The best way to brand a small business.

Owners of a small business know they are light years apart in many ways when compared to a large business or multinational corporation. Budgeting is simpler for the small business, staffing is usually minimal, and the general day-to-day operation of the business is fairly straightforward.

But regardless of the size of the business, there is one challenge that all business have in common: branding. Successful small businesses recognize the importance of branding in the global economy and treat it as the crucial element of future success that it is.

To successfully brand a business requires a number of processes, actions, and strategies. The start of any successful branding of a small business is being able to define your business to yourself, your team, and your external marketing audience. Successful branding of a business plays a significant future role in lead conversion and public perception because your brand is what will identify your business now and into the future.

While manipulative branding is easily detected by viewers on the Internet, a properly defined brand with a specific strategy will positively stand apart from the competition. Improving on brand differentiation and sales techniques that will result in making your brand stand out further is well worth the time and effort spent on their development.

The following tips can get your creative brand engine revved up:

Give Your Brand Meaning

Branding requires brainstorming, with the end goal of creating a brand name that is succinct and descriptive. If it means nothing to you it will mean nothing to your target audience. To achieve the end goal you will need to do extensive research on the complete range of products and/or services your company provides.

Vital questions to ask during the early stages of selecting a brand are:

    • What does your product or service belong in the industry or market you will be targeting?
    • How are you identifying the rational and emotional needs of your target audience??
    • How does your choice of brand connect with your existing client base and how does it differentiate it from your competitors?

Bringing Your Brand To Life

When your company brand connects with potential customers, it will be because they see your company as a reflection of themselves in some way. Ineffective brands come off as lifeless and robotic. If you can create a brand that is actually alive, whether the completion is other small businesses or a huge conglomerate, you will have a competitive advantage. A surefire way to do this is to avoid mimicking the brands of large businesses. Your small size and close-knit operation in combination with a lively brand will create a fondness from customers who cheer for the underdog. Take pride in your individuality and brand and you will see the results you hoped for.

Some ideas worth considering are:

    • Demonstrating how your customer service is superior and more valued by customers than that of larger businesses
    • Showcase a very elite and close knit team as evidence of how such teamwork specifically benefits the quality of the product and/or service

Both of these ideas can be implemented through a Meet The Team video presentation or visual case study

Make Honest Branding A Priority

The end goal for branding is creating a long-term source of new clients. When you over exaggerate or play loose with the facts of your business you risk trading a short-term gain for a long-term loss. Such trickery often hurts a company’s brand, leaving current and potential customer feeling manipulated. The research shows that a negative brand experience will result in a person telling 9 friends or family about the experience, causing a loss of brand reputation and in all likelihood – business. It is essential to remain honest and only makes assertions that you can prove. Making a money back guarantee available to customers will help develop a level of trust connected to your brand. Be patient in meeting your expectations when developing your brand,

Keep The Tone Of Your Voice Consistent

There are a variety of ways you can project the tone of your brand using your voice. While some prefer a more casual tone, others place a very high value on appearing and sounding professional. In most cases, it will depend on the product or service you are offering. Someone selling skateboards may want the casual tone, while a business providing public relation services much prefers a professional tone. The final decision is yours.

Whatever tone you choose, be sure to apply it consistently across all dimensions of your brand. Customers love consistency, and keeping your tone consistent and reinforcing that consistency will get current and future customers to embrace your brand. Your company will gain a reputation for being genuine and transparent, and that reputation will be connected to the products and services you are selling.

Avoid Being Overly Repetitive

One familiar example of limited repetition is the “Leggo my Eggo” campaign for Eggo frozen waffles. The product and name repetition was catchy and popular for one specific marketing campaign but would be folly to continue to use it over and over again. This would be taking their brand and making it overly repetitive.

You should be confident in your brand choice and the products or services you sell. However, the goal of the brand is to reach your target audience. Once that goal has been reached, a foundation has been laid and you can move on to work on improving your brand or something better that will improve a specific aspect of your brand in a meaningful or original way.

Discovering A Balance Between Confidence and Modesty

A small business needs to believe that their product is competitive and has the requisite quality to be competitive in the marketplace. They must be confident their product or service will meet their own and the customer’s expectations. But upon entering the business arena they begin to lose heart after seeing bigger companies outselling them, believing that even with a superior brand they will fail to catch up with the industry leaders.

The truth is that customers, especially in North America, have an affinity to wanting to see smaller businesses that do their job well succeed. For example, in the United States, there is more than 28 million small business and they account for 54 percent of the country’s total sales. The numbers don’t lie. There is more than a little bias to people preferring small businesses over larger companies. This is not a matter of size but of the perception – or reality – that smaller businesses create higher quality products regardless of the product or service. Regardless of the size of the competition, you can have confidence going into the business arena that you can successfully compete and grab a piece of the market share pie.

Be Intriguing

The best brands will be clear and cohesive, but will also have a little intrigue added for the target audience. This means having people ask one or two questions in their minds that will cause them to inquire further. This will encourage them to engage the business directly, and let the tips discussed above shine through in presenting your brand. The result is demonstrating that your company is honest, transparent, and committed to both the product or service and the customer. Knowing what your specific niche is and being able to effectively communicate it without smothering the target audience with detail will help you walk that fine line between clarity and intrigue.

Branding your small business requires you to do a number of things to define your business, its products, and services, along with other aspects of your business which includes how you will meet the needs of current and prospective customers. Use the tips above to jumpstart your small business branding process, putting it on the path of success in the present and for the future.


Why hiring a design studio is important for your business.

Running a business is hard work, and when you are concentrating on establishing your company successfully in the marketplace and building up your brand, it can be all too easy for your firm’s graphic design to fall by the wayside. Yet the importance of hiring a professional graphic design company cannot be underestimated in this era of modern business. Let’s take a look at why this is the case…

Branding
Branding is absolutely key to the success of your business. It ties together your services, products, marketing materials and the entire culture of your enterprise while creating the right impression of your company and building up a clear picture of your firm. Today, the marketplace is a crowded place, and to be successful, your business needs to be at the forefront of customers’ minds. Branding is key to this. The stronger your brand image, the more you stand out from the crowd and the more likely your business is to be chosen from the competition. With high quality branding, you can boost your company’s sales and develop a powerful presence in the marketplace, inspiring trust and confidence in your services or products. Not only this, but potential customers will be made aware of how your product is unique and different from the others in its sector. There are a number of elements involved in company branding, and a skilled graphic design team can assist with them all. They include:

Logo Design
Your business logo is perhaps the most essential part of your company’s branding. Some company leaders fail to realise the importance of this element of their firm, yet without a logo that makes an impact on potential customers, how can you compete in the market? A professional graphic design company can help your business to develop a memorable and eye-catching logo that is high quality, easily legible and expresses your brand’s message effectively.

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Website Design
Web development is another essential facet of any company’s success. A high quality website will not only make your business look impressive but it can also promote your firm when executed in the right way. Product information, customer testimonials and a host of other elements can be cleverly included in the graphics of your site which will help it to stand out above the competition.

Promotional Materials
From brochures to letterheads, a talented graphic design company can assist in the preparation of high quality collateral materials that will create the right impression of your business. Aspects such as the choice of images and the selection of colours can make all the difference between your business card being noticed or being discarded.

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Social Media
Graphic design is key to the success of your social media strategy. With an easily identifiable logo, your posts will be instantly spotted and your brand awareness will be raised exponentially.

Creating The Right Impression
Failing to make the right first impression can seriously hamper your company’s success. With so much choice in the marketplace today, it is very easy for customers to look elsewhere if your logo fails to catch the eye or your website has an unattractive design. A skilled graphic design team can help to define the initial impression potential customers receive of your business and can tailor a conceptual design customised to your firm’s needs.

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Consistency Across The Board
Using the services of a graphic design team will bring continuity and uniformity right across every aspect of your business. Consistency of style, image and colour is key to making your brand recognisable and easily identifiable. Customers want to have the same experience whether they are browsing through your company brochure or visiting your website – for a start, this makes your company appear more professional which inspires trust and confidence in your firm.

Employee Unity
Another less well known element of strong graphic design is the sense of unity that it can bring to a company and its employees. When workers are surrounded by co-ordinated branding through stationery and printed materials, the workplace becomes a more healthy and unified environment for everyone, helping employees to feel a greater sense of commitment to your company.

Visitor Conversions
As a business, it is great when your website has lots of visitors, but the key to financial success is to convert those visitors into customers. When your website has a great design, it will not only look attractive but it will encourage visitors to become customers through the inclusion of relevant information and convincing explanations.

Money-Saving Initiatives
While some businesses try to cut costs by skimping on graphic design, this is a counter-intuitive move. High quality graphic design is actually a long term asset for your company’s brand, and failure to invest in the best can have a negative impact upon your success. Skilled professional graphic designers will move quickly to create the perfect design for your company, while the amateur alternative can only lead to poor results and an eventual and expensive branding overhaul at a later date.

Highlighting Differences
The business world is very competitive and you need to make your product stand out through its pricing, its quality and your excellent customer service. However perhaps the most essential facet to make your company stand out must be its creative design. Your business branding must communicate visually in order to show how it is unique in the marketplace.

Improving Efficiency
A poorly designed website is sure to be noticed and will have a negative impact upon your workplace’s effectiveness. Yet clear typography and user-friendly navigation will lead the way in your business’ brand while ensuring that neither employees nor customers experience irritation and frustration when trying to get things done.

High quality design is one of the most underestimated areas in business today, yet when company owners fail to hire a professional design team, the branding of their business is sure to suffer.

We can help your business in Belfast to overcome the challenges it faces today, offering a high quality graphic design service that is sure to make your company stand out from the crowd.


Studio Nifty one year on

It’s been a year since we updated our website and presented our new projects online. While our online presence has been somewhat lackluster we’re actually very much alive and busier than ever.

One of the setbacks of being in a studio of only a few people is that at peak times, working on maintaining and updating your own identity and portfolio get’s placed at the bottom of your priorities. But this year we decided to set aside the time needed to give Studio Nifty a new lick of paint and have our work presented in a way that would do it justice.

— We updated our own branding to reflect us as an agency more appropriately. We decided to pursue a more minimal and overall a more professional design which we believe presented a clearer image of who we are and what we do.

— We have been recognized by numerous online award websites such as web creme, site inspire, the best designs, site see, best web gallery, land-book and we were awarded best portfolio design by Web Designer Depot.

— We completed 30+ Brand Identities for startups, eCommerce businesses, hospitality and tech companies both in the United Kingdom and worldwide.

Most of the work we have completed can be seen in our portfolio right now and we will be adding to this in the coming months, Other work will sadly (due to projects being canceled and NDA’s) never be shown. It’s been a long journey, and for every day that passes it feels like Studio Nifty is moving towards the goal we tasked ourselves with when we started this agency over four years ago.