Are you a small business startup? Or currently redesigning your brand? Learn why you need to brand your business and how to successfully do so.
1. It won’t happen overnight. A strong brand needs development. Creating a brand is not a speedy process, it may take you longer than you expect. One of the main reasons is that building a brand requires 1) some trial and error and 2) time to build others’ trust. No doubt, your resulting success will differentiate whether you are a brand new startup or an existing business going through a rebranding strategy. Both of your approaches will differ slightly, however there are some proven principles to expedite the process:
2. Your brand needs consistency. There’s two major aspects to give attention to when beginning your brand’s journey. What message do you send through the look and feel of your brand? What experience do your customers follow? Many brands try to cover all the grounds, so to speak, offering services that don’t directly pertain to their brand’s purpose. Don’t do that. Stick with the main solutions you offer and sell them like crazy.
3. Along with the logo, build the tagline. As Miguel Angel Ivars said, “ Your tagline is the message that explains in extract form, direct and concise with two or three words that is dedicated to the brand that we are seeing, can also be inspirational and indirectly evoke our purpose, but always linking the brand with the target.” The tagline supports and strengthens your brand while allowing room to expand explanation on your brand’s purpose.
4. Trust is more important than anything else. More than a great logo or an awesome landing web page, people need to be able to invest their trust in you as a customer. So, how are you displaying trust? A good place to start this self-analysis would be with how clear your brand message presents you online and offline. One excellent article by brand by me suggests, defining your company personality in order to define your brand. This can then help you ‘a clear and distinctive brand…that will help you demonstrate who you are and how you are different.’
5. If you are not marketing, nothing will happen. It’s taking a great risk to leave all your business to word of mouth. Where’s your promoting? How are you selling? Don’t underestimate the worth of marketing. Especially, nowadays what is even more critical— online marketing.
6. Branding material should be a strong investment. Not only do you want branding material, but you want to invest in it to the extent that it is elevating and distinguishing you from the pack.
7. Know the difference between sales and branding. In his article on this very topic, Gary Vaynerchuk brought out that the greatest companies in the world don’t sell. They brand. Apple is the number one example in this, “Apple focuses on building a relationship that will last by deploying all of their energy into branding and showcasing how your life will change once you switch to iPhone.”
9. Be an active social media-list. A large percentage of your consumers will interact with you on your social network accounts. Make sure they are easily accessible and kept up to date with company news, announcements and brand related posts. Remember that well over half of your online advertising will be accomplished through interactions on social media. Why do you need social media?
10. Employ the psychology of color. Your graphic designer can help you with this one. Specific colors evoke specific human emotions and feelings, so be selective. Each color sends it own message. Red and purple excite and urge to action. Blue is considered secure and stable. Orange is cheerful and warm, while green is natural and tranquil.
11. Brand for your audience. Loved this quote from Greg Becker on Branding, “Your brand is your vision and individual outlook, difference, and position within business.” What’s your brand communicating to your target audience? Or a better question, how are you engaging your target demographic? Don’t just brand. Brand for your outlook, your position, your business!
12. Do align branding goals with measurable sales goals. These two are more directly linked then you may think. Both affect ultimately the amount of sales and total yearly revenue. Branding brings sales. Sales build revenue. You track and reach your goals. It’s that simple.
“Your brand should be able to accomplish your business goal, enhance your business plan and withstand the passing of time.”
13. Stick to the branding guide you’ve established. It’s easy as a startup especially, to deviate from your original brand in communication, customer interaction or in online presence. But DON’T. This will hurt you and your brand. Know your branding guide, the physical and literal one, and work by it.
14. Seriously consider above and beyond branding techniques. Email campaigns, landing pages, blog updates, newsletters and giveaways are all great and effective things to keep promoting your brand and driving business.
15. Your #1 branding goal is the growth of your business. Remember this in every initiative you make for your brand. Your brand should be able to accomplish your business goal, enhance your business plan and withstand the passing of time.