How to brand your small business on a budget

Think branding is just for big shots? Think again! There’s a number of simple yet effective things you can do for your small business to ensure it is seen and remembered by as large of an audience as possible. Of course, there are times where you will need to invest a little bit of money into your branding, but you can be confident that you will see a strong ROI soon enough.

Identify your buyer personas

Step one is to do a little research into the needs, goals and behaviours of your potential customers. This will help you determine how to convey your product or service to the masses in the most effective way. You’ll be able to see what kind of media your personas are engaging with, what motivates them and what platforms they use. This will in turn help you create a more compelling brand that reaches the exact people you wish to target. From identifying what kind of logo your targeted buyer will be drawn to, to what kind of social media posts they engage with, conducting buyer persona research is absolutely invaluable to your branding efforts.  

There are free tools online that you can use to identify your buyer persona when you’re just starting out, so make the most of these resources!

Develop your voice

Next you’ll have to exercise your creative muscles. Your brand needs its own voice, which refers to the tone you use in your communications. Think about your brand values, what it represents and how you want others to see it. Will you adopt an authoritative tone? Or a relatable and bubbly one? Remember that your brand voice has to be in line with the product or service that you offer – for example, no one will trust an overly carefree doctor. Similarly, people will be put off by an intensely serious party hire company. If you’re at a loss, try researching competitors to see what sort of voice they adopt in their marketing materials.  

Get social

In this day and age, having a social media presence is non-negotiable. The good thing about social media is that you can choose exactly how much money you wish to invest into it, allowing you to market and promote your brand in line with what you can afford at any given time.

Before you leap into it, make sure to research what social media platforms your buyers are active on: there’s no point putting time, energy and money into LinkedIn if your customers are on Instagram!

Also remember that it’s not enough to simply set and forget your social media pages. You’ll need to schedule regular content so that visitors get a strong understanding of your brand identity. An empty or outdated social media page can in fact detract from your brand, so consider enlisting the help of a content manager if you need.

Try co-branding

Feeling frustrated that no one will even see the branding messages you put out? Try to get your name out to a broader audience by partnering with a brand that actually has a bigger audience than you.

Choose a brand that is related to yours but of course, not a direct competitor. Consider whether your partner’s audience will be interested in your brand, and whether your partner trusts you. By collaborating and cross-promoting, you can both enjoy various benefits.  

Get physical

While digital branding is very important, physical branding remains just as important. Almost any product out there can be branded with your logo, drawing attention to your brand at all times. Some product ideas include t-shirts, reusable coffee cups (great for demonstrating your brand’s social responsibility), bags and desk items – just make sure you choose one that is relevant to your brand. You can even run a giveaway to start getting your products out there at first and create a desire among your audience for obtaining your branded goods.

It can often feel like branding your small business on a limited budget is an impossible feat. However, there are a number of things you can do for free or with a small investment to solidify and promote your brand, thereby gaining exciting leads.

As the leaders in personalised merchandise, Promote It can help you promote your brand on your own terms. Our quality promotional products are designed to be seen, while also fulfilling a practical purpose. Contact us today on 09 917 1333 or admin@promote.net.nz to discuss your promotional product needs.