I say it often - marketing works when you stand out, not when you fit in. One of the best ways to stand out is with your brand identity. Big businesses use it ruthlessly (Coca Cola turned Santa's clothes from green to red...) and the smallest of businesses need to use it ruthlessly too. Otherwise, potential clients won't recognise you in a sea of competition (you do have competition...if you don't, you might not have a market either). To stand out, your brand identity must show your market:
While brand identity absolutely includes the colours you use in all your communications, it goes quite a bit further than that. It includes everything you use in your communications and even the words you use to tell people your business values, personality and services.
While the clearest examples of brand design are seen in consumer goods companies, it is equally important for consultants - competing with other consultants - and all types of small businesses, from accountants to IT service providers to nail technicians. A one-person business still needs a brand identity.
Understanding brand identity
Brand identity is the visual, emotional and conceptual representation of your business. It includes elements such as your logo, color palette, typography, imagery, messaging, and tone of voice. You can find examples of brand design on our graphics page here.
The significance of brand identity
Emotions play a significant role in shaping preferences and loyalty. When a brand successfully evokes positive emotions like trust, joy, or excitement, the market is more likely to form a strong attachment to that brand. A well-defined brand identity creates consistency across all customer touchpoints and fosters trust and recognition among your audience.
Defining your brand personality
Brands are often given human-like qualities and people tend to resonate with brands that align with their own personality traits or aspirations.
Understanding your brand's personality and defining it clearly guides you in consistently communicating it through appropriate content and visuals that align with your intended message.
Set who you are talking to
Knowing your target audience is essential for crafting a brand identity that appeals to them. Many many small businesses target to wide an audience and fail to reach them. Do some research - understand their preferences, values, pain points, and aspirations. Tailor your brand's visual elements and messaging to align with their interests.
Make sure your logo is memorable
Your logo is the face of your brand and it should be memorable, scalable and reflective of your brand personality. If you aren't really proud of your logo or find the version you have difficult to use, get in touch with Katti Lapidoth here at My Own Marketing Team, who'll help you get it right.
Choose and stick to a cohesive colour palette
Select a colour palette that not only resonates with your target audience but also evokes the emotions and feelings you want associated with your brand. Use these colours in each and every piece of communication, large and small, across all marketing materials and platforms.
Develop a consistent visual style
Consistency is key in building brand recognition and a weak spot we see is with imagery, especially if 'stock' images are used. Establish guidelines for the use of fonts, imagery, and design elements to create a cohesive and recognisable visual style and then stick to it like glue.
Write compelling brand messaging
Craft a brand story that communicates your mission, values, and unique selling propositions and then use it consistently, in your set tone of voice, across all communication channels.
Setting yourself up to succeed
Building a strong brand identity is a continuous process that requires a deep understanding of your business, audience, and market. By investing time and effort now in defining your brand personality, targeting the right audience, and maintaining visual consistency, your small business can create a compelling brand that leaves a lasting impression on customers and sets you apart from the competition. Then all your marketing and sales efforts from then on are more effective, saving you time, money and energy. Read more about our graphics services here and for help with your brand identity and all your design needs, get in touch with us.
Write in Danderyd is a full-service marketing agency that provides all the services the smallest of business needs to grow and thrive. What can we help you with?
1. Content marketing
Content marketing works to pull visitors into your website and to reach them there, on social media and by email. It is the best thing for building up awareness of your business and for taking potential clients through their buyer journey to the stage when the book with or buy from you.
In practice, this means putting new or updated material on your website, often in the form of blog posts and then spreading the news that the new material is there via the channels. For a small business, it can be the main source of new business.
We can help you work out what content to put up, we can produce it for you or use content you have created and help you get it out to your potential and current clients.
2. Social media marketing
Social media marketing covers everything from creating text and graphic posts, keyword research and posting to engagement and follower-building activities. For the smallest businesses, posting when you have very few followers isn't where the focus should be.
We can produce and publish your content and grow the number of people looking at it. We can do it as a project or as a regular activity, in as little as two hours a month.
3. Graphic design
People make decisions based on their first impression of a company, a person or a product so good design is crucial for business success. Small businesses need everything from a logo to social media images and they need them from the very beginning.
We work with you to create everything from a logo - including versions of your logo for every use, printing stationery and the right sizes and formats for social media sites (each, of course, being different!) - to newsletter design, brochure design, websites, signs, event equipment and everything inbetween.
4. Website design and management
Web design plays a vital role in how your brand is perceived and how your website works can allow or stop people form booking or buying your products and services.
Another important factor is how well the website works for you. Can you easily update it, add what you need to be visible and change the content without it taking forever? Does it look good when you make changes?
We work with you to find the best system for you and your business and then get it setup and running. We support websites made in all systems and can help you with anything.
5. Search engine optimisation (SEO)
If your website isn’t optimised for search engines, they literally can’t see it and won’t show it to your target market. SEO explains what you site is about and who the targeted audience is based on the information the site provides.
We provide SEO services designed especially for the smallest of businesses - so you don't pay for something you don't need (yet...!):
WEBSITE REVIEW: A comprehensive review of your website, including user experience (what it is like for a stranger to use your site), design and content, plus all the above SEO elements. Included are specific tips under each section and the information you need to see and work on your on-page SEO.
ON-PAGE SEO WORK: Working through each page on your website, we create and put in keywords, titles and descriptions for each one. We'll look at your images and add optimised descriptions for them too. As many or as little hours as you want and need
LOCAL SEO: If your target market is right in your neighbourhood, there are specific cost-effective SEO tactics we can use to get you in front of as many locals as possible.
OFF-PAGE SEO: Social media marketing and blog outreach are two affordable off-page SEO tactics that we can help you with.
6. Newsletter and email marketing
Potential customers/clients need to ‘meet’ you a good few times before they are likely to buy your products/services. Email is one of the cheapest, most effective and traceable approaches to get them understanding why they need to buy from you.
We can get you set up and ready to reach out to your audience and use our experience and your past marketing to establish what your audience likes to receive by email. We can run campaigns for you or help you work out how to do it yourself.
7. PR and media
There are occasions where getting coverage in the media gets your message out to the audience you want and need. We work with local, national, and international journalists and target press for both the public and specific, targeted audiences.
PR is perfect for book and research report launches, for example.
Under normal circumstances, we help organise and run events around the world. Right now, we help publicise and host events across the internet!
We can help with a whole event and we can help with just one element – signs and posters, social media promotion, online course systems and anything else.
From billboards and posters to pay-per-click online advertising, we can help you with your paid marketing campaigns. We will also advise you to stay away from channels and advertising tactics that don't work for the smallest of businesses - we'll help you spend your budget in the most effective way.
10. Sales support
Most business owners know, to an extent, how potential clients turn into paying ones (and the same for customers in/on a shop). What is harder is working out the point where potential clients/customers drop out of their buying process - where are you losing potential business?
We look for the entire journey the buyer takes and spot the gaps, supporting you with ideas, content and tactics to plug them and build up your sales. We can advise on marketing and sales automation too - getting technology to move potential clients through their journey without needing your personal attention. We can also work with you on specific sales campaigns, from filling the sales funnel at the top with new leads to converting prospects into buyers at the final hurdle. All with your small business in mind.
Why choose us:
Write in Danderyd’s marketing services are specifically designed to build and grow the smallest of businesses. That means the business you run from home, the consulting firm you have, the local business you’ve set up and any business that has less than 10 employees. Or no employees.
We pick and choose the best marketing tactics that work for the smallest of businesses.
We don’t recommend or use tactics that take a lot of time, energy and budget to action.
We don’t use tactics that need you to have 10,000+ followers on social media or an email list with 10,000+ addresses on it. If you have 10 email addresses, that is where we will start.
Learn to market your business yourself
Sometimes you need to market your business yourself and we support that too. We run courses and workshops (mostly online at the moment but IRL too!).
Check out our selection and let us know if you’d like to learn about something we haven’t got a course for: My Own Marketing Coach.
Every business is different. Get in touch with us to discuss yours.
If you look hard enough, you'll find a checklist for everything on the web and there are masses of lists of 'dos and don'ts' when it comes to designing a website. Amongst all the great ideas, there are some basic elements necessary for a really good website:
* like they can trust that the food will be good/safe to eat
* hungry (seriously!).
A final point that one of our team reminded us all of - if the website can relate the product/service to the visitor's own life, they will probably return time and again. That's what most of us want for our website, right?
This applies to all marketing - what it looks like and how it sounds are both irrelevant if whatever the marketing is isn't used. Or used effectively. So, if you want people to use your website, read your emails, talk to you on Twitter, try out your own marketing and see if it works.
(image credit: bokardo.com)