Effective branding is a common goal for many businesses, and for good reason.

Creating positive brand elements in consumers’ minds can pay off in terms of how your company is perceived and remembered — establishing credibility (or not) and ultimately determining whether they choose to buy from you. And you need to understand that your business has a brand whether you’re managing your reputation or not.

Consider these 7 tips for creating a successful brand for your small business:

— Brainstorm words and images you’d like to be associated with your business, then think about what makes it unique and memorable. From there, choose key words and phrases that will help set the standards for your brand and describe to others what kind of company it will be. Think in terms of a 60-second elevator pitch that summarizes those standards.

— List the actions that must take place for others to begin recognizing your new brand.

— Establish a strong visual identity by choosing an easy-to-recognize name and logo that align closely with the qualities you’re trying to convey.

— In addition to using traditional marketing and advertising, reinforce the tenets of your brand through your social networks, your website, your content marketing, your staff, your brick-and-mortar premises, your collateral materials and the way you interact with your community. “Many of the world’s best brands, including Google, Amazon, Facebook, Virgin, and Skype, spend modest sums on advertising and instead, focus on building and improving their communities,” states a recent article on DuctTapeMarketing.com. “Those companies understand that if people trust a brand’s community, they will extend trust to the brand.”

— Build credibility for your brand and loyalty from customers by displaying transparency, doing what you say you’re going to do and offering objective advice whenever possible. You establish trust when clients start to think of you as a valuable partner.

— Make sure your employees understand what your brand is trying to convey, and how they can help support that.

— Encourage customers to share their experiences with your company.

Finally, remember to be consistent in the messaging that defines your brand. You won’t be taken seriously if you keep redefining the key elements.

“People latch on to something they can understand and appreciate,” advises Nick Rice on SmallBusinessBranding.com. “If you’re trying to be everything to everybody, chances are you’ll attract no one.”

Ask Custom Toll Free about choosing a toll-free vanity phone number for your business that perfectly fits your brand.