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Branding Best Practices For New SMEs

In his book The Brand Gap, Marty Neumeier defines a brand as "...a person's gut feeling about a product, service, or organization." Branding, then, is a company's efforts to shape that experience. A definition of branding can be summarized as "The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol, or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products."

What's more important than the definition is an understanding of how branding affects customer experiences. For example, banners or interior signs that are inconsistent in style, language, or quality will mar the customer's experience.

Small businesses can follow these best practices like Toast & Jam Community to create a powerful brand that attracts loyal customers and paves the way for future growth.

1. Develop a Memorable Logo and Tagline

A logo or tagline is not a brand, but they are two components of branding that customers come into contact with frequently. Your logo is the visual representation of your brand. It serves as a constant reminder of who you are and what you represent, but it's not the only part of your identity.

2. Create a Consistent Experience

Consistency is another branding best practice. It ensures that customers can rely on your business to live up to its promises. When it comes to brand experience, 90% of customers expect a consistent experience across brand platforms. Brand consistency consistently contributes to revenue growth.

Creating a consistent experience starts with identifying the key elements of your brand identity:

  • Logo

  • Tagline

  • Colors

  • Images

  • Signs and adverts

If you plan to use your brand elements on signage, for example, you should have a sign maker create an appropriate sign with the correct logo and colors.

You can also make your life a lot easier by using a go-to market strategy template to streamline team and development communication and make sure you have all your bases covered before product launch.

3. Connect with Your Customers on an Emotional Level

The strongest brands are those that can create a strong connection with their customers on an emotional level. Customers feel good about brands they love, which is why it's important for branding to go beyond the logo to include all other touchpoints where customers interact with the brand.

It takes seven seconds to make a first impression. So it's important for your branding to reflect your target market and to stand out from other businesses. This process starts by identifying your target market:

  • Who is your ideal customer?

  • How old are they?

  • Where do they live?

  • What are their values and worldviews?

  • How can you meet them where they are?

Once you have a clear understanding of your target market, you can develop online marketing strategies that will make a positive emotional connection with potential customers.

How to Reach Your Target Market Where They Are

Customers can now engage with your brand anywhere, anytime. You'll need to create touchpoints and work seamlessly across many channels and locations. Your branding needs to go beyond just an attractive billboard design and into other visuals that customers can interact with and share.

By: Patrick Young,

Image via Pexels

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