For micro businesses, developing their brand and building awareness is a step toward ongoing success. However, often when many businesses launch, their branding is not at its fullest potential. After a small business is up and running, it’s a good idea to take a step back and see how the brand can be improved and yield more recognition from its audience.
If your micro business is ready to take its branding to the next level, use this checklist as your guide. This ten-point list will give you everything your business needs to boost brand awareness.
Double check that these four baseline branding elements are in place before you ramp up your branding efforts.
Most likely, your business name is set and you’re ready to go. However, is your business registered? If not, get on that today! Without it, your micro business cannot legally function as a proper entity. Use this guide to navigate the registration process with ease.
If you are without a business name, it’s time to iron one out. Pick something that is unique, easy to remember, and not incredibly challenging to spell. Recognition is key, so don’t overcomplicate things for your customers.
Love your last name? Put it in your business name. This is something you have to see and say every day. Bounce around a few ideas and check their availability before you decide on the official name.
Knowing who your business is appealing to makes all the difference in the world regarding a strong brand. Understand the ins and outs of your specific target market to develop a brand and business that aligns with their needs, interests, and wants.
Unsure where to begin to define your target market? These eight questions will set you on the right path and uncover the nuances of your ideal audience.
Your brand promise is what sets you apart from the competition. The term “unique selling proposition” (USP) often follows suit when mentioning a brand promise. Solidify what you want to deliver to your customers and test it to guarantee there is a point of differentiation from your biggest competitors.
A logo says so much about a small business. Ensure your logo represents the business’s values, ethics, mission statement, and brand promise in an engaging and memorable way.
Feel like your logo needs some help? These five design tips can help you navigate a redesign. Alternatively, use our design service to work with a professional to create the newest iteration of your logo.
Marketing materials to make your brand pop
The following six marketing materials elevate micro business branding to the next level.
Whether you have a physical storefront or your business exists solely online, a professional website is a must. A well-designed website communicates your brand promise and mission to the entire world. Having an online presence that is consistent with your other marketing materials shows a level of maturity and understanding what your customers want.
Building a website doesn’t have to be hard or time-intensive. With Vistaprint Digital’s website builder, you can create a custom site in no time at all. The easy-to-use software makes it accessible, no matter your level of technological proficiency.
It’s a subtle marketing tactic, but having a branded email address speaks volumes about the professionalism of your business. Ditch the AOL, Yahoo or Juno account, and sign up for a business email. While you can get a professional email address for free, it conveys to your customers that your business is legitimate and has invested in the proper tools to build relationships and trust.
Bonus: If you have a Vistaprint website, you automatically receive a branded business email for free!
A business card serves so many functions, but its top priority is boosting brand awareness. These small cards can be left behind at events, handed out to new acquaintances or dropped off at local chambers of commerce. Since they include all of your pertinent contact information, they serve as a mini flyer that people can pop into their wallets or bags and revisit when they’re ready to start a conversation.
Your logo, slogan, and branded colors should be part of your business card design, so it aligns with your other marketing materials. Consistency is key and your business card is likely one of the first marketing resources potential buyers will encounter before they make a purchase.
Maximize your business card’s offering by giving clients everything they need to make an informed decision about moving forward with your business. It establishes familiarity and makes your business available to your target audience.
Flyers & postcards
Speaking of mini flyers, having flyers and postcards on-hand is another way to boost your brand. These print marketing materials can be used in various ways and give potential customers something tangible to remember your business by.
Create timeless flyers and postcards, and leave white space so you can add in special promotions or a personalized note. These items remind people that your business exists and what it’s about. Use flyers and postcards to communicate your unique selling proposition, and reinforce your brand promise. People will remember these nuances, and remember your business.
Having active social media accounts is an organic way to build brand awareness and show your target audience a different side of your business. Social media is an incredible means of showcasing your products and services, directly communicate with your actual customers, and glean insight into the culture of your business.
Determine where your target audience is most active and sign up for those social media platforms. Commit to a regular posting schedule, so your followers begin to anticipate your posts.
Last, but certainly not least, is having your business listed in local directories. Nothing builds authority and brand recognition like showing up in local search results. Local search allows your business to present itself to your local audience and inform their decision about which businesses are convenient to them.
Getting your name out online, and in particular on a local scale, should be a priority for all small businesses since more consumers conduct online research. This is of particular importance if your business does not have a physical storefront or is in a location without much foot traffic. Local search is a way to get digital traffic and help people learn about your business during their pre-purchase consideration phase.
However, knowing how to register your small business can be overwhelming. Our local listings tool streamlines this entire process. Simply provide your business information once to have your business submitted to dozens of local directories.
Getting found online is a major component of establishing a brand from the ground up. Utilize the tools available to get the brand boost your business deserves and needs for long-term growth.
Good branding isn’t limited to companies with big budgets. Small, but conscientious changes to your digital marketing and online presence can yield major results. With these tips, you can enhance your brand and claim the authority and trust your business deserves.