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Quick Tip: How to Build Your Small Business Brand

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

In 2016, Lululemon — the athletic clothing store — decided it wanted to be known for more than its yoga pants, so the company, with the help of a creative agency, started a campaign to innovate its brand.

Together, the two carried out the campaign by expanding the idea of “what it means to ‘be yoga,’” The New Yorker reported.

It sounds simple, right? Not quite.

Last week, our Windstream Small Business team brought you some ideas on how to build your small business, including knowing — and building — your brand. Remember, your brand is much, much more than just your logo or your products or services. It’s the whole customer experience.

Small-business branding doesn’t grow overnight because it takes time to nurture a customer and develop that relationship.

So, what exactly does that mean for your small business? It’s about using the same fonts across different online and other platforms, about your core values, about creating logos and other insignia that reflect those values, about building your company’s online presence and about creating positive experiences for your customers and customer leads.

Really, it all comes down to one thing: consistency.

Here are some tips from our Windstream Small Business team on how to build your brand consistency.

1. Identify your target audience.

Who are your main consumers? What groups do you think you could reach through marketing and advertising? Group your target audiences by their similarities, and create buyer personas. These personas are fictional representations of your customers and customer leads, and data on each of these groups can reveal on which platforms they would like to be contacted and how often they want to hear from your small business. You can also ensure your messages are consistent with and will resonate with those personas — and measure the actions that they take!

2. Find your company’s voice.

Is your small business conversational or formal? Your tone will ultimately go back to your core values, or what your company stands for, and your target audience. All written materials associated with your company should have a similar tone of voice, whichever you choose. That doesn’t mean that you should repeat the same message again and again and again. Mix it up, but be sure that you’re applying that same style from your website to social media to ads to customer interaction.

That tone of voice should also translate over to all visual materials, including your logo. As an example, if your small business uses a more formal tone, you probably don’t want a whimsical logo, but something a little more conventional.

3. Get online.

If you don’t already have one, create a website. If you do, optimize it so that customers are getting to the pages they care about quickly. In other words, ensure that your website is loading quickly and that consumers — whether they clicked on a link or an ad — are directed to the right landing pages, or the relevant website page from the ad. As an example, if the customer lead clicked on an ad for graphic T-shirts, don’t let that page redirect them to your homepage. Optimization can vastly improve your return on investment from customers and customer leads.

Use Google AdWords to help with your online advertising. AdWords lets your small business set your own budget, making you pay only when someone engages with your advertisement.

Start a blog. Blogs not only give you an avenue to communicate with your consumers, but they also help you generate customer leads. And, over time, blogs will help bring your small business onto higher standing in search results, likely expanding your reach and engagement.

And don’t forget about social media! You can advertise on social media, sure. But these platforms will give you a chance to interact with your consumers about your small business’ brand. There’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn and more. A little overwhelmed? Your small business doesn’t need to be on all platforms. Remember what we said earlier? When you define your target audiences, you will get to know more about them, like how they want you to reach them. If your consumers are mostly middle-aged men, for example, you will not need to use Snapchat, which is more popular among teenagers and young adults. Facebook is by far the most popular with nearly 2 billion users. Here’s a primer on how to use Facebook to boost your brand.

4. Enhance your customer service.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the consumer. Make sure everyone has the same, great customer experience!

Now that you’ve started building your small-business brand, remember to augment the technologies that make your company run smoothly, too. Windstream Small Business can help support your company with phone, high-speed internet and cloud-based services that are designed to meet the needs of the ever-changing business environment.

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