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Build Your Small Business Brand in 4 Simple Steps

Before customers ever connect with a product or service, they first make a connection with a brand. There is usually little doubt that branding is necessary, but a significant number of small business owners and entrepreneurs still struggle with the creation and implementation of their brands.

So, if the success of a business relies so heavily on brand, why is it such a difficult concept? Branding is essentially an aspect of successful marketing that helps consumers understand a company’s identity — something that business owners tend to believe their products do on their own.

Follow these five steps to get your wayward brand back on track:

1.Give your brand a personality. As people, we all tend to connect better to other human beings than to computers or electronic devices. A flat, colorless brand will lead potential customers to one conclusion — that the product is flat and lifeless too.

2.Make sure this personality includes trust. Remember your friend who made promises to meet up for coffee or to see a movie, only to call minutes before the prearranged meeting time with some sort of excuse? Do not let your brand be this friend. Follow through on promises and create a relationship between your brand and your customers that is built on trust.

3.Yes, your brand can be original. Being influenced by “the greats” is something to which almost every great rock band admits, but that does not mean they completely mimicked their influencers. Learn tips and tricks from big and popular brands, but avoid copying.

4.Your logo is not the most important part of your brand. Instead of applying a logo to pretty much anything and sending it out on the Internet, consider foregoing the logo in certain instances. It is a new generation, and consumers enjoy discovering what brand is behind certain posts for themselves, and, soon enough, the brand will be able to speak for itself.

5.No matter the situation, bring it back to your brand. Everyone involved with or employed at a business should be well-versed in exactly what the brand represents. Whether a sales rep is pitching a product or a customer service representative is addressing an upset or dissatisfied customer, bring it back to the brand. If customers have a different experience than the brand indicates they should have, no amount of promotions can erase that experience.

In the early days of a startup there is usually little wiggle room in the budget to bring in outside marketers or advertising professionals. Therefore, entrepreneurs take on the tasks themselves. Branding is so much more than creating a logo and posting a few tweets; it is a personal experience that consumers should be able to experience, feel and touch. Is your brand accomplishing this?

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