When creating a small business, one of the keys to being successful, is creating a brand for the company that is easily recognized and understood. Your branding tells customers what your business stands for, and what they can expect from your products and services through your website design, WordPress website, logos, graphics and print. People want to clearly know who you are, and what you can offer them.
How do you go about branding effectively? Here are 5 tips to help you get started:
1. Define Your Brand
This will take some brainstorming and reflection to identify. What do you want your company to stand for, what is your differentiator, what do you offer and what should every customer know about you? Your brand is defined by the answers to these questions, so you should sum them up in clear, concise language. The definition should tell your customers just what they can expect from your company’s products and services. It will also show prospective customers what type of qualities your company stands for.
2. Create a Differentiating Message
What sets your company apart from all the other companies out there who might be doing the same thing? Why should someone choose you? This is important in building up a client base. Customers want to know how your company is different and how they will benefit from that. Start by researching your competition in the market, noting how they get the job done, and picking an element you offer that nobody else does. What are you doing, or could you be doing, that would make you stand out? Make sure your branding message conveys the differentiating factor.
3. What is the Voice of the Brand?
Creating a voice for your brand is the way in which you will communicate through all your branding materials. What tone will you use? Are you an authority in the market who offers resources, are you the best provider out there, are you a fun light, hearted brand? These are examples of voices that will be used to communicate the brand. Think of brands such as Progressive insurance or Geico, who are fun and always making jokes in their marketing. Then imagine Apple who communicates creativity, simplicity and innovation. Look to your brand definition and decide what the best approach to your unique voice should be.
4. Design a Theme for Materials
Having a unified theme for your materials, such as products, logos, your website design, prints, etc, will make your brand more recognizable. You need to choose a theme that includes your logo, ensure it is in alignment with your brand, mission and voice, and implement it on every representation of your company. All marketing materials should be uniform and easily identifiable as your brand.
5. Be consistent
Last, but certainly not least, consistency is key to branding a business. In order for your branding to be effective, it must be consistently implemented across the board. The products, services, customer service, ethics, marketing mediums and mannerisms should all reinforce the branding at all times. Imagine a green company who promotes eco-friendly practices, selling a product that is non-recyclable. Similarly, if a website has different colors and messages than its direct mail flyers, customers will receive differing messages. Consistency is a very important key to branding success.
These 5 tips will get you started on the road to successful branding. We recommend looking at the process as all-encompassing for your business. Branding should permeate every extension of the business. Start by defining the brand and differentiating factors, choose your theme and voice and roll it out consistently through all channels.