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9 Brand Building Strategies for the Small Business Owner

Building a great brand has never been more critical, or more challenging. With market consolidation in full swing and huge companies taking larger and more significant pieces of the pie, the ability to differentiate your brand and tell a compelling story is more crucial than ever.

The challenges of building a solid brand identity are even more significant for the owners of small businesses. Those small firms have equally tiny marketing budgets, so creating a great brand means making the most of every available dollar.

Fortunately, some of the most effective branding strategies are also the least expensive. Some of these branding strategies cost nothing at all, while you can execute others on a shoestring budget. Here are nine brand building strategies that can boost your profits and please your customers.

1. Tell your story. Whether your company is brand new or a decade old, you have a compelling story to tell, so tell it well. Take the time to introduce your team and talk about the inspiration for your company.

2. Keep your promises. No matter what your company does or how long you have been in business, strive to keep your promises. Working with demanding customers can be a challenge, but answering honest criticism with real solutions is a great way to build brand loyalty.

3. Design a memorable logo. Your logo is the first thing customers see, and what they see can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your brand. Strive for a logo that reflects what you do, one that tells the story of your brand in visual form.

4. Reach out to the community. Giving back to the community is one of the best ways to build your brand image, so look for ways to get involved. From sponsoring a community fun run to hosting a fundraiser for a local charity, there are plenty of things you can do to give back - and build a great brand in the process.

5. Use a consistent voice. From the logo on your letterhead, to the images on your company website, consistency is the key to building a great brand. So think about how each part of your marketing strategy impacts your overall brand identity.

6. Create a unique voice. It is easy to get lost in the cacophony of marketing and brand identity, so think about the things that set your company apart from the competition. Think about the things that make you different, from how your business got started, to how hard you have worked to build your brand.

7. Let your team members be your brand ambassadors. The members of your team can be your best assets, so take advantage of their knowledge and experience. Encourage your workers to participate in charitable endeavors, reach out on social media and help you build your brand identity.

8. Offer great products and stand behind them. No amount of branding can make up for substandard products and services, so focus on pleasing your customers and giving them what they want. Providing high-quality products at a fair price is a sure way to build a memorable brand.

9. Harness your customer satisfaction. Delivering excellent products and quality services is key to building your brand, but you don’t have to stop there. Now that you have established a solid base of happy customers, encourage them to share their experiences and make your brand even better. The more happy customers you have, the easier it will be to build an active brand.

Connecting with your customers is a critical element for any business owner. The big brands have done their time and can now rest on the fact that they have connected with enough customers, that now word of mouth and paid advertising can continue doing the job for them. If you want to succeed in today's challenging business environment, you need to think outside the box and look for new ways to connect with your customers. These tips will set you on your way to creating a solid base to build a successful brand and business.

Chris Cassar