4 Things You Shouldn’t Forget to Brand

By Emily Suess

One of the best ways to keep your small business on people’s minds is to brand everything in sight. The more visible and recognizable your company, the better the chances that customers and clients will think of you the next time they’re looking for the products or services you offer.

Most small business owners are diligent in making sure their websites, stationery, vehicles, coffee mugs, and mouse pads are branded. But here are four things you might have overlooked.

Your 404 Error Page

Even though your website’s banner logo is probably displayed at the top of all your webpages, branding your 404 page is an absolute must. Instead of letting your site visitors flounder on a page with a run-of-the-mill error message, write a unique message in your brand voice, wrap it with your site’s header and footer, and provide helpful options for visitors.

Things to try:

  • Make your “Oops!” message fun, friendly, and memorable.
  • Offer visitors a coupon to make up for the inconvenience, and encourage them to keep browsing your site rather than click away. (Your bounce rate will thank you!)
  • Include a search tool and recommend links for continued browsing.

Your Personal Devices

There’s nothing wrong with branding T-shirts, coffee mugs, and pens. But why stop there? Your smart phones, tablets, and other personal devices can also be branded with covers and cases. Think about it. You could introduce complete strangers to your business at the airport while checking the latest headlines on your tablet or at your favorite coffee shop while catching up on email.

Your Shipping Boxes

Have you ever noticed that items ordered from Amazon all come in the highly recognizable Amazon box? No matter what you buy from them–toilet paper, books, or electronics–it’s all packaged inside a branded box.

If the boxes you ship your products in are advertising the courier you use instead of your small business, you’re doing it wrong. Don’t miss out on opportunities to put your small business in front of lots of people, from postal workers and truck drivers to the co-workers and neighbors your customers interact with every day.

Your Email Signature

Use a branded template as your email signature and automatically append it to every message you send. If you have employees, make sure they also use the branded signature you create, customized with their contact information, of course. Whether you opt to add your company logo and tagline or just the URL for your website, your email signature can communicate a lot about your business in just a little bit of space.

Remember that for branding to be effective, your message and voice need to be consistently communicated across every channel. If you are updating your brand rather than creating a new brand identity, don’t forget to implement changes across the board. That means switching your tablet cover and rebranding your website, but it also means pulling out that old trade show banner you only use once or twice a year.

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Emily Suess
Emily Suess is a full-time technical marketing writer in the software industry and a part-time freelance copywriter. To learn more about marketing your small business online, check out her copywriting blog, Say It With Me.

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