Main Content

Back to Blog List

The UPS Store Small Business blog
  • 03 May 2021
  • By Leo Covey

Brand Strategy Guide: A Brand Development Template for Your Small Business

The origins of branding go back thousands of years and in today’s modern world of business and commerce, branding helps to differentiate your products and services. When your small business is properly branded, it can leave a lasting imprint on your customers’ hearts, minds and wallets.

Your brand is a unique statement and identity that’s wrapped around your small business and helps to set it apart from others like it. And the right brand strategy will help you create, communicate and maintain this invaluable asset across your marketing and distribution channels.

What goes into your brand?
Branding is more than designing a hot new logo and social media visual assets. Though those elements are important, they are the output of a journey that starts by asking yourself and key stakeholders some important questions. Each question will lead to a set of unique answers that can serve as a foundation to your brand strategy. From the smallest boutique dressmaker to the biggest multibillion dollar soft drink brand, every business in search of an authentic brand will begin their brand strategy process by asking and answering a similar set of questions.

  • What is your company culture, and what are your core values?
  • Are your products and services unique and innovative? Or are they a commodity?
  • How do you differentiate your small business from the competition?
  • Who are your customers? What are their expectations of your small business brand?
  • What attributes or qualities do you want customers to associate with your business and the products and services you offer?
  • How do customers experience your business? Are you premium and upscale or more accessible to the general market?
  • What does your pricing strategy communicate to people who view your brand?

Creating your brand assets
Your logo may be the hardest-working element of your brand strategy and a great place to start. There are other branding elements to consider too: colors, fonts, photography or illustration, and the voice and tone you use when you write copy. When used properly, all of these elements work together to create a collection of assets that become your brand toolbox. Work with a designer or consultant who can help you create a suite of brand assets that you can scale and repurpose for all of your needs, from the smallest social media profiles to giant printed banners. A designer’s job is to help you create a brand look and feel that establishes your place in the marketplace, conjures the right customer expectations and, ideally, is unique and authentic to your small business.

Think holistically about all of the elements that have the potential to adopt your branding. Many of the below elements are offered at your neighborhood The UPS Store®.

Deploying your brand assets
Back to those billion-dollar brands. Let us rattle off a few: the Swoosh, the Golden Arches, the two dramatic music notes you hear before you binge-watch your favorite show. You don’t even have to see or hear certain brand assets before you can start to place them in your mind’s eye. They are that iconic. No matter how small your business may be, you have the opportunity to create something meaningful with a strong brand resonance. There are a few keys to success in rolling out your new brand assets. A solid brand strategy can and should be a game changer for you and your small business if you do it right.

  • It’s all about consistency. Make sure every touchpoint is on brand at every turn. Your small business sits in a symphony of communication channels, and you do not want any off notes from the orchestra pit.
  • Communicate incoming changes. If you are launching a new brand or “rebranding” an existing small business, make sure to communicate these changes to your customers and key stakeholders, especially if you need to train them to look for things like a new logo or packaging.
  • Evolution vs. revolution. A brand is a living, evolving thing that should undergo a mix of subtle and dramatic permutations throughout its life. Avoid knee-jerk changes or reactions. Instead, revisit the important questions discussed above from time to time. If you arrive at some interestingly new answers, it may be time to make some adjustments to your small business’s brand strategy.

It is an amazing time to be a small business owner. Digital tools have leveled the playing field and given smaller players access to larger audiences hungry for unique experiences. With these tools comes the opportunity for small businesses like yours to seize that potential, break out and become the next big brand people are talking about. Good luck and happy branding!

Back to Blog List