Small business owners hear it a lot: the importance of building a brand. But what does that really mean? What do you need to build a brand? And why’s it important?
It’s true that a “brand” is a bit of a nebulous concept. So to help clarify the subject and give you concrete steps to take, we’ve identified these three vital tips to get you started.
Tip #1. Nail down your message
Think critically about your company’s philosophy and vision. Your message is at the heart of what you do and will inform the shape your brand takes.
Your message should summarize your company goals, values, and what drives you. It should demonstrate where you stand now – and where you strive to be in the future.
Consider the following:
- The services or products you offer
- What niche you fill in your industry and what makes you different from competitors
- The clients you strive to serve
From there, think about what adjectives you’d use to describe your business. Are you trendy and modern? Upscale and eco-friendly? Or old-fashioned and rough-hewn? These will inform the tone of your brand, as well as your image to customers.
Tip #2. Make a logo & stick with it
A brand is more than just a logo, but a logo is the lynchpin of any good brand.
Small businesses need to have a clear, consistent visual identity. Customers need to be able to identify you at a glance – and seeing your logo over and over is a way to familiarize people with your company and keep you top-of-mind.
You should have your logo, your colors, and your fonts, all of which should be codified in a brand style guide. These logos and colors should be on your website, your letterhead, uniforms, and anything you hand out to customers.
In particular, physical merchandise is an easy and fun way to let people take a little piece of your business home with them. It’s great when someone can see your brand – and even better when they can touch and hold it.
You can never go wrong with a classic business card, but don’t be afraid to get creative. The best pieces of merch are the most useful ones: fridge magnets, USB drives, pens, notepads, water bottles, bottle openers, etc. Digital Neighbor gets some of our custom printed Logo Magnets from our friends at Sticker Mule.
Tip #3. Show your expertise (and do it online)
You’re the best in your field. But how can customers find you and learn about your expertise? It’s simple: Google needs to know you’re an expert, too.
In 2018, Google rolled out the “medic” update to its search algorithm. Among other things, Google started defining a set of characteristics called ‘E.A.T.’ as some of the most important factors in ranking highly.
E.A.T. is Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. Essentially, that means Google wants to promote pages that only share accurate and factual information. You have to prove your expertise to Google. Some ways to boost your E.A.T. are to:
- Write full bios on your website for your staff and blog authors, including credentials and titles
- Make sure there’s contact info on every single page – name, address, and phone number
- Encourage your customers to leave good reviews on Yelp and Google Reviews
- Post high-quality, factual, and industry-relevant blogs on your site (and don’t forget to use sources to back up your facts)
Bonus Tip: Get a pro to help
At Digital Neighbor, we’re experts in helping small businesses with their digital branding, content marketing, website design, and everything in between. We’ll help you with your online presence so that potential customers learn your name – and remember it.
If you want to learn more, just drop us a line! We’d love to show you exactly what we can do for your small business.