The brand identity of your small business is basically how your brand looks, feels, and speaks to clients. It’s WHO your business is and HOW you show up.
Why should I care about brand identity for my small business?
People buy from others they know, like, and trust. And what they know, like, and trust isn’t your services or prices… it’s your brand identity. WHO your brand is. HOW you show up in the marketplace. WHAT you stand for. The personality of your brand (i.e. your brand identity) is what sells.
So if you want to grow a profitable business and make sales, you need a solid brand identity.
Now that we all agree that brand identity matters for your small business, let’s talk about how to build a brand identity that works for you!
What goes into your brand identity?
There’s a visual component to any brand identity for a small business. You’ve got your logo, color palette, typography, and visual vibe.
Then you’ve got your brand story. The narrative driving your business’s personality and the foundation for your small business’s brand identity.
There’s also your brand voice: the tone, attitude, vibe, word choice, slang, pop culture references, etc. that your brand uses to communicate.
All of these elements work together to create your brand identity. And unless you start from a strong foundation, with a compelling brand story, your brand identity is going to be muddled, contradictory, or downright confusing.
What is a brand story & why does it matter?
I work with so many successful small businesses who neglected to ever center their brand on a compelling brand story. They’ve done well, but they ultimately hit a growth ceiling. They can’t grow further because they don’t have a foundation to build out from. And that’s where the magic and power of the brand story comes in!
I’ll use one of my current clients as an example. They’re a fairly small civil engineering + landscape architecture firm. The company made waves when they first opened because several prominent partners from a larger firm left to start their own company. They do really innovative work and are super unique within their field because of the balance of expertise they bring to the table. And for a few years, they did really well just off their notoriety, quality of work, and loyal clients.
But then the newness started to wear off and they were ready to grow, but they didn’t have a clear idea of what growth looked like. They knew they needed something, but they were kind of lost.
So we started with their brand story. We dug deep into why they exist. What unique problems are they solving? What is it about their work that lights them up? How do they want clients to feel after working with them? Why do they want someone to choose to work with them over a different company?
A brand story is a narrative. It’s the actual story of your business. Where you came from, why you exist, what you do, who you serve… all written to show off your brand’s unique personality and voice.
Once this design firm client had a cohesive, compelling brand story, they were able to hand it off to their design team to give them some serious direction for their visual redesign. Their brand story made their priorities clear and showed them exactly where they needed to go to reach the next level of growth.
What does a strategic brand identity do for my small business?
A better question is what doesn’t it do?
A strategic brand identity:
- makes your business recognizable & memorable
- helps clients connect to your business on an emotional level
- drives more clients who know, like, and trust you
- gives you a clear path and strategy for growth
- connects you with the clients you want to work with
- makes writing content so much easier
Can you make sales without a clear, defined brand identity? Absolutely. I did when I first started my business without a brand story and clear identity goals.
But you’ll hit a wall. There will be clients who aren’t a good fit, work that doesn’t light you up, and a ceiling to your level of growth.
The good news is, even if you’ve been in business for 5 years, it’s not too late to recenter and build out your brand identity. You can always improve and strengthen your brand identity!
I think I need help!
No worries! I’ve got your back.
Here are a couple of options for you:
- Schedule a 1:1 copy consulting call. If you want to write your own brand story but need help getting started or staying focused, this is the perfect option. I’ll help you ask (and answer!) the right questions and even edit your final draft.
- Book a Brand Story service with me. We’ll dig in deep and uncover your true motivations, passions, skills, and purpose. I’ll use your insights (and actual feedback from your past clients!) to craft a compelling brand story for your small business.
And if this all feels overwhelming and confusing still… let’s talk! You can DM me or email me or drop a comment on this post. I love talking about brand identity and I believe it’s one of the most important investments you can make for your business.