We talk to a lot of small businesses and we hear it time and time again how hard it is to get your business and your brand to stand out in a crowded market.
In the early days, when your product is in its infancy, speed to market is more important than perfecting your brand. But a couple of years down the track, when your business is a little more grown up, it’s time to take another look and check in to see if your brand reflects your business as it is now, not as it was when you launched. Is it appealing to your target market? Is it consistent?
We recently celebrated our two-year anniversary and in the lead up to it, we went through the process of looking at our brand to see if it was aligned to Spotcap today – and it wasn’t entirely, so we have gone through a refresh, including a whole new website which is designed around the brand experience we want for our customers and the experience you expect from us.
If you’re like us and it’s time for a refresh, here are some important steps to take:
Start with your brand definition
Is your brand definition still right for where your business is now? The definition process is a journey of business self-discovery. It can be tough, take time and uncomfortable. Start by answering the below:
- What is your mission?
- What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
- What do your customers and prospects already think of your business?
- What qualities do you want them to associate with your business?
Once you’ve defined or re-defined your brand, it’s time to look at the other key brand elements….
- Your logo is important as it’s everywhere, so now that you’re more established, is it worth refreshing it or tidying it up? Have you seen our new logo yet?
- Get your key messages right and then spend time communicating them with your team – every employee needs to be aware of your brand attributes.
- Integrate your brand with everything you do – from how you answer the phone to your website, content and the sign off on your emails. Make sure you’ve looked at every customer touch point.
- Define your brand voice and apply it to all your written, visual and verbal communication. To do this, think about your brand as a person and how it would talk.
- Design templates and brand standards for your marketing materials. You’ll want a colour scheme, guidelines for using your logo and brand as a whole. There always needs to be flexibility in your brand, so this doesn’t need to be exhaustive, just enough to ensure your brand is consistent.
- Be true to your brand. Customers won’t come back or refer you to someone else if you don’t deliver on your brand promise.
Want more information on branding your small business? Head on over to Spotcap’s guide to small business branding for some handy tips and tricks.
Originally published December 8 2016 , updated January 18 2017