How to grow your brand: Tips for small businesses

How to grow your brand: Tips for small businesses

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Date18 Apr 2013
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Posted ByAdmin
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No matter what industry a company is part of, a brand makes an important statement about it.

A company's brand is more than just a name; it is something people identify with, trust, invest in and recommend.

Here are tips from experts, speaking to The Guardian's Efficiency Hub, about how small businesses can make their mark and ensure their brand is the one that people stay with.

Get online

In these technologically-driven times, it's essential to be engaged with potential customers online and through social media. Selecting domains and Twitter and Facebook names should be a consistent reflection of the brand name. However, sometimes this is not always possible.

Jonathan Arana-Morton, who founded The Breakfast Club café chain in London,
said small firms should choose a domain name that includes words people will enter into a search engine.

He explained: "We've gone through a few domain names but the advice we're always given is make sure your domain name contains the words that bring you up on Google searches. We went for thebreakfastclubcafes.com (it does what it says on the tin)."

"With Twitter and Facebook you can afford to add a little more personality to it - hence our use of TheBrekkyClub across these formats."

Mr Arana-Morton added: "Also remember when we started out in 2005 nobody had heard of Twitter, it's highly likely that the next big thing is just round the corner in terms of social media so make sure you're on board as early as possible with the identity you want."

Create an emotional connection

Kubi Springer, who has worked as a branding and marketing specialist for companies including MTV, L'Oreal and Blackberry, said small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need to really engage with the emotions of their target audience.

Ms Springer explained: "Make sure that you are creating something that will have a positive emotional connection with your target audience.

"Your logo, strap line, colour scheme, font and style are all components that should conjure up an emotion that resonates with your target audience."

Ms Springer also said employees should act as brand ambassadors in all internal and external interactions.

She added: "But also think about your target audience. What will resonate and compel them to buy into your brand?"

Never think of a brand as 'complete'. Brands are "living and breathing things", according to Target Media Communications director Paul Cash.

He said: "The best brands need to be in a constant state of flux, that's what keeps them relevant and at the top of their game. Rebrands are often a wake up call that brands have failed to move with the times and thus need to 'do a rebrand'."