5 Branding Tips For Business Owners

5 Branding Tips For Business Owners

Kim Branding, Get Saucy!

Your brand is the personality of your business and just like every person has a story to tell, so does every brand. If you aren’t in control of your story, your employees and your customers are. It is imperative that you, the business owner, take the lead in telling your story – or hire experienced professionals to first, understand your objectives and then, take the lead for you. Often though, new business owners aren’t able to make the investment in fully turning over their branding and marketing efforts to a pro. If that sounds like you, here are things to keep in mind to ensure your efforts will drive engagement and ultimately revenue, which will eventually enable you to hire a pro and focus on what you do best.

1. Brand Identity: 

Who are you trying to reach and how do you want them to perceive you? According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Brand identity is defined as a set of ideas and features that a company wants people to connect in their minds with its products or brand. This identity is communicated visually using brand assets such as company name, logo, tone/voice, tagline, typeface, photographs, videos, other designs etc. Each of these should be created and developed while asking “does this fit in with our mission statement?” {Shameless plug, At Sauce, we’ve developed and branding and onboarding workshop called “Mission, May I?” to help clients define their mission, company culture, brand promise, vision, values, goals, target audience(s), customer experience and more. This workshop equips you with a solid foundation to build upon. If this sounds like something you need, we would love to chat!}

2. Consistency is Key: 

You’ll need an official logo to start. A few months down the line, you may realize you could really benefit from a tri-fold brochure, it’s time to have custom business cards instead of that vistaprint template… oh, and of course, you need a website – but you’re in luck because your nephew builds websites on the side and your best friends neighbor designs the bulletin for her church and can totally make anything you need, right? WRONG! Your assets must be consistent. Piecing out this work to the lowest bidder can be tempting, especially when the budget is limited and cash flow is slow, but entrusting a professional to consistently develop all of your brand assets is an investment you will be glad you made because consistency is key and piecing this work out to individuals who don’t even know one another is a recipe for an inconsistent mess that you will eventually look back on and realize you should have done right the first time around.

3. Digital Marketing: 

If you’re reading this, you’ve joined us in the digital age to some extent. I like to refer digital marketing as digital word of mouth with an exponentially farther reach than traditional word of mouth. In the same way that you can invest in a billboard on the side of the highway, you can invest in digital ads that will make impressions with your audience. There are approximately 286,942,362 internet users in the United States! That’s 88.5% of the population. This is where that exponential reach comes into play and you can really make a big impact. This is also where that consistency we talked about in #2 is a game changer. Not only should your assets be consistent but your tone/voice should be consistent across all channels. Social Media is a wonderful place to get started with your digital marketing efforts! Tip of the day though: You wouldn’t rent a store front, unlock the door and leave it with no one there to serve your potential customers; so, don’t do that with social media either. Make a plan and make time to provide valuable content, listen to feedback and really have a conversation with your audience. 

4. Promote yourself: 

In addition to social media, there are numerous ways you can, in the words of my good friend, Shawn Karol Sandy, Chief Revenue Office of The Selling Agency, “GO PROMOTE YOURSELF!” Know your mission, know your promise and know how to convey your promise in a way that communicates value to your audience; then, get out there! Go meet people, listen to what they have to say and understand how you can help them. Build relationships and be a resource. If you are selling something tangible, invest in a great e-commerce website and possibly a store front. Consider a networking group. We’re big fans of BNI (Business Networking International). Join a chamber of commerce. Get involved with organizations that will help you connect with potential customers while also giving back. Partner up with similarly-minded local businesses if they can add value to your brand and vice versa. Check out local incubator programs for potential brands to partner with. Rule of thumb that applies to all of life including promoting yourself, “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou

5. Pace Yourself:

Often times my clients expect the phone to begin ringing off the hook and for sales to skyrocket within days or weeks of launching a campaign. Sometimes, that happens but more times than not, I’m doing the job of managing expectations and reminding them that just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, it takes time to build a brand, grow an audience and become an influencer. The first sign of success is when clients aren’t just buying from you but they are buying in to your mission and helping to tell your story. They are so satisfied with the experience and product/service you provide, they can’t wait to tell their friends, family and the world! So, just because the phone isn’t ringing off the hook and your sales haven’t doubled from this time last year, it doesn’t mean you aren’t making valuable progress. It’s a long game where you deliver valuable bite sized pieces to your audience and cultivate a relationship with them. Then, when they’re ready to buy, you are their trusted resource. There was a time when Starbucks only had one location and all you could buy from Amazon was books. Now, these brands are global giants but it took time and a plan to build those brands. Know your strengths and capitalize on them. Follow the plan, adjust when needed and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Kim Garmon Hummel

Chief Branding Saucier,
Sauce Marketing

With over 14 years of kicking tail and taking names, I combine experiences from both creative and administrative roles to help my clients tell their stories online and off. I understand what it takes to achieve creative goals and why they need to happen in certain ways based on the structure of my client’s business and industry standards. I’ve been told It’s a rarity to find an especially creative person who can confidently jump into the analytical side of a project– I’ve also been told, I am one of those people.

On the personal side, I enjoy playing my guitar, watching my kids grow like weeds, cooking, antiques, refinishing furniture, experiencing new food, embracing all the very cool things the greater Memphis area has to offer and, last but not least, hanging out with friends & family. I call Bartlett home with my husband, two kiddos, two dogs and one cat. I firmly believe accepting who you are and are not is the first step to finding success in any endeavor.

Standing out from the crowd takes strategy, creativity, and perspective. At Sauce, we set our clients apart by establishing their expertise while also making sure the audience receives a relevant dose of their personality. We specialize in helping businesses tell their story online and off. First, we get their story out of their heads and hearts. Then, we refine and position their story to develop their brand identity, cultivate a brand promise and identify their target audience. Next, we develop all the brand assets to tell their story to their target audience, build platforms, launch and manage marketing campaigns and track progress. Working with Sauce means connecting with your audience in a meaningful way and ensuring they’ll want to know more.

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