Last Updated 4 weeks by Emily Standley-Allard

What’s the difference between a brand and a business? Virtually nothing… But potentially everything. When building a small online business, whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re also building a brand. And everything you do, everything you say, everything you post and everyone you hire makes an active contribution towards that brand.

Many nascent small business owners can find themselves too caught up in the operational aspects of running their own business to give all that much thought to their brands. But fail to give branding its due consideration and you may find that your business fails to resonate with the people who make up your target audience.

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Chanel brand
Image by Pixabay.com

What’s in a brand?

It’s all-too-common for new entrepreneurs to hire a freelancer to design a logo and come up with a fancy slogan and assume that these two things constitute their brand.

While both are undeniably important, they are just the tip of the iceberg as far as branding is concerned.

Your business is what you do, but your brand is who you are. It determines how you are seen by others both inside and outside of your organization.

Or, as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos best put it;

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

Fail to take your branding into account and you can struggle to control the narrative of how your business is perceived.

Your brand should make a promise. It should represent a set of values that are directly tied to your mission statement. Your brand will leach into everything you do from how you train your employees to the tone of your marketing materials. It’s in everything from the quality of your products and services to your customer complaints procedure.

Think about what you want people to feel or think about when they see your logo or hear the name of your business.

That’s your brand. At least, it should be.

bmw brand
Image by Pixabay.com

Why Should I Think About Branding?

Still not convinced, eh?

We understand. We really do. When we first got started the last thing we wanted to do was create a ‘brand’. We thought that was just for big companies like McDonalds and Nike.

For busy entrepreneurs, branding can feel like one more plate to spin in their busy and chaotic working lives. Nonetheless, there are several excellent reasons why you should be thinking long and hard about your branding…

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Branding Gives You a Competitive Edge

In today’s busy and competitive business landscape, anything you can do to differentiate yourself from the competition should be considered a win.

Anyone who doubts the power of branding should consider why people line up to getting their coffee from Starbucks in the morning rather than visiting their local micro-roastery.

It’s not because they make better coffee. It’s not even because they have better service. It’s because they’ve worked hard to establish a brand that people associate with quality and prestige.

What’s more, if you’re not thinking about your branding, but your competitors are, you could see loyal customers defect to the competition, even if you offer a superior product and service. Why? Because…

coca cola brand
Image by Pixabay.com
 

Consumers Do Judge a Book by its Cover

We human beings are visually oriented creatures. It’s how we learned which foods were safe to eat and which animals were most likely to try and eat us. Your brand can become a visual representation of your business and create positive associations among consumers.

Your branding can help consumers to attribute certain characteristics to your business and subtly influence how they perceive you.

If you’re a blogger or creative, for instance, it may not matter how brilliant your writing nor how elegant your graphic designs if your website has an off-putting look or user interface.

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Branding Brings Familiarity

Ever wonder why so many people flock to see the latest Marvel or Pixar movie? Ever noticed that virtually every movie in your nearest multiplex is either a sequel or a remake.

If that’s not a testament to the power of familiarity, we don’t know what is.

In an uncertain world and a capricious economy, people crave the reliability that comes with familiarity. Familiarity means low risk and that’s especially appealing for today’s consumers for whom money is always just a little too tight.

Branding is worth a thousand words

Building a brand usually relies on a visual language complemented by a handful of well-chosen words. It helps everything from your website to your marketing materials to your mobile app to create an impression that resonates with your target audience on a subconscious level.

How to Easily Create Your Brand Style for Your Online Business

  • Write your brand story – what defines your brand (your mission statement)
  • Create a consistent logo to use everywhere
  • Include your brand’s color palette (generally 2 or 3 colors)
  • Choose your typography – Just like images and colors typography sends a message
  • Find your brand’s voice – Make sure it resonates with your target audience

Create Any Design You Need for Your Business 

Conclusion

Now that you understand the awesome power and importance of branding your business… can you really afford to overlook it any longer?

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