Branding: the act of personalizing you in a way that you want others to see you. This can be done in so many different ways, from social media, online presences, down to the color and shape of a business card or the candle in the corner of the office. Branding is specific and branding is important. Without branding, people will not recognize you as the company they want to associate with; and while the branding status’ like those of Nike, Apple, and other big name products may not be available without a large budget and a large sum of time, you can reach branding success by doing a few simple things that are low cost or no cost at all.

Step one: determine what your company is all about. Without a sturdy backbone and a strong positioning statement, it will be hard to form everything else that will require your attention later on. Really take the time to analyze yourself and your company to really find out what makes things run smoothly. Look at what the company stands for and what it will not tolerate. You will have to do some internal digging to find this out, but it is a key element to understanding and promoting your brand.
Step two: Choose a color and font that you feel represents your style. Having a constant theme throughout any and all materials – i.e. fonts on websites, any print material, emails, facebook and all social media – is very important. This is how you start to have brand recognition, something that is crucial when it comes to attaining top of mind awareness and loyalty from your customers.

Step three: Be consistent in the promotion of your online materials. If you post every Tuesday, then post every Tuesday. Make sure to form a pattern, this is another key element in stabilizing your brand. Once you gather a following of people online, they will expect to see information at a normal and scheduled time. It also is a bit easier for consumers to remember when to look at your posts.

Step four: Use your followers to your advantage. Consumer generated buzz can be one of the best things for your business, and works especially nice when you don’t have much for a budget. Host an online contest to see who can take the prettiest picture of their morning latte, or challenge consumers to share their fitness goals and progress and tag your site in the post. This type of online sharing will get your business’s name out to that person’s friends and followers. So if one person shares your status, or tags you in a post, their 1,000 friends will also see your site, and soon enough click on it and hopefully support your business.

Step five: Be honest. There is nothing that you can that would be worse for your company or business than to be anything short of honest. If you cannot guarantee something, do not run an ad promoting that you can do that. It may be tempting to put an outlandish ad or post out on social media, in order to compete with the business next door who’s doing much better, but don’t do it. The last thing you need is someone giving you bad PR because you couldn’t give them what they thought they would get. Word of mouth will spread quickly, especially when the word is not a good one.

Step six: Be confident. No matter what your business is, or what services you provide, being confident in your trade and connecting with people on a personal level will always be key to securing your brand and your consumers’ minds. And if you do make a mistake, own up to it. This act will go a lot further than trying to pin the blame on someone else. Not only that, but this will generate some good PR for yourself, through word of mouth from that customer.
All of these steps are easy and attainable, and rather than spending your money, you will find yourself spending time on this. Paying attention to some of the details listed above, and more, you will have yourself a successful business in no time at all.