Business owner and employee working in kitchen of restaurant.
These five contributors from offer their best tips on how businesses can best navigate and plan their branding strategies. — Getty Images/pixdeluxe

CO— partners with to bring you a roundup of the best Entrepreneur articles each week. Below are this week's favorites.

A key indication of a successful business is how well consumers can recognize its products or services and how dependent on them they become. Converting passive customers into loyal ones can be a challenge, which is why businesses need strong branding strategies to help them stand out from the competition.

Choosing the right branding strategy to fit your business needs isn’t easy, but when done successfully, the rewards are worth the initial challenge. To help small businesses navigate branding, we’ve rounded up some of the best content from contributors in the past week.

Understand the importance of branding

Before they can start building an effective brand, leaders must first understand why branding is important and how it works to the advantage of businesses. In an article, Jessica Wong, CEO of Valux Digital, argues that “branding is more than an accessory — it's the foundation of any business.” She says successful branding not only helps increase customer loyalty and referrals, but also establishes your company as a market leader.

Read the full article on Entrepreneur.

[Read More: Building a Brand From Scratch? Start With These Tips]

Create a meaningful marketing strategy

From familiar brands like Red Bull to Zappos to Warby Parker, some companies have mastered the art of meaningful marketing. Kieran Powell, executive vice president of Channel V Media, explains in his article, “How to Create a Meaningful Marketing Strategy,” that businesses that can translate their goals into marketing strategies will have a better chance of success. He lists three small steps business owners can take toward creating their own meaningful marketing strategies.

Read the full article on Entrepreneur.

Choose the right domain name

A company’s domain name is a large part of branding and should be a careful consideration. A domain name might be a customer’s first impression of your business and can be used as an opportunity to tell customers what your business does. Julia Weikel, a branding and marketing domain industry leader, shared some important dos and don’ts for this decision in her article, “8 Elements to Consider When Picking Your Domain Name.”

Read the full article on Entrepreneur.

Consider your overall brand strategy before spending

Branding and a company’s financials go hand-in-hand because, depending on what your brand values, money may be allocated toward specific things and not others. But Adam Horlock, Business Center Manager for Office Evolution, says that if you’re ready to start a business, you need to “think about brand strategy before you start spending.” In his article, Horlock advises leaders to have a plan in place first and spend later, and highlights important steps in the branding process that business leaders should be conscious of before spending.

Read the full article on Entrepreneur.

[Read More: 10 Startups Taking Branding To a New Level]

Know how your brand stands apart from others

With side hustles more popular than ever before and the ease of promoting them using technology, it’s become increasingly important to showcase your business’s points of difference. One way of doing this is to create a brand that values sustainability, a win-win for your business recognition and the environment. Grace Avila Casanova, a development economist and researcher, shares her recommendations for small businesses shifting toward a sustainable branding campaign in her article, “How Sustainable Brands Win Over the Discerning Conscious Consumer.”

Read the full article on Entrepreneur.

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