No matter how small or large your business, you need branding.
Branding, according to Entrepreneur Magazine, is “the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.”
For any solopreneur or small business owner, creating a memorable brand stands as a cornerstone for success. Behind the exceptional services and products you offer, you need a strong brand presence in your market to attract new customers and make you top of mind.
Branding involves instilling in prospects and customers a sense of what your company is all about. Branding, through your logo, business name, taglines, signage, website, print collateral, etc., sets expectations and drives people to feel a certain way when they see and recognize your company.
What Should a Small Business Consider When Establishing A Brand?
According to SCORE Portland Maine mentor and digital marketing specialist Lauren Guite, small business owners find few things more difficult than distilling their businesses into imagery, colors, and a few words. But that exercise is important for creating awareness and building a customer following.
“My advice to folks starting this process is to start big, putting everything down on paper,” shares Guite. “Have many brainstorming sessions with your trusted network of family and friends—with the people who get you and your business. Explore how you feel about your business and how you want your customers to feel—emotion is the strongest tie to your customers.”
Do’s and Don’ts of Branding for Small Businesses
If you’re at the start of your branding process, Guite suggests that you:
- Do research to understand how certain colors and fonts resonate with people.
- Do test your ideas before making a final decision! What your customer base thinks matters most.
- Don’t over-explain. Less is more! Keep branding simple to make it memorable.
Small Business Branding Help
Not all small business owners feel comfortable with or capable of making the right branding decisions. At the over 320 chapters of SCORE across the U.S., you’ll find mentors (like Guite at our SCORE Portland Maine Chapter) who have marketing and branding expertise. SCORE mentoring is free of charge, and many chapters also offer low-cost workshops and seminars that cover the topic of branding. You can also find webinars and articles relevant to small business branding via the SCORE national website.
If you would like some marketing and branding guidance for your small business, contact us!
More about SCORE Maine Mentor Lauren Guite
Lauren Guite is a digital marketing specialist for Environmental Defense Fund where she considers social sharing strategies and audience needs while implementing a content marketing strategy. Wanting to give back to her home state, she started volunteering for SCORE in November of 2013. After many years in Washington, D.C., she’s glad to be home and helping local businesses with their marketing challenges.