New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business Branding

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The New Year’s resolution is somewhat of an American tradition. All over the nation, January is spent coming up with new ways to improve one’s life. Many of these resolutions will be forgotten by Valentine’s Day, but that doesn’t change the power of this habit to make big changes in quality of life. Here are five New Year’s resolutions that can help you build your small business brand in 2011 and beyond.

  1. Narrow your focus. You probably have a good idea of who your customer base includes, but now is the time to define these people beyond a few demographic details. This year, take the time to find out what motivates your customers, why they initiate contact with your business, and what it will take to keep them coming back. Knowing how your market works, including how they think and what they feel, will allow you to hone your brand and put every marketing dollar to good use.
  2. Evaluate your brand. Do you have a cohesive brand, with a distinct and recognizable personality? Are you making a promise that your customer can believe in? Every aspect of your business from your logo design to your website should be part of a larger picture. Consult logo design and branding consultants if you aren’t meeting the mark.
  3. Involve your employees. Your employees are a huge part of your brand, whether they are bolstering it or breaking it. This is the year to inform employees about what defines your brand and train them to be a reflection of this brand in actions and attitudes. If you are having trouble in this area, it is time to look at your brand itself. A small business brand that cannot inspire the people who are on your payroll will be unlikely to inspire new customers.
  4. Center on value. ‘Value’ is the key word for marketing this year, and with good reason. While the economy seems poised to bounce back, it is very likely that customers will take their new focus on value well into the new decade. While most small businesses cannot compete with national ‘low price leaders’, value isn’t entirely about price. Offer something extra, and make that something a key part of your small business branding. This value will give customers a solid motive not to flock to lower priced options.
  5. Streamline marketing. This will be easy once you accomplish the first two resolutions. Once you know why your customer is walking through your doors or clicking on your links to begin with, you can avoid marketing strategies that don’t fall in line with this brand aspect while focusing on ones that emphasize it. For many small business owners, this means spending less money while reaping a greater reward.

This year can be another year of struggle or the year that you really make it big. The outcome depends on your brand and how well you present it. Making these five New Year’s resolutions will get your business on the right track—the track to success!