GUIDE: GROW YOUR BUSINESS | BONUS:
Brand Your Business and Advertise
What is a Brand?
A brand is a distinct identity for your business. It is the personality of the product or service that your business provides. Creating a brand doesn’t only showcase your products and services, but it conveys a way of reflecting trust and respect. Your brand not only includes how your customers may perceive you, but how your employees may think of you as well. Having clear brand guidelines are critical for keeping a consistent message.
What is Business Branding?
Business branding is just as it sounds: a brand for your business. Business branding occurs throughout the lifespan of a business, and can constantly change. There may be certain aspects of the business that you want to keep “on brand” – such as consistency, attention to detail, and always going the extra mile for your customers. There may also be things you change from time to time, such as a logo, slogan, or brand colors.
Identifying Your Audience
To find and understand your business brand there are a few areas of your business that should be reflected on and taken into consideration. The first being identifying your audience. It’s important to know your customer base and clientele by analyzing your current customers. A few ways to do this include conducting market research (link to Market Research step) by determining the blends of consumer behavior and economic conditions to improve your business idea, and or create buyer personas and understand the buying decisions you want to influence.
Next, create your value proposition. Find and understand who your competitors are, the needs of your brand, and how you separate your business from other brands by providing a different experience. After you’ve done this, determine your mission and core values as a business. It is important to be able to communicate your main goal and vision for your business.
Mission and Core Values
When putting your business mission and core values down it is a good idea to keep it simple and make sure it represents you and your business. This is a great opportunity to set your business apart and let customers and employees know what you stand for. Once this is done, you should define your brand personality.
Creating a brand personality is a way of giving human qualities and characteristics to your brand. Doing this makes your brand more relatable and allows customers to build a relationship with your brand which can lead to building a loyal customer following. After you have defined your brand personality, you will want to create brand assets that make your business stand out.
Brand assets are elements that differentiate your business and make it easy for customers to identify. Examples of brand assets include your brand name, logo, color scheme, and slogan to name just a few. By creating recognizable brand assets your business will construct its own unique identity and distinguish itself from its competitors.
Cross Channel Integration
A final factor to keep in mind is to make sure you integrate your brand across all of your business channels. It is important to show consistency and a unified message no matter what business channel a customer is interacting with.
What is Advertising?
Advertising allows you to promote your products or services to potential customers. It is a way to get your name out there, grow your business, and gain an edge over your competition. With the many benefits that arise from advertising your business, its importance cannot be overstated. Since there are a variety of different kinds of advertising options available, you will need to determine which methods will be most effective for your business.
Types of Advertising
Print advertising encompasses various forms of printed promotional materials, including but not limited to advertisements featured in newspapers and magazines, as well as brochures, directories, and flyers.
Direct Mail Advertising
Direct mail is a form of print advertising that involves mailing promotional materials, such as brochures, catalogs, newsletters, and flyers, directly to customers.
Broadcast advertising through TV commercials is known as television advertising. This advertising method involves companies promoting their products or services using commercials that typically last for 20, 30, or 60 seconds.
Radio advertising is a type of broadcast advertising where commercials are played during breaks in programming. This form of advertising allows customers to listen to ads while engaged in other activities like driving or doing household chores.
Podcast advertising is a method where companies sponsor podcasts or play advertisements for their products or services during podcast episodes. This type of advertising allows businesses to reach out to listeners who are interested in specific topics or niches.
Mobile advertising is a type of advertising that targets consumers through any mobile device with internet connectivity, including cell phones and tablets. These ads may appear on social media, web pages, or within apps, allowing businesses to connect with their audience while they are on-the-go.
Social Media Advertising
Social media advertising is a marketing strategy used by companies to promote their products or services on various social media platforms. With this type of digital advertising, businesses can target specific audiences based on geographic location, age group, or buying habits. By utilizing social media advertising, companies can effectively connect with their target audience and increase brand awareness.
Paid Search Advertising
Paid search, also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, is a form of online advertising. In this type of advertising, businesses only pay when users click on their ad. Companies bid on relevant keywords related to their business and determine the placement of their ad on the search engine. By utilizing PPC advertising, companies can effectively target potential customers who are actively searching for their products or services.
Native advertising is a form of digital advertising where ads are designed to match the style and format of the surrounding content on the webpage. Pay-per-click advertisements can serve as a form of native advertising since they often blend in with the other search results. This type of advertising aims to provide a seamless user experience and improve engagement with the promoted product or service.
Display advertising is a form of digital advertising that utilizes visually identifiable ads, such as banner ads located at the top or side of web pages or pop-up ads. Video ads that appear before or during streaming video content are also a form of display advertising. By utilizing eye-catching visuals and strategic ad placement, companies can effectively capture their audience’s attention and increase brand awareness.
Outdoor advertising, also known as out-of-home advertising, encompasses various forms of promotional materials that consumers see outside of their homes. This type of advertising includes billboards, posters, and ads displayed in public places, as well as on transit vehicles such as buses or inside subway cars. By utilizing outdoor advertising, companies can effectively reach a large and diverse audience, increasing their brand awareness and attracting new customers.
Guerrilla advertising is a type of advertising that employs unconventional, low-cost methods to capture consumers’ attention. This form of advertising often involves creative techniques and aims to stand out from traditional advertising methods. Ambient advertising is a common strategy used in guerrilla advertising, where companies place ads in public places using unconventional means, such as projection advertising or 3D installations. By utilizing these creative techniques, companies can effectively create a buzz around their brand and increase their brand awareness.
Product Placement Advertising
Product placement advertising is a marketing strategy where a company pays to have their product integrated into media content, such as a television show or movie. This form of advertising allows businesses to showcase their products in a subtle and non-intrusive way, creating brand awareness and increasing their audience reach. By utilizing product placement advertising, companies can effectively target their desired audience and create a memorable impression of their product or service.
Public Service Advertising
Public service advertising, also known as public service announcements (PSAs), refers to advertisements that promote a cause or initiative instead of a product. These ads aim to educate and inform the public about important topics that benefit society. Public service advertising often focuses on issues such as health, safety, and public welfare, and aims to inspire people to take action or make positive changes in their behavior. By utilizing this form of advertising, organizations and government agencies can raise awareness about important social issues and create a positive impact in their community.
Keep In Mind
An important tip when advertising is to always keep your customer in mind. You will want to determine who your target audience is and select advertising methods that are best suited to reach those customers. Another factor that is important to consider is the timing of your advertising. If you are not able to advertise all year it is a good idea to think about when your busiest season is and focus your advertising efforts on when people are most likely to buy your products or services.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions about branding your business and advertising? You should consider checking out our Resource Navigator. It houses the contact information of 400 of our most helpful partners from across the state, like the Small Business Development Center, who provides free to low-cost assistance to Iowa entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Q: How can I determine which type of advertising is best for my business?
A: Choosing the right type of advertising for your business depends on several factors, including your target audience, budget, and marketing goals.
Q: Is it possible to change your business brand?
A: Yes, it is possible to change your business brand, but it should be done with careful consideration and planning. Rebranding can be a complex process that involves changing various aspects of your business, such as your company name, logo, messaging, and overall image.
Q: Do I have to brand my business?
A: Branding your business is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended. Having a strong brand identity can help differentiate your business from competitors, establish credibility, and build customer loyalty. A well-crafted brand can also help you connect with your target audience on an emotional level, and create a lasting impression in their minds.
Want to save this information for later?
Enter your name, email and ZIP Code below and we will send the Grow a Business Guide to your email inbox for FREE!
NOTICE: The information included on this website is to be used only as a guide. It is not intended to cover all provisions of the law or every taxpayer's specific circumstances.
GUIDE: GROW A BUSINESS
Connect with Us!
Get insights, inspiration and events to help you start, grow and accelerate businesses in Iowa.