Branding is just as important for small enterprises as it is for big businesses. What’s great is that you don’t necessarily need a multimillion-pound budget to build your brand.

What is a brand?

You may think of logos, labels, advertising and catchy taglines when defining what a brand is. All those things are part of what makes up a brand, but it’s more than that. A brand is a badge of identity, a promise – of the product and the accompanying quality of service and the benefits.

Especially in the early stages of growing a business, developing a distinctive brand that people can relate to, understand and find appealing will help your business stand out.

Five tips for building your small business brand

1. Be clear. As a starting point, it’s vital to be clear about what your purpose or ‘brand promise’ is – why your business does what it does and why it matters to your customers. Make sure that it is at the heart of your marketing activity but also runs throughout your dealings directly with customers and partners.

 2. Focus. The more focused you can be in your brand message, the easier it will be for your busy target audience to understand it. Keep the message simple and direct.

 3. Think about visual identity. Consider how your logo and other design elements support your brand message. Visual aspects such as colour can be incredibly powerful and say as much about your brand as the words you use.

 4. Be consistent in design. Avoid the temptation to chop and change from one campaign to the next or across different marketing channels. It’s possible to develop different messages for different types of people  while retaining a consistent brand – just look at O2.

 5. Embrace new ways of reaching customers. LinkedIn and other social media channels can provide a valuable way to present your brand, and engage with existing and prospective customers.