A while back, I asked pet business owners in my Unleashed Petpreneurs Facebook Group what the #1 thing they would want to outsource in their business was. I assumed the answers would fall into specific platforms like...Instagram, Facebook, etc. But that was not the case.
Guess what most people answered??
Do you feel the same way too? Because, if so, this blog post is for you!
As business owners, we all have stuff that we’d LOVE to outsource.
Part 1 of our branding blog post series touched on branding through the eyes of your target audience, but I thought it was worth more time on my part to help you work through and establish (or reestablish) your branding. This is important whether you choose to do this on your own or get some outside help.
Before you decide on what your marketing priorities are, I want to clear up (& remind you of) two important misconceptions and ask you some critical questions. This will help you determine whether or not you should outsource your branding or if you should take it into your own hands.
The two biggest misconceptions of branding:
Logo = branding.
Branding is only for large businesses or chains.
The simplest answer to both of the above is that a brand is how any and every business (no matter the size) communicates with their audience, customers, or clients. It’s the complete picture of your business.
So, here are the top questions that I recommend you have answered before you make a decision or move forward:
What sort of reputation or experience do you want to give your customers?
For example, if you want your business brand to be associated with professionalism and simplicity, then you’ll want the look and experience of your pet business to reflect that. One small example is implementing a pet business software. You can use tools like this to automate communication and relationship management. And of course, this will help you book new and loyal customers that much faster!
In terms of your website for a professional and simple business, you’ll want to outline the exact steps necessary to work with you or buy your products. The easier you make it on them, the better! Consider researching how the eye moves on a website and adding in the important information where that is, etc.
What is your time commitment and budget??
If you say you want to be present every single day, but yet you really don't have the time for it, you're going to have to rethink your strategy. Either outsource the work so someone can do it for you OR figure out how much time you can realistically and consistently dedicate to building your brand strategy. From there, you can create a game plan to help you manage your time accordingly and pursue a consistent strategy, even while you’re away from your desk!
Look to other businesses (& they don't need to be pet businesses!)
While you’re researching what other businesses are doing, what do you like about some and not like about the others? How can you implement that? For example, Subaru is all about caring about safety, families, and growing kids. If you want to establish those sorts of feelings in your pet business, think about how you can make your customers feel that safety and reassurance when it comes to using your services. Maybe it involves using calm colors, social proof, writing what you know about animal safety and behavior, etc.
Why did you start your pet business??
Look inwards, and ask yourself what you were hoping to gain by starting your own business. That can give you great insight into the strategy, especially if you have a story behind it to back it up. The truth is, consumers LOVE storytelling and want to know the face or the story behind the business.
Define the reputation you want to have.
Here are some words to spark ideas for you: safety, reassurance, stress-free, wild and fun, chic and fashion-based, health, expert, sustainable, or science-based. These are just a few words to get you started, but I want you to go from there.
Think of a brand that you admire, and how they achieved their reputation. What colors are they using? What type of content do they share? What words are included in their messaging?
So, tangible steps:
Sit down and go through each of the above questions/directions. Reallllly get in the mindset of where you want to be 1 year from now when answering these questions because that will help you create a strategy in the highest good of yourself and your clients/customers.
Head on over to Part 3, where I’m sharing tangible, step-by-step instructions on how you can develop your branding.
P.S. If you know you want to outsource this process, we've got you.