Market Research

A Quick Branding Guide for Business Owners

Oct 30, 2023

by Guest Writer, Christopher Haymon of Adulting Digest

If you’re a small business owner, it’s important to define your brand. This requires more than simply addressing visual components like your logo. You also want to consider the values that define your brand. According to a recent Harris Poll, 82 percent of consumers consider brand values before making a purchase. Clearly, investing in your brand is worth your while. Below, Owl & Pen invites you to discover some best practices entrepreneurs can implement to help their businesses thrive.

Understand what branding is and why it matters

Whatever products or services you offer, odds are that there are other companies that offer the same thing. You want to make sure you’re standing out from the competition. Branding helps by making your business unique and memorable. Branding is the process of creating a unique company identity and includes elements like visual design, tagline, and the tone of voice used in your marketing materials.

Identify your ideal consumer

The first step in building a brand is to identify your target audience, which is your ideal consumer. You should be able to narrow down this audience according to age, income, occupation, education level, and regional area. Once you know these details about your consumer, you can tailor your branding so that it resonates with them. For example, the language you use to speak to Gen Z will be different from the language you use to talk to Boomers. 

To define your audience, you can survey your existing customers. Surveying your customers allows you to learn more about your current branding and how to improve it. One way to incentivize participants is by offering incentives like cash, gift cards, prepaid cards, or a charitable donation of their choosing. Look for a gift card API that automates this process and allows you to personalize and style payments with your branding and custom messaging. 

Do market research into your competition

Another way you can define your target audience is to research your competitors’ audiences. For example, you might scope out their followers on social media. Researching the market competition can also help you figure out what direction to take your brand in. For example, it can help you identify an untapped niche in the market. According to LinkedIn, you can conduct market research through techniques like interviewing real-world customers.

Set guidelines for your brand

Once you’ve figured out who your brand will address, it’s time to define your brand. Craft your values, messages, and visual elements, like your logo, accordingly. Then, create a brand style guide that reflects your brand’s core components. This style guide should complement your overall marketing plan. Your marketing plan defines details like your brand messaging and what marketing outlets you’ll disseminate your messages on. Follow best practices when crafting your marketing plan, like setting a budget up front.

Take the time to measure your branding awareness

Take the time to measure your branding awareness

As you invest in branding, you want to make sure you’re getting a good return on that investment. There are many metrics you can use to see what kind of awareness your branding efforts are creating. You might send out customer surveys, track ad clicks and conversions, and view overall website traffic, for example. If you feel like your branding isn’t creating the buzz you want, it’s time to try different tactics. You can revisit your marketing plan and adapt it as needed.

Go back to school to boost your business skills

Earning a business degree can offer various benefits that can enhance your business know-how. An online business degree can equip you with essential skills and knowledge in areas such as finance, marketing, and management. It can also provide valuable networking opportunities with potential mentors and investors. Plus, with a business bachelors degree earned online, taking coursework remotely makes it easy to run your business while going to school at the same time. 

Investing in your brand can help pave the path toward a more successful business future. A strong brand attracts customers and helps boost sales. Try the above tips, like creating a marketing plan, doing competitor research, and returning to school to amp up your business acumen for maximum impact.

Owl & Pen crafts exceptional content to help small, local businesses (like yours!) thrive online. Reach out today to learn more! 603-593-2016



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