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Reasons Why Your Brand Blends In Too Much

Have you ever stopped to think about a brand that jumped out at you, seemed pleasing to the eye, and low and behold, you felt okay in granting that brand your trust—and your purchase? This feeling is part of branding and brand building. Some of the corporate giants that are well recognized by their logo alone paid thousands of dollars (probably more) to perform consumer research on how people perceive symbols, what their tastes are, etc., and apply that new-found knowledge on creating the best graphic design money could buy. So, for the medium to small business owner, how important is branding and at what cost?

The mission of branding for small business is to get noticed! Then, build trust. You don’t have to spend thousands upon thousands—those other companies already have and the knowledge behind creating the right branding they paid to uncover is now available to the masses—and mostly understood by marketing experts. With the right team on your side, you can (affordably) get your brand recognized and your company noticed by the right people.

Here are five prominent reasons why brands, too often, get lost in the shuffle.

1. Lack of a memorable and unifying symbol.

A lot of small business entrepreneurs think a logo to represent their enterprise should be either A) cute, B) simple, C) easy on the eye and not complicated, D) memorable, OR E) visually represent what the company is about. Outside of ‘cute,’ what if you were to learn from top-level marketing executives that big companies strive for “all of the above.”

Without the resources of a large corporation, how can a small business owner come up with a symbol (logo) that tells something useful about their business while still remaining memorable? One tip is to consult a marketing agency who offers both proven design skills and a knowledge of marketing basics. (*cough*cough*) …

Then, the owner should collaborate, and sample draft a variety of possible designs before deciding on a final logo. Others’ opinions on the final drafts can be highly useful too—and provide a great opportunity to connect with your target audience by asking for their input.

But whatever you do, make sure the appearance of your logo conveys a message—or two—about your business. For example, if you run a cleaning business, the logo should communicate the importance of cleanliness to the owner and to the customer. Of course, there are probably a hundred ways to communicate that in an image. But a strong logo is a big piece to the branding puzzle. Be sure and take the time necessary to produce a strong, effective image that will help you stand out amidst the clutter.

2. Your brand doesn’t communicate a clear value to the consumer.

Let’s consider a brand advertised some years ago that did communicate value effectively: milk.

“Got Milk,” a widely distributed ad campaign, captured milk’s values, traits, and even personality into a mental image that people could identify with.

The brand did so well because it connected with the customer. Core values and tastes were brought to the surface, and people felt that “connection” with the product. Milk contained value that people had possibly forgotten about yet knew were important. That’s exactly what you want to achieve with your brand. It needs to connect. That may mean it solves a real problem in society, hits a specific “taste bud,” touches a nerve or emotion, or solves a problem people are facing.

When you can connect a core value to your customers’ needs/tastes, you will begin to see your brand soar in the marketplace.

3. Your brand isn’t built to convey trust.

Possibly, the brand you created as a small business owner comes across as generic. For example, you are a plumber and as such, potential customers see nothing in your ads or logo that suggests you are different from any other plumber trying to make a living. Your design and logo don’t point one way or the other as to your pricing policies, reliability, or honesty. This is a branding issue.

One solution would be to define and display a unique selling proposition—something that sets you apart from all others. Do you have a guarantee, a difficult to obtain award or certification, or offer something more than the other plumbers? Whatever it is that sets you apart should be prominently displayed across all platforms and imagery. In your logo, your website, your business cards, on your social media, in your mailed flyers—everything you use to represent your company should encompass this unique selling proposition of yours. That is branding—unified representation of your business—and developing trust is in the message you display.

4. You are not promoting your brand on social media.

If you don’t put your brand before the eyes of various target groups—which social media platforms like Facebook can offer—you limit the effectiveness your brand and promotional message can achieve. Social media was built to target certain audiences. For example, Instagram has delivered younger audiences, including adolescents, for some years now. Snap Chat also delivers a younger crowd. If you want to target your services towards the business community, LinkedIn caters to this audience. These avenues can help you reach specific, defined target markets. Whatever the importance you want to place on social media, SEO experts all incorporate social media in their overall digital strategies.

5. You aren’t engaging with your customers and potential buyers.

One of the other reasons, aside from advertising, businesses select social media to reach out to customers is to gain their feedback. This creates an interaction between service and client, manufacturer and buyer. Interactions start relationships; through interaction a service provider can begin to build a vital relationship with the people who could eventually purchase from them.

Engagement can happen even outside of social media, too. Maybe through customer service channels, feedback lines (800 numbers), or dialog boxes on websites, there are multiple ways for a merchant or marketer to gain customer feedback and communication. If a merchant will implement ways to engage customers, greater trust with the buying public will be established.
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