This blog post is made possible by Sara Stringer, site supporter.
As a home business owner, one of the most difficult tasks that you face is setting yourself apart from competitors. BusinessOpportunity points out that the number of female home-based business owners has grown from 10 million to above 17 million since 1992, and many of the owners are mums with children at home.
The stat is an indication there is a possibility that someone in the neighborhood or a few blocks away might be offering similar products and services as you, so in order to stand out, you need to differentiate your business... and this is where branding can be the difference maker.
Branding, however, has much more to it than applying the same typeface across all business materials. More specifically, branding stands for everything that you do: how your product and services are packaged, how your representatives deal with the customers, how you communicate with suppliers/employees/agents and how your business card reflects your brand.
And though there are countless ways to brand a business, the following strategies will turn your home business into a brand without crumbling your budget.
1. Create an identity
You can create a strong influence on your home business brand by creating a unique identity with core values and a strong vision of your business. For example, if you're running a bakery goods supply business in the neighborhood, your brand's identity can be the promise to deliver delicious treats seven days a week.
Identity also involves the visual representation of your brand, so you need to pick a colour scheme for the letterhead, business card, flyers, social media pages, website, etc. that resonates with your business. This is where you can take advantage of bundled branding packages that cost less than individual design packages.
2. Develop consistency
You can associate different identities with your business during the testing phase, and even try out a few campaigns with different outlooks to test what is working and what isn't. But after you determine the brand message that is working, reflect the same identity across every nook and cranny of your business.
Home entrepreneurs can also reflect a brand message through the very packaging and delivery of the goods they sell. Custom box printing can be used to print the selected color scheme of the brand, publish the logo and integrate your brand identity message on shipping boxes. The 2013 e-commerce packaging survey reveals retailers shipping brown boxes missed out on the opportunity to increase their customer base, so logistics branding does have an effect.
3. Associate a corporate voice
The corporate voice of your business brand will include the rhythm and the language that is utilised in all business communications. This voice also portrays an image that extends beyond the branding message and differentiates the business from its competitors.
This voice can be developed through a computer system or transcribed by a real person for both offline and online correspondence.
4. Communicate regularly
How customers perceive your brand matters in the end since they are the individuals who will define the success of your business. As a result, it is advisable that you communicate with them on a frequent basis. Communication can be to gather feedback related to existing products and services and what customers expect in the future. Do remember you'll need to courteously accept the answers even if there are some callous comments.
What branding strategies do you follow for your home business? Feel free to leave comments.
Sara is a freelance writer who enjoys blogging about lifestyle, relationships, and life as a woman. In her spare time, she enjoys soaking up the sunshine with her husband and two kids.
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