How to Brand Your Small Business

Never underestimate the value of your brand. If anyone sees the Nike Swoosh, they immediately recognize it, and are reminded of power, determination, and competitiveness. If people see the Apple logo, they think innovation and sleekness. This brand awareness didn't happen overnight. It was cultivated through a devoted process of giving customers a consistent message that was aligned with the company's goals.

So how do you brand your small business?

Well, who are your customers?

If you’re a whole seafood company, you know your customers are chefs, food connoisseurs, and fish lovers. What do these people care about? What other brands do they admire? Do some research into their likes, dislikes, and buying patterns.

What's your company's mission?

Is the backbone of your company sustainability, or is it affordable prices? Write out a detailed mission statement (maybe you'll share this with your customers, or maybe it's just the framework you use while you build your brand) and share it with everyone on your team. Make sure every employee is on board with the mission. If they're not, they might not be a good fit for your company.

Logo and Slogan Time

A great logo is usually not complex. It just works. Think about Brooklyn Brewery's logo. Would that company be where it is today without their classic, timeless logo (designed, by the way, by the legend, Milton Glaser)? Probably not. It's hard to say what makes a logo work or not. The only thing we can say for sure is that it usually takes many iterations until you find the right one. But when you do, you’ll know it.

Be consistent

Across all platforms—your website, your catalog, your social media and even your invoices—your brand must always have the same message and personality. This is where leadership comes in. Make sure every employee has a deep understanding of what your company is about—the tone, style, and image. There should never be an off note. And you as the founder will always know when something isn't aligned with your vision.