Done in the right way, this can transform the fortunes of your business, attracting new customers and keeping existing ones loyal over the long term. While it isn’t something you can do overnight, with persistent effort, it is possible to build a great brand even with a small budget and, in this post, we’ll explain how.
1. Figure out your company’s brand values
Your brand values, which are directly related to the goals and mission of your business, are what your company believes in. In other words, they are the differences you want your business to make in your field and what, essentially, makes your business unique. This could be manufacturing or selling the best products (think Dyson or M&S), offering luxury (Dior and Gucci) looking after your customers’ needs (Lloyds and Direct Line), offering value for money (Aldi and Lidl), or putting people before profit (Co-op and Nationwide).
If your values underpin the way you run your company, you can use them to your advantage. From a branding perspective, they will help people with similar values relate to your company. If you communicate those values through your branding and marketing, those who share them are more likely to choose your company than your competitors.
2. Create a tagline that epitomises your values
The next logical step in creating great branding is to think up a tagline that defines what your company stands for. This can be used on your website and other branding to give a clear message to your customers. Some of the more well-known slogans are L’Oréal’s ‘Because you’re worth it’, Nike’s ‘Just Do it’, McDonald’s’ ‘I’m lovin’ it’ and Apple’s ‘Think Different’. All of these, in some ways, encapsulate the values that the companies want to get across but do so succinctly and in a memorable way.
3. Update your logo in line with your values
The fact that millions of people spend money just so they can wear a company’s logo on their clothing tells you just how powerful a good logo can be. People don’t buy those clothes because of the logo itself; they do so because of the brand’s reputation and because they have shared values.
A good logo will be one which, like your tagline, encapsulates your values – think of Amazon’s arrow, an image that sums up its speed of delivery but which is curved into a smile that depicts the happiness it brings to its customers. Nike’s live life to the full, ‘Just Do It’ values are clearly seen in its tick logo. A tick says, ‘yes’, it says, ‘I’m doing it’ and it depicts a positive approach towards life.
4. Establish your brand on your website
Your website is the online home of your business and this makes it the single most important place to establish your brand. The page which plays the most crucial role in branding is the About Us page, as it is here where you will explicitly explain what the brand values and company goals are and why they are important to you.
For your branding to be successful, it is critical that you are seen to practice what you believe in. So, once you have written the About Us page, you will need to ensure that all aspects of your website are in line with those values. If, for example, you believe in creating technology that will improve your customers lives, you can’t have a website that doesn’t function properly.
5. Using social media
Once you have your values, tagline, logo and website in place, your next stage is to get the message out to the wider public. One of the best ways to do this on a small budget is to use the power of social media. The numerous social media platforms now in existence give your company the potential to share your brand message and your products and services with millions of people – and unless you choose to go down the advertising route, the only expense is that of the time needed to create posts and interact with others.
It takes time to build up a brand following and there will be a learning curve to go through along the way. However, with persistence, you have the opportunity to build up a sizeable audience that you can promote your company too. Some of your followers may even become brand ambassadors and spread your message for you, helping you reach an even wider audience.
Importantly, you must remember to reflect your business values in the content you post online and how you interact with others. You don’t necessarily need to post explicitly about them, but the manner in which you communicate should epitomise what your company stands for. Doing this in a consistent way will show your customers that the values are real and not just made up to help you sell more products.
Creating a brand gives you the opportunity to attract people who share the same values as your company and turn them into loyal customers. At the heart of this, is discovering the values your business has and then communicating those via your tagline, logo, website content and social media. While this will take time and effort, all of these things can be done on a limited budget.