Corporate branding isn’t just for corporates. That’s the #1 mistake small businesses make—thinking of themselves as “small.” If you’re small, you’ll stay that way. Small clients, small contracts, small sales—and small profits. You get the picture.
But when you want to build a 7-figure business, it’s important to win corporate clients that will work with you over the long term and provide cash flow and sustainability. To land those clients, however, you have to look like you can handle them. Which is where corporate branding comes in.
How Branding Works
Branding is the practice of using symbols to identify your company’s personality in a way that influences your customer at every contact he has with you. It goes beyond your choice of a name and logo and includes the values and promises your company offers to clients. All companies have a personality; however, unless you communicate that personality effectively your prospective customers will not be able to believe without a doubt that yours is the only provider for them.
Here’s how to develop your company’s brand to reflect the kind of business you want to attract:
A Strong Public Presence
Few large corporates are going to contract with a company that barely has a public presence. And these days, that means having a strong online profile, which includes:
- A dynamic, up-to-date, interactive website
- Clear brand promise that is realistic and deliverable
- Solid positioning in your target market
- Content marketing that establishes you as an expert in your field
- Active social media accounts that engage your users with regular updates
- Sound value propositions that are readily available for prospective clients to review
If you want to stand out in your marketplace, you have to be easy to find, clearly recognizable and well-presented. And no, that doesn’t mean you need flashy offices and a huge marketing budget. Thanks to the principles of inbound marketing, corporate branding is done by working smarter, not harder.
More of the “same old same old” just isn’t going to make your products and services stand out ahead of the rest. Regardless of how good your offering is, unless you can differentiate yourself from other players in your market, customers have no earthly reason why they should choose you instead of the next guy. And if your quality and price points are close to your competitors, that rules out that as a differentiator.
Create a corporate brand that puts your company in a different league from your competitors by:
- identifying your market segments,
- targeting tight customer personas, and
- developing messaging that addresses the “pain points” of your target audience.
A strong corporate brand requires you to have a unique brand identity. Your company name, logo, stationery, domain name and marketing collateral all needs to reflect your identity clearly to give you the advantage over other players. This is sometimes difficult, especially in the services field where packaging doesn’t really apply. Business management consultants, for example, largely offer similar services and finding a way to present their “product” differently from the next one is challenging.
When it’s done correctly, branding impacts everyone who has dealings with your company, from clients through employees and business partners. Your branding drives sales, improves customer acquisition and attracts talented staff. By doing so, you present the image of professionalism that is critical to attract and land large corporate clients. The secret to achieving this is to develop a strong branding plan that identifies your core message and then relays it through comprehensive communications, professional platforms and quality graphic and website design.