Recent Key Shifts in Approaches to Branding For Small Businesses
2017 has seen some great insight into what makes for successful branding strategies for small businesses and while because it is a fast moving niche it is vital to constantly re-evaluate your approach, by following some of these trends and sometimes even taking a leap to set your own you can become a real mover and shaker in the war of the brands in your given sector.
Understanding your consumer persona has never been more important
Read this statement. Engrave it on the walls of your office and repeat it as a mantra every day. It really is that important. Any marketer worth their salt will have spent many an hour agonizing over which is the best form of research to carry out to give them an insight into their consumer’s minds. Making use of tools like Google Analytics helps, but engaging on social media is undisputedly the best way for small businesses to get the chance to listen to their customer’s ‘pains’ and what they like and dislike. Before even considering rebranding or running a fresh branding campaign – make sure you understand your customers.
Mobile is the future and requires a distinct approach
Another statement to live by as a modern-day marketer. There is no doubting that the enormous surge in mobile use online is showing no sign of abating and neither is there any doubting the fact that mobile customers need to be enticed into your brand in a different way than other customers. Major companies like Airbnb and Starbucks have used apps to incredible effect – the latter doing an incredible job of keeping users loyal via their app experience. Smaller businesses may not have the need or resources for an app, but can use mobile-dominant social media like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to their advantage. Twitter and Instagram in particular can excel as platforms to forge a unique voice and contribute to your brand’s identity. Consistency is the key here. Engage in things that are happening in your local area. ‘Local’ is key as it helps forge trust and relationships with other businesses. Retweets, shares and cooperation are all massive boosts to getting your voice heard among mobile users.
Use future’s technology to your advantage
Using futuristic technology is often something of a leap of faith and is not necessarily recommended for those on a tight budget, but it can be a risk that reaps plenty of rewards. Oreo have always been very much on the pulse of future tech, with their VR video proving a great success. Using VR is definitely a great way of engaging with customers and ticks the mobile box (mobile users love video), while also providing a great opportunity to get across just what it is that makes your company unique. Facebook has invested billions on VR, and alongside close relation AR (Augmented Reality) there is no sign of it being a flash in the pan.
Do not be afraid to shed that corporate skin and go unique
There has been a monumental shift in the prevailing wisdom when it comes to successful brand identity. Gone are the days when standardized, safe logos and clean cut, uniform design was considered a must. Instead, 2017 has seen the continued movement towards unique design and touches like hand drawn logos and graphics, upcycled lighting and industrial or steam punk feel to shop fits, original photography and art and really a much cleaner slate when it comes to what is allowed. You could say that it is something of an ‘anti-design’ movement, but rest assured that it doesn’t mean not thinking very hard about design decisions and keeping to a consistent theme. No matter how off the cuff successful companies’ design themes may look, they will have been much deliberated and will remain consistent.