Book Review: Branding Basics for Small Business

With all the attention put on Internet marketing and social media, it’s frustrating how little stock small businesses put into branding. That’s why Branding Basics for Small Businesses by Maria Ross is such a joy to read. It simplifies what branding is, why it’s important, and then helps readers determine their own branding strategy.

First the Basics

Knowing that many small business owners may be daunted by what branding is, she makes it simple to understand:

Brand communication is like a three-legged stool: it is expressed not only visually (in your logo, design, or colors), but verbally (in the words you use or copy you write), and experientially as well.

Ross looks at typical branding myths, some of which might be keeping you from examining your own marketing strategy:

  • Myth 1: Branding is difficult and time-consuming
  • Myth 2: Branding is expensive
  • Myth 3: Branding is all fluff
  • Myth 4: All designers are the same

Ross goes in to dispelling each of these myths, backing up her points with solid examples.

Building Your Own Branding Strategy

Using the advice Ross provides, you’ll be able to start thinking about your business’ branding strategy. She even provides questions you can ask yourself to guide you toward your brand positioning. Using ten questions, Ross encourages you to complete exercises to define what your company does and what makes it unique.

Where Your Brand Shines Through

Once you’ve set your branding strategy, use it everywhere you market. Use it on your social media channels, such as Twitter and Facebook. Include your company logo and use brand communications to create a cohesive message across all channels. Use it in your company press releases, and on your company blog. Your email newsletter is also a great place to let your branding shine. The more places customers see consistent visual and verbal messaging from you, the faster they’ll recognize your brand.

Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s written two books: 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and has blogged for several sites, including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, as well as MashableSmall Business TrendsCorpNet and Lead411. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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