5 Tips to Build a Successful Small Business Brand

You may have noticed that OneCoast is going through a bit of a rebrand. It’d been a while since we’ve checked in on ourselves and the truth is, good brand needs to evolve. The company we were a decade ago is not the same company we are today. Our customers and industry are evolving, and it was time we did too!

We took a long hard look at our culture, our voice, who we are, and who we want to be. I won’t lie, it wasn’t always pretty but it WAS amazing and eye-opening. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for decades, we wanted to share our 5 tips to building a better brand!

  1. Get to know your customers

To me, this is beauty of small business. When I step into a local boutique, I know the experience is going to be a personal one.  A sense of community is so important and for a brand to be successful they must connect with their customers. If you aren’t getting to know your customers, it might be time to start! This past weekend I went into a local plant shop just to look around and was immediately greeted by staff. Despite a full and bustling store, they asked questions, listened and ended up helping me find the perfect plant for me. If that hadn’t happened, I would have left empty handed!

  1. Be yourself

Customers don’t just buy into the products you offer, they buy into your story. Don’t be afraid to be yourself! In the world of Pinterest-perfect store fronts and pristine Instagram feeds, it can be intimidating to put yourself out there. Customers value authenticity and transparency. So hop on those Instagram stories or IG TV and let them in. Ask yourself “what makes your store unique” and shout it from the rooftops – quirks and all!

  1. Have a voice

It’s not always just in what you say but also in how you say it!  Your voice is your brand’s personality, language, tone, and purpose. It’s how you and your staff communicate your brand to your customers. If you’re stuck on finding your voice, take a look at some of the brands you engage with. You can get an idea on how they are communicating with their customers but don’t forget to be unique!

  1. Be consistent

Consistency is key! This is a tough one if you have multiple people handling different customer- facing aspects of your business. Once you’ve established your brand voice and image, stick to it. Make sure everyone on your team understands your brand goals and the importance of consistency. For example, if you’re language on your Instagram feed is witty and whimsical one day and short and serious the next, your customers may have a hard time connecting with you. An easy way to understand this would be to think of your brand as if it were product. If your store was known for trendy womens fashion one day and then decided to sell only high-end home décor the next, that might make your customers scratch their heads. It’s the same with your brand!

  1. Have a strong visual identity

While there are many facets that make up a brand, your visual identity is an important one! You want your name to be strong and your logo to be simple yet stand out. This is one aspect of your brand that touches everything – your bags and packaging, your website, social media accounts, marketing, the list goes on. It truly is how your customers visually identify your business. When choosing a name or logo, try putting current trends out of mind. Trends are great for the short-term but you’ll want to choose something that can withstand the test of time!  Bonus – you can also pair up current trends with your brand in your marketing (but don’t forget your voice).

Written by Kim Smith, Creative Director