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Building a Brand: Starting a Small Business

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With unemployment at 6.9 percent in October 2020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a lot of people have been toying around the idea of not relying on any company and being their own boss. Some have a natural knack for business while others don’t. Yet, building a startup is not simply just about talent but a mix of passion, hard work, and research.

Research

What do you do when you are going to an unfamiliar place for a trip? If googling about it is your answer, you’re on the right track.

Googling or searching online for information is a type of research. Research is the first step when building your own business. It is important because this is how you know your target market, or what business is best suited for your community.

Forbes stresses that it should not just be any type of research, but a comprehensive one. Comprehensive market research is a detailed analysis of your market and your area. It covers, but not limited to, gathering information if there is demand for your product or service and if your customers will be willing to pay for these.

Through research, you should also be able to identify your competition. Knowing your competition is key because it decides how you will price your products and services, what unique offerings your business can give, or if you should scratch your business idea altogether and think of a new plan.

In simple terms, researching before doing anything lets you know what you’re getting into. Researching the feasibility of your ideas first will save you loads of money, time, and effort.

Branding

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Your brand is your identity. This is how people will know you, and how you will define yourself from the competition.

It is the result of your research. You mold your brand identity based on your response to the data you have gathered in the beginning. Through that information, you get to define what your company’s mission and vision are. Your brand should also feature unique qualities that competitors do not have.

Knowing your company’s identity is only the first part of branding. The second part is building a look or a face for your brand, and how you get your message to the consumers. There are several ways to build your brand image.

First is creating a logo. A logo is important because this is the image that will pop into your customers’ minds every time they think of your business. Through logos, you create a visual connection between your market and your brand.

Another way to send your unique brand message is by developing a tagline. Most big brands have memorable taglines. Nike has “Just do it” while Apple has “Think different”.

In a nutshell, branding is what makes your customers remember you. By creating proper branding, you create brand loyalty among your valued customers.

According to Harvard Business School though, the pandemic has created certain expectations from brands. At some point, brands have ceased their marketing campaigns but after research, they found out that people still want to hear from them. At the moment, what people want to hear are comforting messages from brands that are a response to the ongoing situation.

Hence, when you pick a brand message, it is also important to stay updated and sensitive to what is currently happening in the community. Through this, your brand becomes unforgettable and relevant.

Protect your brand.

Once you have successfully created a brand, you have to protect it. Protecting your brand has a legal side and one that involves reputation.

One way to legally protect your brand is by trademarking it. Apply for this at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Trademark registration is a great way to prevent similarities and duplicity among brand entities. Registering a trademark makes sure that nobody steals your brand or you don’t steal anyone else’s.

Protecting your brand reputation or image on the other hand is important because how customers view your business is important. It lets customers know that you are a consistent and reliable brand.

Creating a great brand image can be achieved through constantly answering feedbacks whether it be good or bad. A great way to receive feedback is through communities. You can create a community through social media sites, but you can also do this on your own in-community app.

It’s constant research.

If you really have decided to pursue your own business and be your own boss, reading blogs like this is a great start but doing further research is necessary. Remember, a business should be carefully planned and well-laid out so you don’t waste capital and get disillusioned in the process.

Research also doesn’t just happen in the beginning phase of a business. It is a constant task that should be done to update you with current trends so your business does not get left behind.

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