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3 Easy Ways To Create A Brand Positioning For A Small Business

( How to Create a Brand Positioning for a Small Business - When you say your business name, what image or thought pops into your customers' heads? That's what brand positioning is. A brand positioning strategy tries to shape what consumers associate with a business to grow the customer base. Businesses do this every day through marketing, but it's a little trickier for a small business. You're probably not working with a huge budget or a marketing team to help. Do not worry! It sounds like a complicated concept, but it's a lot simpler than you might think. With some careful work and planning, you can develop the perfect brand positioning for your business, no matter what industry you're in.

  • Conducting Research

3 Ways to Create a Brand Positioning for a Small Business

Identify the target audience for your business. You can't decide how to position your brand with customers if you don't learn who your customers are first. This is unique to all businesses, but there are some similarities. Spend some time thinking and identifying the main audience for your business to focus your branding.

For example, the audience is very different for a local pub than for a trendy coffee shop. For the pub, your main audience is probably adult men and women getting off work, whereas the coffee shop might cater to a younger, more laid-back crowd.

If you aren't sure what your main clientele is, spend some time observing your business. Take not of who comes in, calls, and visits your website to collect some data.

Because you're a small business, your customers are probably interested in a more personalized service than they'll get from a big chain, regardless of the industry. This is an important part of developing a loyal customer base and is common with small business customers.

3 Ways to Create a Brand Positioning for a Small Business

Find your direct competition in the industry. The point of brand positioning is to differentiate your brand from competitors. To do this, identify who your competitors are. Analyze the market to see who you need to outperform with your branding and services. A quick internet search should help you find nearby companies in your industry. Make a list of all of these competitors to keep track of.

Your competitors depend on your industry. If you run a hair salon, then your competitors are other local hair salons. However, if you run a coffee shop, then your competition is not only other coffee shops, but restaurants and chains that serve coffee.

Depending on your industry, not all competitors need to be physically close to you. If you run an internet marketing business, for example, you could technically be competing with all other marketers on the internet.

If you can, try to avoid directly competing with large brands. They'll probably outdo you on price and availability. Instead, present yourself strictly as a small business with personalized service.

3 Ways to Create a Brand Positioning for a Small Business

Check out what your competitors are doing for branding. You aren't only competing with your competitors' services, but also their branding. Visit their stores, restaurants, websites, and social media pages to see how they brand themselves. This shows you what you have to compete against, and might give you some ideas for your own branding.

Don't directly copy your competition. Your customers will notice this. However, there's nothing wrong with taking some influence from other business branding ideas.

Remember that some competitors might not be very good at branding. This is another reason not to copy them.

3 Ways to Create a Brand Positioning for a Small Business

Find gaps in the market offered by your competitors. There are gaps in every market, even when there is a lot of competition. A big part of your branding is what you offer that differentiates you from your competitors. Use your research on your target audience and your competitors to develop a business that offers something different.

If you are in a market with a strong competitor, present yourself as if you are working extra hard to meet customer expectations. The existing business doesn't have to work as hard and you could take advantage of that.

If you're a restaurant or coffee shop, try to come up with super creative menu items that your competitors don't have. This gives customers a reason to come to you instead.

3 Ways to Create a Brand Positioning for a Small Business

Review your budget to plan your marketing campaign. Once you have a feel for the market, you can start planning your branding approach. Since you're a small business, you probably don't have a lot of money at your disposal for marketing. Draw up your budget to see what your limitations are. Then plan your strategy within these limits.

With the internet, you really don't need a lot of money to market your business. This is great because you can develop a strong brand campaign without a huge budget.

On average, businesses spend about 11% of their annual budgets on marketing. Keep that in mind when you're planning, and don't shy away from committing 10-15% of your budget to your branding campaigns.

  • Develop Brand

3 Ways to Create a Brand Positioning for a Small Business

Name your business to reflect your brand. A great name can really stick in people's minds and make your business stand out. There are countless ways you can approach naming. Try to align it with your main brand position. If you have a fun, wacky position, reflect that in your name. If you're more of a low-key, family-oriented business, go for a more relaxed name.

Try to get creative with your name to make it memorable. For example, Bowlorama is a catchy name for a bowling alley and makes it sound like a fun place.

Simple names might also work. For example, Joe's Pizza is a good name for a local pizzeria. It sounds simple, but that makes it a personal, small business.

It's okay if your business already has a name. You can design a branding strategy around it, or create a new name if you want to start over.

3 Ways to Create a Brand Positioning for a Small Business

Write a short positioning statement. Write in 1 or 2 sentences what your company offers. Explain what you give your customers and what sets you apart from your competition. This short statement gives you a guide on how to present yourself in brand campaigns.

Example: "At Martha's Bistro we use all ingredients from the region and serve everything homemade. Nothing in our restaurant is processed, canned, or frozen.” This makes customers feel like they're getting a home-cooked meal and sets your restaurant apart from others who may be using less fresh ingredients.

Remember to avoid making promises you can't keep with your positioning statement. If you present yourself as a restaurant offering fresh ingredients and then use frozen or processed meals, you'll lose customers fast.

If you can, try testing your positioning statement with a test audience of potential customers. If the statement isn't a hit, don't hesitate to change it.

3 Ways to Create a Brand Positioning for a Small Business

Think of a short slogan to communicate your position. A great slogan sticks in your customers' minds, so it's a huge part of brand positioning. Use your positioning statement to come up with a catchy slogan, just a few words long, that aligns with your brand and helps customers remember you.

Spend some time brainstorming your slogan and trying out ideas. Don't rush it.

A popular slogan for small businesses is something like "We treat you like family." This conveys the message that this is a welcoming place where everyone can feel at home.

For a long time, the slogan for Las Vegas was "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" to brand the city as a place to party. This could be a good inspiration for a bar or club.

Your positioning statement probably isn't short enough to be your tagline, but it might work if you shorten it. This is a good idea if you've come up with a really snappy positioning statement.

3 Ways to Create a Brand Positioning for a Small Business

Create eye-catching logos and graphics. Visuals are also a big part of brand positioning. Can you imagine McDonald's without the golden arches? Work on designing a great logo to get your business stuck in the minds of your customers.

Simple logos are usually the easiest for people to remember. The Apple logo, for example, is instantly recognizable, and it'sa great example of good brand positioning.

Remember to align your visuals with your positioning. If you're a low-key neighborhood pub, don't put lights and fireworks on your ads. This makes you look like a nightclub.

It's okay if you don't have any design skills yourself. Websites like Upwork or Fiverr can connect you with professional designers at a low price.

For a small business, photos of you or your family working are also great. This connects with your audience and shows them that you're a family-run business trying to make it work.

3 Ways to Create a Brand Positioning for a Small Business

Set a price consistent with your business image. Pricing is a big part of how your customers will assess your business. You don't want to drive people away with high prices, but you need to make money for your business to survive. Try to charge based on your branding. If you're advertising yourself as a laid-back restaurant, then you don't want to charge New York City prices for a simple meal. Lining up your prices with your branding is a good way to stay consistent and keep customers.

There isn'ta very scientific way to price your products or services. Generally, add up all your costs to provide your services, plus about 10-20% for your profit. But it also depends on what people are willing to pay, so drop your prices if you aren't getting customers.

In general, cheaper prices will attract more people. However, pricing doesn't always have to be low to attract customers. If you're a clothing company appealing to a more upscale crowd, then it's fine to charge a bit more, as long as the clothes are high-quality. This establishes your niche in the luxury field.

As a small business, you might not be able to charge as little as chain brands. However, you can make up for this with an excellent product and service.

  • Communicating with customers

3 Ways to Create a Brand Positioning for a Small Business

Tell stories about how you built your business in advertisements. Stories are a huge part of the appeal of small businesses. Customers love hearing about how you started the business with very little money and built it from scratch. This can really differentiate you from larger chain businesses that don't seem personal, and gives your customers something to connect with.

If you're running a commercial, for example, put a quick sound bite of you explaining how you founded the business. This adds a personal touch.

Add this story to written ads as well, like social media posts.

Don't lie with these stories. It's easy for people to look you up nowadays, and your business could suffer if you're exposed. It's better to tell a slightly less exciting story than risk criticism.

3 Ways to Create a Brand Positioning for a Small Business

Add your slogan and visuals to all company communications. The only way for customers to associate these with your brand is to show them! Whenever you design flyers, menus, ad campaigns, or commercials, always insert your slogan, logo, and any other visuals there for everyone to see. This puts your brand right into their memory.

Always add your slogan and logo to advertisements, whether they're on TV or Facebook.

Be sure that your name and logo is front and center on menus you hand out so customers know right away.

3 Ways to Create a Brand Positioning for a Small Business

Stay consistent with your brand messaging. Don't confuse your customers! If you advertise with one message but present another one when customers come in, your branding is inconsistent. This can turn customers off and stop them from coming back.

If you own a bar and advertise it as a swanky place to be, but don't have a DJ, lights, or a good sound system, then your presentation doesn't line up with your brand. Work on making your bar more consistent with your branding.

If you aren't sure if something lines up with your positioning, look at your positioning statement again. Use this as your guide to stay consistent with your brand.

3 Ways to Create a Brand Positioning for a Small Business

Offer great service to your customers. All the brand positioning in the world won't mean anything if you don't offer great service to your customers. The tried and true way to maintain customers is to offer great service, no matter what business you're in. If you treat customers well, they'll keep coming back.

No matter what industry you are in, most customers want friendly and efficient customer service, a good product and fair prices. You can't go wrong offering these.

3 Ways to Create a Brand Positioning for a Small Business

Engage your current audience as much as possible. As a business owner, you may be thinking about growth and getting more customers. But don't forget the customers you have now. Interact with them to make sure they are happy and be ready to take their suggestions or feedback. This creates a loyal customer base and helps your business stay successful.

This is especially important for small businesses, which are often backed by a small core group of regular customers. You can keep these regular customers in business, so stay on their good side at all costs.

Events like a customer appreciation day or coupons for long-time customers are a great way to get continued loyalty.

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