Let’s talk branding: For your small business, medium business, business on wheels, whatever.
How about an improv exercise like we’re in acting class?
Scenario: You’ve done it! You’ve scrounged up enough funds, thoroughly helped by digging in your friend’s couch cushions, to finally purchase that perfect, little location for your very own coffee shop! Let’s call it ‘Spill the Beans’ – that’s cute.
It’s all decked out, the doors are wide open, it’s your first day as a small business owner and supplier of the liquid energy the human race craves. . .
But, no one comes. Too distracted with their busy lives, or the phone stapled to their face, people just walk past your shop. You’re Babu Bhatt, from Seinfeld, sadly standing outside your empty ‘Dream Café’.
Where did you go wrong? What you, and Babu, are missing is: Branding.
Data shows that people need to be exposed to a brand at least 7 times before they buy. You better get on that, quick!
Firstly, what exactly is branding?
Branding is a reflection of what a business is all about, and how they deliver a competitive advantage. Through the use of a logo, slogan, and design aesthetic, to name a few, customers can connect with a business.
With good branding, customers will recognize and remember your business, as well as build a positive reputation and association.
Look! Golden Arches! You feel like a burger now, right?
Just like Pavlov’s Dog.
Moving on. . .
Unsure what makes a great brand?
The 5 C’s of Creative, Strong Branding:
1. Competition: Good branding will help you stand out from the crowd!
(Continuing with our coffee shop scenario) Show perspective customers that ‘Spill the Beans’ has the best coffee around! Unlike that sludge they’re serving down the road. . .
A big name example? Target. Just look at that bold, funky design. They’re setting themselves apart from the crowd with cohesive, memorable designs. Target Australia is especially kicking it with their hire of Gok Wan.
2. Credibility: Trust = Sales.
Building up the trust associated with your business will get you more and consistent sales down the road. If your product has positive associations, your customers are likely to come back, and suggest it to their friends and family.
“That adorable coffee bean logo is from ‘Spill the Beans’! I’m suddenly reminded of all the consistently great lattes I’ve gotten from them, and I have the urge to tweet that out to all my friends!”
Example: Ebay. You need to be able to trust completely, that the pair of “Official Star Wars Luke’s Socks – Worn daily while filming Episode VI” are indeed the real deal –- or least that you’re able to get your money back if they end up being a new package of crew-cuts.