The majority of businesses that exist in the United States are small businesses. These businesses developed from a passion and a dream, and after much hard work and determination became a reality. As many small business owners scramble to keep up with the competition, it can be hard to determine what expenses are necessary in order to maximize profit while delivering exemplary service to customers.

Most small business owners realize the importance of an online presence, especially in today’s technology-saturated world. However, many underestimate the importance of a brand. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, a brand is, “…your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.”

Ultimately, a brand is a complete reflection of the company it represents. It is crucial that this reflection be accurate and appealing to customers in order for a business to be profitable and successful. A branding expert can help develop a company’s brand in order to reflect and communicate the true essence of a business.

What is a brand? 

A business’ brand reflects what the business is through the avenues of visual, written, and intangible communication. Visually, branding consists of: logo, color scheme, fonts, marketing materials, website/blog design, products and packaging, social media imagery, photography and graphics, and business headshots. Written branding consists of: social media messaging, voice, tone, style, copy, mission and values, brand promise, slogan, and tagline. Intangibles include: costumer perception, customer experiences, personality, culture, and values.

Why do I need an expert? 

Although some business owners are successful at branding without the help of a professional, most require the assistance of a branding expert. A branding expert considers all aspects of the business and works with the business owner to develop a plan that meets their needs and reflects their business. Not only does a branding expert help develop a clear mission and vision for a business, but they develop a plan to communicate that mission and vision to customers in a clear way that is visually appealing.

Is an expert worth it? 

Hands down, hiring a branding expert will be worth the time and money investment. The clarity in communication, visual appeal, and overall assistance that a branding expert provides is never guaranteed to bring in more customers or business, however it is a very real outcome in most cases. When hiring a branding expert, always be sure to do some research about them before signing on the dotted line. Ask to see a portfolio of past work, and ask what their vision for branding your company would be.

Oftentimes, branding experts will do a consult for a flat fee in which they pitch their ideas for a business. This is a great way to test the waters to determine whether the expert will be a good fit for the particular brand of the business.