Small businesses are a unique business model, and as such, small business marketing is a niche factor in the world of business branding and marketing. Marketing and branding ideas for small businesses are all shaped around the specific needs of small businesses. Branding tips for small businesses are often unique to specific industries within the world of small businesses.
Small businesses branding and marketing is important for every small business owner or entrepreneur to study. A huge part of the success of a small business relies on the community of customers that discover the business. The marketing and branding aspects of the business plan cannot be overlooked.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into branding ideas for small businesses, as well as the overall structure of brand identity for small businesses. Whether you own a small business or you’re looking to start one, read on!
Branding Ideas for Small Businesses
Every business should strive to be as unique as possible, but none more so than a small business. Call it what you like–unique, niche, small-batch, Nora-Ephron-bookshop-aesthetic–a small business is built on personality. That need for unique qualities carries over into the branding needs and ideas for small businesses.
These five branding ideas for small businesses focus on honing in on what makes your business unique. They center on community, aesthetic designs, and personal marketing. Heck, they focus on making every part of your business personal.
5. Find Familiar Designs
Finding familiar designs means choosing design plans for your brand that will feel familiar to your customers. No, this doesn’t mean creating a brand that is too similar to another, well-known brand. When it comes to finding familiar designs, the goal is to create a design that feels timeless and classic. That will establish your brand’s familiarity with your customers.
4. Brand Your Merchandise
Branding your merchandise is a great way to subtly put your brand into every piece of your business. It will also help you find even wider brand popularity when people talk your merchandise out into the world. This could mean anything from selling branded coffee cups for a café to having pens with your logo etched on them for a steakhouse.
3. Play Into Themes
One goal of every small business is to make a splash right off the bat. Building your brand around a theme is a great way to do this. From a cocktail bar to a luxe lounge, finding a theme to build around will draw in new customers and keep them coming back.
2. Maximize Social Media Efforts
In this series on branding and marketing on BinWise, we’re going to mention social media in every post–even when it comes to social media marketing for restaurants. There’s no way around it, using social media to brand your business and spread the word is vital. For small businesses, a thriving social media presence can be one of the best ways to bring in new customers.
1. Stick With Consistency
Branding and consistency go together like the best maraschino cherries and summer cocktails–One consistently needs the other to be the best it can be. A great brand is just that: a great brand. With consistency in marketing and brand aesthetics, however, a great brand can build a great business with long-term success.
Creating Brand Identity for Small Businesses
Those five branding ideas for small businesses are all individual parts of guiding your brand. They're also all smaller parts of creating brand identity for small businesses. Creating your brand identity is the practice of finding your brand aesthetics, and aligning your design with the mission behind your business.
"Key Takeaway: Small businesses are a unique business model, and as such, small business marketing is a niche factor in the world of business branding and marketing."
These five steps of creating your brand identity are best-suited to new businesses, but they also apply to established businesses looking for a rebranding. They are all somewhat open-ended, and that’s intentional. Each of these steps will mean something different for every business, but they’re all important.
5. Customer Research
Customer research is one of the building blocks of creating a brand identity that will fill the needs of your key customers. Customer research can include market research, focus groups, social media polls, and post-experience customer service surveys. The information you gather from this research will help inform you about what your customers are looking for in your brand and business.
4. Craft Your Aesthetics
Aesthetics are one aspect of your brand identity that you don’t want to skimp on. Aesthetics cover everything from brand colors to customized fonts to your carefully crafted logo. The aesthetic choices you make in crafting your brand identity will be a part of the business your customers rely on.
3. Make Your Mission Statement
A mission statement is the stated reason, the goal and purpose of every business. Some businesses share their mission statement on a website, or in commercials. Some keep it as an internal statement. Either way, it’s important to draft a mission statement. Having a written statement that you spend time on will sharpen your view of your brand identity.
2. Be Open to Change
As much as you can plan your brand identity and set up both business plans and physical setups for your business, things can change. Throughout the crafting of your business brand identity and the ongoing work of your business, stay flexible with the possibility of change. When it happens, and it will, you’ll be much better prepared to adapt to whatever the future holds.
1. Build Branding Into Your Budget
For small businesses, having a well-rounded view of your budget will save you time, money, and countless future headaches. When you’re building your budget, be sure to include branding costs. From printing of physical assets like menus to production costs of merchandise, including branding costs in your budget will limit your unexpected costs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Small Business
Small businesses in the hospitality industry have a lot of information to keep up with and tactics to implement. There are always more questions, and a lot to be gained from a deep understanding of branding for small businesses. Our answers to these frequently asked questions will get you started.
How Do Small Businesses Do Branding?
Small businesses do branding by focusing on what makes their business unique, and making their branding an active part of their business model. A small business can’t rely on a recognizable name brand like so many large businesses can–from Olive Garden to Starbucks. For a small business, the brand of the business needs to convey the heart of the company.
How Important Is Branding for Small Businesses?
On a scale from 1 to 10, the importance of branding for small businesses is an 11. Branding is a way of tying a business plan together and letting customers know what your business is all about. For small businesses, that clarity with customers can be the key to getting more sales and growing the business.
How Do You Brand Your Business?
To brand your business, you have to take a close look at what your business is all about and what you want your customers to see with your branding. Take a look at your business from another perspective. You can even use focus groups to test out different branding strategies. That will show you what customers will expect from your business.
What Is the Main Purpose of Branding?
The main purpose of branding is to put the meaning behind your business into your business design. It shows customers what your business is all about, and makes your design decisions easier because you have a driving force behind them. Effectively, branding is what ties your business together.
Small Businesses: Branding to Scale
For small businesses, finding a branding plan is the first step towards running a successful business for years to come. For more business solutions, come back to the BinWise blog for bar profits, restaurant marketing, and hospitality industry content. Visit our sister site, the BlueCart blog, for wholesale distribution, eCommerce, and order management information.