One of the things I notice about many small business owners is that they do not properly delegate their work and in an effort to save a buck they try to be experts in areas they are clearly not. Of course I am talking about graphic design. If you’re a modern day business owner, one of your goals should be to stay on top of current trends in business. This includes your your business branding. While it is perfectly understandable that as a small business owner you want to be frugal and careful with your business finances, bad design could actually be costing you more than you think.
Your brand is one of the most important aspects of your business. It will dictate how your audience views your business, the type of clients you will have, and ultimately what your business will stand for. Are you offering a high quality service or a low value alternative? Are you the business who was great in the 90’s but failed to keep up with the market? Or are you the innovative business who easily attracts new customers? These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself.
While you should not plan on pleasing everyone, you should clearly know who your target audience is. Make sure you understand the psychology behind your branding and how it’s going to affect your business and your ultimate goal. Take the bottom color guide and see where you fall in the spectrum? What feelings does your business evoke? Are you trying to be too many things at once?
When creating your new brand consider the following:
A strong brand will help your business become memorable.
Think about your favorite brands and about how you know when a product or service is part of that brand. Chances are theres a particular logo, icon, pattern, slogan, or color palette that instantly reminds you who the brand is. Your small business should be doing the same for your audience. How else are you suppose to get referrals if clients can’t remember you?
Consistent branding will establish trust.
When was the last time you hired a professional for a service based on bad branding? Exactly. Hopefully never. People are more likely to hire a company or service provider that appears professional and legitimate. An example I can think of that I’ve mentioned before is as simple as the colors you use. I’ve seen so many businesses use every color in the rainbow desperately trying to grab people’s attention. somehow using a different color for each line of paragraph is going to make their clients want to do business with them. This applies to everything and anything attached to your business, whether its a Facebook flyer or an ad on your website.
Good branding welcomes good customers.
People will be a lot more responsive to a business that values its product or service enough to provide a professional experience. For example, when my husband and I are looking for a new place to eat on Yelp, one of the things we look for is a website. If a restaurant doesn’t have a website then we are less likely to try that place. We immediately think, “oh it must not be that successful if they don’t have a website,” or “let’s look for a better place.” If it has a website, and a good one, then we easily navigate to the menu, check out the restaurant photos, see what people have to say and then make a more confident decision. So essentially, your audience is going to give you the same importance you give your business.
Strong branding will inspire you and the rest of your company.
Being part of a team or a goal will help motivate you and your employees. Once you know what your business stands for and what you want your business to become, creating a brand that truly reflects that will be a constant push. It will inspire your company to keep moving forward and actually work towards your mission.
Strong branding creates strong foundations.
Lastly, just because a business is small it doesn’t mean it should appear small. If you’ve ever heard someone say “dream big!” then you can apply that same saying to your business. By making sure you have a professional look, you are creating a strong foundation for a successful business.
Check out the website graveyard. If you’re website or branding looks similar to this… it’s time to upgrade!