Want to build a strong brand? You might want to gather some valuable input from a branding expert.
Ali Craig is a brand strategist, author and star of the new show Fix My Brand with Ali Craig. The show airs on the Success Network, which is available on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire and online. In it, Craig works with small businesses to revitalize their brands and fix any issues so they can better appeal to customers.
Tips on How to Fix Your Brand
Craig also recently spoke with Small Business Trends to provide some tips to businesses in need of some branding guidance. Here are some of her top tips.
Don’t Emulate Your Giant Competitors
As a small business, your brand strength comes from your individuality. If you try to beat your major competitors only based on factors like price and convenience, you put your business at a distinct disadvantage. But your personality and unique brand can help you gain an advantage back.
Craig explains, “The number one thing brands miss is they look at the big guy and try to mimic them. But by doing that, you’ve lost your brand strength. A brand is basically a human personality put on an inanimate object. So you can use your own personality and lead with that to make a brand that is more magnetic and stronger with your audience instead of competing with those large companies and following the same model that they do.”
Inject Your Own Personality
So how do you add that personality to your brand? Craig suggests thinking about the language and tone you use in everyday conversations and use that in your website, online content, social media and other materials instead of generic terms and industry jargon.
You can also create a stronger brand through visuals. Instead of opting for generic stock photos, share photos of your team and your customers to express what your business and your products and services are actually all about. This can give potential customers a better idea of the experience your products and services can offer.
Don’t Forget the Little Details
Communicating your brand message isn’t just about adding some fun language into your blog posts and social media. It’s something that you should take into account in every aspect of your business. Craig offered the example of a client invoice. Instead of just sending a basic form with numbers and a basic description of your services each month, include a unique recap of the experience you offered that they’re now paying you for. This adds to your brand image while also making more of a memorable experience for your customers.
She also added that sending personalized emails, rather than automated ones, can help you better communicate with customers and share that unique brand experience. Or if you want to really set your brand apart, actually pick up the phone and call people, leaving personalized voicemails thanking them for their business.
Consider the Psychology of Your Customers
Creating a strong small business brand is mainly about creating connections with customers. So you have to consider the psychology of your target customers in order to make real connections with them through your brand.
Craig elaborates, “You have to consider the psychology. Who is your audience and what are they really wanting or needing? It’s not about the logistics or the actual product or service that has them saying yes to your brand. It’s about your relationship with them and what it brings or fulfills in their life. That experience you bring and connection you create is what makes them say yes.”
Look at Stats, but Don’t Rely on Them
For that reason, Craig says your analytics and statistics shouldn’t shape all of your decisions. Of course, you’ll still want to look at the numbers to see things like popular products and effective forms of content. But don’t rely on them fully when it comes to making decisions about your brand. Since trends can change so quickly, it’s important to place more stock in things like customer psychology to shape your branding decisions.
Craig says, “It used to be that we’d see a major shift in consumer preferences every six to eight years. But now customers are shifting every six to eight months. So while you do still need to look at some statistics, they won’t necessarily guide you in the same way they used to. Instead you have to really know and understand your customers and the psychology behind how they make decisions.”