Branding is the key to marketing your business and something that can be a constant struggle.  To help explain how to embrace your branding, I want to share an example of one creative mom and how she learned to use her branding to properly market her business.

When Lucy started her little business she was driven by passion. She had a new baby at home and, like most new mums, was eagerly soaking up information about raising healthy babies. The more she learned the more concerned she got about the chemicals present in baby products. As she sourced out organic foods, chemical-free bath products, non-toxic toys and other baby-safe items she realized that there was a niche that needed to be filled.

She was on a mission! She found suppliers for the kinds of products that fit with her values and needs. She chose a business name, got a logo designed and got an e-commerce website up and running. She read about SEO and worked to increase traffic to her website. Over time, the orders started filtering in.

She got on social media and started promoting her products. She gained fans and new suppliers and started offering all sorts of baby and child items in her shop. She started a blog and newsletter to share information about the new items in her shop. She started offering gift packs and doing weekly special sale prices to attract more customers.

After all of this effort, she still just had orders trickling in on her website. She didn’t have many repeat customers, and found that many visitors to her site didn’t stay long. She had mums telling her that her products were very nice but they never seemed to buy anything. Lucy was discouraged…

What went wrong?

Remember that passion that drove Lucy to start a business in the first place? That passion was the beginning of a strong brand message. But once the business was named and the logo was created and the website was up, Lucy neglected to use her brand message to drive the rest of her business plans.

A brand is not just a logo or the look of your biz. It is the message that you communicate to the world about your business.

A brand message comes together when a number of aspects of your biz are in sync: you (your expertise, your passion, your talent), your products (the true benefits that make them stand out), your target customers (their values, their needs, their problems), and what is going on in the market place (the competition, objections, stereotypes and more).

If you can get solid about all of these things, you can create a brand message that is clear and consistent, one that creates recognition and trust, one that truly stands out.

But the next step is just as important: you need to use that brand message to figure out your marketing strategy, your sales methods and your plans for new products, pricing etc.

Lucy’s mistakes happened when she started trying to target all mums with all sorts of products, when she thought she was selling baby toys instead of peace of mind to worried mums, when she added a big banner about gift packs to her website and her ideal customers no longer knew they were in the right place to get their problems solved, when she used her blog and newsletter to promote products instead of talking about the real issues her customers cared about, when she relied on random traffic to her website instead of targeting the mums who she knew would love her stuff, when she started weekly sales and sold on price instead of selling the health and safety that attracted her to those products in the first place!

Here is a better plan…

Most people will agree that it is a lot easier to sell something to someone who really wants it, who really needs it. So how do you do that?

Figure out what it is you are really selling. Then figure out who is looking for that exact thing. Then figure out where those people are. Then create your marketing strategy to target those people. Then make sure that when they come in contact with your strategy that your message is loud and clear and that they know they have come to the right place. Then make it easy and safe and comfortable for them to buy.

Your product – your ideal customer – your marketing strategy – your brand message – your sales methods…. they all need to work together and build off one another.

If they don’t, try going back to the beginning again! It’s not too late to use your brand message to drive the rest of your business. And once everything starts to click together, I would bet that the excitement that you first felt for your little biz idea comes rushing back again.

Branding is the key to marketing your small business and can be a constant struggle. Let's learn to use branding to properly market your business.