Jake Amos, Head of UK Marketing at Vistaprint
UK businesses ooze confidence, but sometimes find it challenging to communicate their skills. To help, Jake Amos, Head of UK Marketing at Vistaprint, leading provider of customisable printed and digital marketing materials, has put together the following tips on what you should be doing to support your business by branding effectively. There a number of small businesses in the UK that create incredible products and services and we would hate to see them sell themselves short.
Some advice on the role of branding to consider includes:
1. Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition
Differentiate your business from your competitors. Look closely at the area of your business that you are most proud of, one that helps you stand out from the crowd - then celebrate it.
It sometimes helps to think of your USP as your business's "claim to fame”. This could be innovation, family ownership, or even humour.
2. Define Your Core Values
Think about what you would like your business to stand for. What are your core values? What is at the heart of your brand?
These values could include offering quality produce, contributing to the local community or perhaps an environmentally friendly approach. These should then influence everything from your company culture to customers’ perception of your brand.
3. Convey Your USP and Values to Your Customers
Work out how to communicate these to your customers. For example, this could be via website copy and wider brand materials or even your strapline. Brand colours also communicate mood and support tonality.
Make sure you have an ‘About Us’ page where you can communicate your brand offering.
Although we live in a digital age, including reference to these qualities in-store or in-office will also ensure consistency across both your online and offline presence.
4. Tell Your Business Story
Communicating your business story will help you connect with your customers on a deeper level as well as increasing word-of-mouth endorsements. You can include details about how the business began and it’s growth journey to today.
By including details about the challenges and hurdles you’ve experienced along the way, you can help strengthen customer connection: A key component of brand identity.
5. Don’t merge into one
At Vistaprint, we recently conducted a study analysing the websites of 1000 small business in the UK. The findings published in the Small Business Uniqueness Report found that many small businesses were lacking in distinct branding. The report highlighted that many businesses used the same colours, fonts and words to describe themselves, leaving them at risk of fading into the background and merging into one.
The benefits of being able to communicate what makes a small business unique leads to improved brand awareness, recognition and recall which are all vital for long term success. Some businesses may be tempted to play it safe with fonts, descriptors and colour choice but it is so important to stand out from the crowd and harness your individuality.
It is always a confusing time when first starting out a new business venture, so do your research and have a look at what other services are out there, to provide extra marketing support and direction. For example, in addition to offering affordable and quality products to help your small businesses market itself professionally, Vistaprint also has marketing advice and resources available.
No matter what it is that makes your business unique, it's vital in how you position, promote, and talk about your brand. So, when you find that ‘something’, embrace it; it’s what got you to where you are today. Harness it, and it will take you even further.
Jake Amos is Head of UK Marketing at Vistaprint. Vistaprint is the leading provider of customisable printed and digital marketing materials, empowering millions of UK small businesses of any kind to market themselves professionally and affordably.
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