If you’re starting or running a small business, chances are you don’t have the same marketing budget as major corporations do. In fact, you may be wondering whether it’s even possible to compete in the marketplace without a big budget. The answer? Branding can help—and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg! To learn more about the benefits of branding, why brands are important for small businesses and how to market your brand, keep reading!
1) What is Branding
Before you begin creating your branding, you’ll need to understand what it is. In basic terms, branding is how customers perceive your company and its products or services. The good news is that branding involves more than just slapping a logo on a product and hoping people take notice; rather, brand development requires an in-depth understanding of who your target audience is (and isn’t), and knowing how to best communicate with them.
2) Why branding is important
It’s important to have a brand because it tells your customer what you stand for. Do you focus on quality, service, or price point? When you don’t have a strong brand identity that customers understand, it makes it difficult for them to connect with your company. Many people forget about companies that lack a consistent look and feel—but when they need help in an area you offer, it can be hard to get back in front of them again. With a well-defined brand identity you can grab their attention right away and then keep building on their interest as they get more familiar with your company. The key is consistency; if every touchpoint with your brand has a unified look and feel then consumers will know what to expect from buying from you.
3) Why Hire a Professional
There are several reasons why you should consider hiring a professional to design your logo and branding for your small business. For one, professionals will be able to design your brand using fonts, logos, colors and images that align with your overall marketing message and target audience. Another reason is that they understand how important your brand is to your business’ success. If you do not have a strong brand image established, prospective customers may be reluctant to spend money on products or services from an unknown company.
4) Finding the Right Professional Graphic Designer
Design is an important part of branding and you should work with a professional graphic designer who understands your needs. When you’re finding a graphic designer, make sure to consider what you really need from them. While cost shouldn’t be your only consideration, it’s something that should play into your choice of design firm or freelancer. If you just need some simple logos or business cards, there are plenty of companies out there that offer these services at a much lower price than their competitors. However, if you need complex branding, packaging design or web design work done – expect to pay more for it because those things require much more expertise.
5) What to Look For When Hiring
When you’re ready to begin hiring, do your research before diving in. Start by researching candidates and looking at LinkedIn profiles. If someone doesn’t have a profile or is using a different name, that can be a red flag. Follow up with references, check with professional associations and ask about past work experience—you’ll be able to see what companies people really worked for (no one will list their current job). After meeting them and deciding they are right for your business, it’s important to get an employment contract drawn up. It may seem like overkill for small business owners who already know each other but, legally speaking, it's not as complicated as it sounds.