Dear new and old business owners. If you are like me, then you are here because you get a thrill out of creating something that is successful, substantial and an extension of who you are and what you have to offer the world, or at least the economy. Business is not for the feint-hearted, it is a risk, it is stressful and with the current obstacles of inflation and competition, the challenge has become surreal. Don’t let this put a damper on your quest though, if initiated intellectually and with the utmost optimism, the sky’s the limit and you have exciting and prosperous times ahead!
One such concern that needs to be approached with this said intellect and enthusiasm is business branding. You would be surprised how many start-up businesses fail to get this one right. Business or corporate branding is the process of developing an identity for your business, an identity that makes a lasting impression and perfectly portrays the goods and or services that you have to offer. This branding is a process that begins from the moment the “business idea” light bulb lights up your brain and is truly never ending.
From the get go you need to put thought and creativity into your business’s name, logo, slogan and other crucial strategies which are incorporated into your marketing choices. Owners of smaller businesses often have the mind-set that branding is something that is done only once the money starts rolling in and there is a budget for it. This is a misconception however, branding is vital for these businesses to have at least an opportunity to stand out and capture potential clients and it needs to be included into your capital right from the start. No matter how original and popular your product might be, the masses won’t hear about it until an identity that is recognizable and effective has been established.
Here, in my opinion, are five branding tips to consider:
Tip 1: Conceptualize Your Brand
Other than being tip one, this is also step one in the branding process. You have decided on the product/s you would like to sell or the service/s you want to offer. Now you have to consider who your target market is and how you would like them to react to your business model.
Consider the following questions:
• What do you want your brand to be known for?
• What will make your brand different from your competitors?
Do you want to be known for your professionalism or do you want to incorporate humour and light-heartedness? Perhaps you want your ethical standards to be the backbone of your identity? Answering such questions will give you a clearer indication of your vision, purpose, and value of your brand.
Tip 2: Keep It Simple But Quirky
We are a very busy human race and our tiny brains don’t have the ability to absorb every bit of information around us. So simplicity here is key. Keep names, logos and slogans uncomplicated but ensure that you include popular design trends that offer a touch of quirkiness. Something catchy and easy to asses will leave audiences pondering about your business and you will have their attention.
Tip 3: Keep It Consistent
This mind sound boring and uniform, but really it offers a feeling of stability and success. From colour schemes and designs to staff uniforms and final touches – keep things consistent. What I mean here is that you need to decide on a name, a logo and a colour scheme and then maintain this decision throughout all of your branding endeavours. Your company website should complement the design of your actual store-front and the purpose of your business needs to be reflected in your logo.
Tip 4: Market Your Brand
In business you have to advertise your advertising. Yup, nothing is ever simple. Don’t assume that because you have established an amazing corporate identity that the money will be shipping in by the ton. Like mentioned before, we are busy people and we don’t all have the time to absorb information, unless it is forced upon us. Take your brand and offer it to the world. Include it on your business cards, add it to your email signature and splash it online. Your marketing opportunities are almost endless.
Tip 5: Be Proud Of Your Brand
If you are satisfied and proud of your branding, then you will promote it as such. Don’t settle for something you are comfortable with, settle for awesome! Budget for quality and this will ensure that the quality of your business will shine through. No one ever said running a business is an affordable venture, so expect to pay for solutions that will surpass your expectations.
Don’t think of all of this as effort and please don’t let it daunt you! This is an opportunity to get creative and make your business unique, to make it your own! Choose colours you love and a logo that fills you with pride. All of these additions might not seem very important, but they really really are. They set you apart from the rest; they attract your customers and establish the standards which are truly the backbone of your business.