to use a tagline like “We clean so you don’t have to.”
Your tagline should be something that you use in all of your marketing materials, from your website to your business cards.
Like your name, it should also be short and easy to remember. And, if possible, try to choose a tagline that’s catchy. A catchy tagline can help you stand out from your competition and make people more likely to think of your small business.
#4. Check for domain and social media availability
Ideally, you want your website domain and social media profiles to be an exact match to your brand name. That’s because it makes it easier for people to find you online and connect with your small business.
Before you settle on a name for your small business, do a quick search online to see if the domain name and social media profiles are available. If they’re not, try brainstorming some other variations that might be available.
For example, if you’re starting a small business that sells handmade jewelry, you might want to use a name like “Beaded By You”. But if the domain name and social media profiles for that name are already taken, you might try something like “Beading By Me” or “Beading Jewelry”.
Keep in mind that, in some cases, it might be worth buying a domain name or social media profile that’s already taken. If the name is a good match for your brand and you’re confident you can make it work, it might be worth the investment.
#5. Look for logo inspiration
After you’ve settled on a name and tagline for your small business, it’s time to start thinking about your logo.
Your logo is an important part of your brand identity. It’s the face of your company and one of the first things people will think of when they think of your small business.
Your logo is a big deal, and it can be difficult to get it right, especially if you’re new to design. And, many small business owners struggle to know where to get started.
Luckily, a little inspiration can go a long way.
Look for logo ideas in books, magazines and online. See what other small businesses in your industry are doing with their logos. And take some time to explore the work of professional logo designers.
When you’re looking for inspiration, don’t be afraid to think outside of your industry. Sometimes the best ideas come from unrelated fields.
For example, if you’re starting a small business that makes natural soaps, you might want to look at logo designs for other natural products, such as food or cosmetics.
#6. Make your logo unique
Once you’ve found some general inspiration, it’s time to start thinking about how you can make your logo unique. Your small business logo should be something that sets you apart from your competition and clearly reflects your brand.
One way to make your logo unique is to use a word or phrase that’s specific to your small business. For example, if you’re starting a small business that sells handmade jewelry, you might want to use a word like “bead” or “string” in your logo.
Another way to make your logo unique is to use a symbol or image that’s specific to your small business. For example, if you’re starting a small business that sells natural soaps, you might want to use an image of a flower or a tree in your logo.
When you’re making your logo, don’t be afraid to experiment. Try out a few different ideas and see what looks best. And, if you’re not sure where to start, consider working with a professional logo designer.
#7. Create your brand guidelines
Brand guidelines are a set of rules that dictate how your small business should use its brand identity. For example, your brand guidelines might specify the colors you should use in your logo or the font you should use for your website.
Creating brand guidelines is an important step in building a strong and consistent brand identity for your small business. And, it’s something you should do before you start using your small business logo and other branding assets.
Creating brand guidelines doesn’t have to be complicated. Start by making a list of the elements you want to include in your brand identity, such as your logo, tagline, colors and fonts. Then, write down some basic rules for how each element should be used.
For example, you might want to specify that your logo should always be used with your company name or that your website should only use certain colors.
Once you’ve created your brand guidelines, make sure you share them with everyone who works on your small business branding, including your employees, partners and contractors. That way, everyone will be on the same page and your brand identity will stay consistent.
#8. Protect your intellectual property
Once you’ve created your small business logo and other branding assets, it’s important to protect them. After all, you’ve put a lot of time and effort into building your brand, and you don’t want anyone to be able to steal it.
The best way to protect your small business logo and other branding assets is to trademark them. Trademarks are used to protect intellectual property, like logos, names and other branding elements.
Trademarking your small business branding is a relatively simple process, but it’s important to do it right. If you’re not sure where to start, consider working with a professional trademark attorney.
#9. Design your marketing materials around your brand
Once you’ve created your small business logo and other branding assets, it’s time to start using them. One of the best ways to do this is to design your marketing materials around your brand. That way, your small business branding will be front and center, and potential customers will be able to see it every time they see one of your marketing materials.
Some of the marketing materials you might want to design around your small business branding include:
Social media profiles
- Google Business Profile
Local listings (Citations/Local Directories)
Business cards (paper or digital)
Brochures - if needed
By keeping your branding consistent across all of your marketing materials — whether they’re physical or digital — you can reinforce your message, increase awareness and build trust in your brand.
Building a strong brand identity for your small business is essential if you want to stand out from the competition. Fortunately, with a little know-how, it’s not as difficult as it might seem.
From designing your logo to developing your social media and Google Business Profile, the Southern Magnolia Media Team is here to help you build a strong brand. Southern Magnolia Media has many different plans for different budgets. Contact us today for more information.
Author: Robyn Riveria