Whether you own a catering business, a vintage clothing shop or a service business such as a spa salon, you cannot mail a simple postcard, have beautiful packaging or tweet your latest promotion and call it a day. Marketing a small business requires consistency and strategy. Your overall business and marketing—everything from your logo to website to how you advertise, and reach out on the social web—should all come together to send a consistent targeted message. This includes your choice of words, the nuances of design, layout or color schemes and basically your overall visual communications to the consumer. These are your basic ingredients for good design.
Well-planned approaches combined with proper channels of marketing will not only promote a rewarding outcome – more sales and customers – but also reinforces your brand in the eyes of the marketplace. Without this consistency, you will not get people emotionally attached to your brand and you’ll end up creating confusion in the consumer’s mind. So why is it important to create these emotional attachments to your brand? Well, just as in human relationships, brand relationships evolve over time.
Generally, these can be divided into three stages:
- Most potential customers do not know the company, product or service.
- Customers may know the name or logo of the company or product, but they don't really catch what the company or product can do for them.
- Some customers may already know the company and what the product can do for them, but they have no emotional connection to the brand.
So take into consideration and establish which stage of relationship your business is in with regard to your consumer audience. In order to build a successful brand, you'll want to define these three things:
- Brand personality: What are your business values, services, ideas, attitudes?
- The relationship with the consumer: Do you understand the needs and wants of your customers?
- Icons: Symbols or other illustrative representations.
Over time, with a consistent effort in your small business marketing, you will begin to build relationships with your market audience. In so doing reinforces and triggers recognition of your brand and sequentially creates customer loyalty. After all, your brand is the foundational piece in your marketing communication – a connection to a promise for your consumer. And this is something your small business does not want to be without!