From your product to your team, your small business brand is one of a kind — so celebrate it! Embracing your individualism is a great way to inspire a proud and positive company culture, and it can also be an effective marketing tactic. From the inside out, acknowledging what makes your brand special and unique can only be a good thing, so invest in strategies that amplify your individualism and honor all that makes you, well, you.

Brand individualism isn’t just a gimmicky marketing phrase. Consumers expect individuality from the brands they work with, perceiving them not just as for-profit enterprises but also as extensions of their community and world view. It’s important that your brand individuality is something that you can be proud of, and that you’re purposeful in sharing it with your audience.

Put individualism to work to help your brand stand out. Here’s what you need to know to take center stage and shine through all the big business competition.

Why Your Brand Individualism Matters

Today’s brand-consumer relationships look a lot more personal than they used to. More than ever, shoppers are looking to make an almost human-like connection with the brands they purchase from, with notably higher expectations in terms of brand value and personality. Ultimately, your brand has to stand out in the right ways if you want to compete.  

Of course, brand individualism isn’t just about separating yourself from the pack. There are a lot of big benefits to putting your individuality front and center, including:

Culture. Happy employees are crucial for happy customers. Positive brand individualism can’t be faked; it requires on-the-ground productivity, equality, and collaboration, all of which benefit your team and overall small business culture

Trust. Individualism leads to trustworthiness, which is one of the top deciding factors in whether a purchase happens or not, and is crucial if you’re going to be in it for the long haul. When your individual brand is out in the open, be it in the content you create, advertisements, or social engagement, you’re laying your cards out on the table. People admire businesses that don’t appear to have a hidden agenda; therefore, trust grows and thrives. 

Likeability. Individualism makes your brand more likable by giving it a relatable voice. And while being liked isn’t a necessity for being successful (just ask the cable industry), it certainly helps — especially for small businesses.

Brand individualism speaks to your ability to provide not only a great product or service but a great experience. As for how you show it off, keep reading to learn where you should start.

How To Let Your Individualism Shine

Your brand individualism isn’t just something that you talk about — it’s something that you live. To truly invest in your brand as an individual and form those key connections with your audience, you’ll need to funnel your resources in a couple of specific ways.

Company Culture

The culture of your company is important. While consumers likely aren’t going to be digging into your salary and benefits packages, how you treat your employees relates to your values as a brand and your individualism.

What do you bring to the table in terms of company culture? And is it in line with the message that you’re putting out there to your audience? It’s worth putting time and money into a great culture, and it’s a great way not just to talk the talk but walk the walk when it comes to individualism.

Social Branding

Brand individualism requires that your voice remains consistent across marketing channels. For that reason, your social media strategy should include branding driven toward engaging with your audience on a more human-to-human level. While your tone may differ depending on the channel, the overall story you tell about your brand should remain true to who you are and who you want to be.

Connecting the Dots

In terms of brand individualism, company culture and social branding aren’t siloed efforts. Instead, they’re more like two parts of a whole, contributing both separately and together to the individual persona that your brand puts out there. It makes sense then to merge them when you can, using one to elevate and enhance the other.

Some ideas for tying the two together:

Use a CRM. A small business CRM allows you to tap into who your customers really are. You can define them based on job occupation, industry, what actions they take on your website, and what content they engage with most. You’ll get a better understanding of the types of things that matter most to them, so you can dig deeper into ways your individual brand can appeal to your ideal audience on a wider scale. 

Highlight your team in posts. Don’t just give a voice to individualism — give it a face. Use unique social media ideas to bring the humans behind your brand to the forefront so that potential customers know real people working hard for them.

Create opportunities to stand out. Look for ways to illuminate your commitment to your company’s values, whether through employee programs, volunteer opportunities, or non-profit work. While you should be doing these things anyway as part of a responsible business and member of your community, you should also be utilizing branding as a way to spread the word about your efforts.

When you showcase your company’s values, you exhibit the type of brand individualism that inspires consumers to engage. Look for all the things you’re doing right when it comes to your brand’s identity, as well as for how you’re tying it into your marketing. From there, you can identify areas where you might be able to improve on your individual culture and branding, with the goal of ensuring both your business and your reputation stay golden.