Making and keeping consumers aware of your store is one of the backbones of a successful business.
One of the best ways to keep a small business top of mind is to brand it so that it is memorable and instantly recognizable. Gone are the days when taking out a local newspaper ad or listing your store name in the window is enough.
Yes, marketing your store as a brand takes a few extra steps in your marketing planning process, but it is well worth the time and money invested. Not only will it benefit consumers, but it also defines your business to your employees.
Shy away from copying any large store branding, as you want to make sure your store stays differentiated from the big box. As a matter of fact, there have even been some big box stores in our industry trying to sound smaller since there is a bit of a “shop independent” push happening across the country.
Here are a few other basic steps to help get you started:
1. Establish color schemes, taglines, graphics, fonts and tone first. These elements are the groundwork in creating your store’s image.
2. Now, have a logo designed or re-designed. A logo is the foundation of your store’s brand and it will be what people instantly associate your business with. Nowadays, you can easily access graphic artists through online design sites. You simply fill out a request form giving the designer some basic idea (or more detailed direction if you like) of what you are looking for in your logo. Within about a week, you will have several designs to choose from.
Some sites even allow you to only pay if you actually choose a logo. Just keep in mind that you get what you pay for and I would recommend picking more than a basic package. For those of you that have a logo already, maybe it is time to freshen it up.
3. Put your logo to work. Once you have a logo (or re-designed logo), make sure it is everywhere: website, social media, store sign, giveaways, shopping bags, email blasts, employee uniforms, etc. Your logo brings store recognition, awareness, and impressions – all of which are important to keep your store top of mind with the consumer.
4. Measure your brand marketing. Making sure your store’s identity is working for you is essential. One of the best ways is to track what drove that customer into your store. This is something typically done easily in your POS system. It will allow you to measure where your customers are coming from as well as track their ongoing purchases, frequency of visits, and responsiveness to your marketing activities like email campaigns and sales.
Now that you have put the hard work into establishing your brand identity, be sure to use it in all of your marketing activities – it is just as important as the name on the door. Be proud of building upon it and getting the awareness your store deserves.