Small Business Marketing – Branding is Serious Business

Branding is serious business, it takes a lot of initial thought. A company’s brand simply cannot support itself on attractive logo images and font usage alone. The biggest mistake businesses make is focusing on the visual aspect of brand identity without first establishing the brand framework, which contains: the company’s position, unique selling proposition (USP) and marketing message.

Brand is defined as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers”. While the brand image must be both powerful and visually distinctive within the mind of the consumer, small businesses must first determine the most important component of the brand definition: how to “differentiate [the company’s image] from those of other sellers”.

Your company’s position and unique selling proposition are the frameworks that must be defined first. Once you have established your position and unique selling proposition (USP), move onto developing your tag line (if applicable) and key marketing messages. Both your tag line and marketing messages are extensions of your position and USP content. The marketing message must articulate the value your company will provide to the customer. Your marketing message must confirm your credibility, connect to your target market, motivate the buyer and set the stage for brand loyalty and evangelism. Once you have completed your content foundation, you are then able to develop the aesthetics of your brand.

When establishing all of the components of your brand, make sure your marketing messages are focused and consistent across all of your marketing communications. For the graphical elements of your brand, you will want to develop a corporate style guide detailing the use of your logo, fonts, slogan and corporate colors. Corporate style guides are imperative when you partner or start co-marketing with other vendors; but they also help you maintain consistency within your own company. Surprisingly, most brand alterations occur in-house; your customer service representatives may use email wallpaper or signatures that not only deviate from the company’s font usage specifications but inadvertently showcase unprofessionalism. Watch out for employees who switch out corporate colors on communication pieces because of subjective color likes or dislikes.

Branding allows you to create a visual picture of your company within the customer’s mind. Be sure to strategically think through the visuals and marketing content. Similar to the ongoing strategy associated with positioning, your brand images and content must be clearly defined throughout all corporate communication.

Yoga Studio Marketing – Branding

If you run a yoga studio, you’re lucky in that you have well-defined niche possibilities and an easy-to-target audience; however, you’re also faced with fierce competition for that same audience. In order to gain a foothold and elevate your yoga studio above the competition, you’ll have to develop a concrete brand image with which to promote your business. Here’s what you need to know about branding your yoga studio for success.

Importance of a branded image

When you have a well-defined market, branding is critical to success; and few markets are as well-defined as the yoga market. This is good in the sense that you know who you need to market to, but it can be limiting if you try to be everything to everyone within that market. That’s why it’s so important to develop a branded image that demonstrates how you are different from the competition, how you are better in one area than anyone else.

You can then promote your company with this brand image to win over a specific market segment. If you can establish your company as the expert in one particular area, you’ll do much better than if you try to market to several market segments at once. To concentrate your efforts is to concentrate your wealth.

How to identify your branded image

Identifying your branded image takes research and dedication, but the fruits of your efforts are incomparable. Start by learning as much as you can about your customers and about your direct competition. Seek opportunities that your competitors are missing and are also highly desired by your customer base; or, pick a particular segment your competitors market to and position yourself as being the best in that arena.

Your yoga studio might follow the philosophies of a specific type of yoga, or you might cater to seniors, women, pregnant women, athletes, children or some other market segment. You might focus on improving whole lifestyles or flexibility or endurance – or anything else that yoga provides.

Make a list of all the things that describe what you do, and choose your niche based on what you like to do, what is likely to succeed in the marketplace (based on your research), and what you believe you can best your competitors in.

Now, make a list of all the words that describe your specific market segment to come up with a unique name for your yoga studio. Consider your audience, your techniques and ultimately the results of joining your yoga studio. If, for example, you cater to pregnant women you might want to name your company something such as “Mommy and Me Yoga Studio.” You can be creative here and even make an acronym: MOMYS (MOmmy and Me Yoga Studio).

Branding through design

Skilled graphic design can transform your yoga studio’s branded identity from a written concept to a visual motivator. This image is what the world will see, and the public will perceive the ideals and emotions that your image expresses.

Most importantly, you want potential customers to see your logo at a glance and feel that you’re the perfect solution for their problems. When you achieve this, you’ve developed a powerful yoga studio brand identity.

Niche Market: Brand Your Niche Market

Driving your business solo? Get a strong grip on the wheel and hang on for the ride.

The thought may be cliché, but it’s more… As a business owner, you delve into a vast opportunity to greet the world on terms bigger than the Montana Sky, or a corner cubical in a local office shelter where you share the coffee pot. It isn’t the size of your business that will get you recognized. It is however, the size of your Brand.

When you find your niche and get specific enough about doing business to identify the people you’re doing business with, branding comes easy. The Brand you select may actually come to you by accident, or by suggestion from a client, or even… As a response to a comment on your website, that was intended purely for informational purposes. Wherever your brand comes from, once it appears, STAMP IT EVERYWHERE!

Viral marketing within your niche spreads your name, brings you instant recognition, and gets you noticed by others in your Niche. Some suggestions for Viral Marketing include:

1. Write and give away FREE reports

2. Write a Newsletter

3. Write an ebook and give it away.

4. Write an ebook with your links in it and give it away for others to add their links into.

5. Write articles that can be shared online and give them away with your link attached.

Viral Marketing Works. As a means of branding your niche, viral marketing offers the best opportunity to get your name out there, be seen, and be recognizable.