As a local business owner, you may think that “branding” is for the larger companies, like Coca-Cola, Nike, or McDonald’s. But, in reality, branding is for everyone, especially local businesses.

Jay Ferracane, owner of a brand development and design company, talked about the importance of investing in your brand and building your brand “rulebook” on The Growth Lab Show.

He says: “Brand is a promise, and branding is the signal that brings people into that promise.”

So, how can you create a strong brand? Here are Jay’s brand marketing tips.

1. Identify Your Brand Marketing Goal

When it comes to brand marketing for your business, Jay suggests first identifying your overall goal: do you want to be found, do you want to be recognized, or do you just want something to tether your business to an identity? Sometimes, identifying your brand goal goes hand-in-hand with creating your brand marketing story, something another Growth Lab Show guest, Hillary Weiss, talked about here.

2. Create Your Rulebook

Now comes the fun part: Actually creating your rulebook. This includes writing down the traits of your business, how you want people to perceive you, and how you want to relate to your customers. Hillary Weiss talks about how to do this, too, in her episode on brand story.

Here are some questions to think about:

  1. “Who” are you as a business?
  2. What’s your business’s personality? Are you fun, serious, helpful, etc.?
  3. What are your values for your business?

3. Know that Your Rulebook will Evolve

Jay suggests thinking of your brand rulebook as a magazine instead of something written in stone: Your branding will evolve as your business evolves. And, that’s not a bad thing, but if you know where you’re starting you can help guide the evolution of your brand marketing.

Think about the brands you love and how they’ve evolved over the years. Coca-Cola has released countless new recipes (some semi-disastrous – looking at you, New Coke), and they’ve also made some updates and tweaks to their logo and other facets of their brand marketing throughout the years. That’s important for your business, too. You can’t expect your branding to stay the same forever or you’ll be left behind.

4. Use Your Brand as a Decision-Making Tool

Making decisions can be difficult, but if you have something to help guide you, it can be a little easier. You can use your brand to make decisions based on what best aligns to your story, your values, and how you want people to perceive you.

Investing in your brand is an important part of building your business. Listen to more tips from Jay on The Growth Lab Show, and get more branding tips from the resources below.

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