Quick-Start Branding Guide | 5 Tips For Building A World-Class Brand Identity On The Cheap
Quick-Start Branding Guide | We’ve all heard it: building your brand is the backbone of marketing success. However, do you know what branding actually means? Branding is more than just choosing a business logo or writing a catchy tagline. Building your brand the right way requires planning, organization, and deliberate actions to clearly define the style, feel, message and values of your business. In business, good branding builds trust and can make it easier to sell a product to your potential clients.
A brand is the sum total of the experiences your existing and potential customers have doing business with you. Your brand lives in everyday interactions with your target audience, the images you share, the messages you post on your website, the content of your marketing materials, and in the status updates you post throughout social media. While the brands we choose as customers can be reflections of our beliefs and values, the right kind of branding can steer us toward products or services that we may otherwise not have been searching for. Here is a quick-start branding guide that can help you position your small business clearly and effectively in your niche and help attract repeat business and referrals.
Know Your Business | Quick-Start Branding Guide
Your identity is more than just your logo; it’s the face of your company. It’s everything from your logo to the signage, your marketing materials, to the look and feel of your offices and your website. It is about the sum total of the experiences your clients have with your business. The foundation of your brand is your logo. Your website, packaging and promotional materials, all of which should showcase and reinforce your logo, build and communicate your brand. From business cards and logo to email newsletters and brick-and-mortar signage, all of your printed communications and sales materials should look, feel and sound like they come from the same source.
Stand Out | Quick-Start Branding Guide
Standing out means being different. If your brand is going to be effective, you have to be able to determine exactly what it is that makes what you do unique. In today’s competitive marketplace, you don’t want to be a “jack of all trades, master of none.” While it may be tempting to offer clients a wide menu of products and services, it’s important to keep your brand focused. What differentiates you from others in your industry? Are you the innovative maverick in your niche? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option?
Find Your Voice | Quick-Start Branding Guide
What you say is important, but don’t overlook the way you say it. Your company’s voice is the language, tone, and personality you and your employees will use to deliver your branding message and engage with your clients. In terms of messaging, reuse key phrases that are your unique selling points, whether they’re used in your brochure, on your website or in ads. Put your tagline on everything — it’s your brand promise boiled down to a catchy, memorable phrase. Think about the brands you personally like – what makes them stand out in your eyes? How do they communicate with you and other clients? What do you like about their voice?
Build Community Around What you Do | Quick-Start Branding Guide
You can set your brand’s direction, but how your brand is perceived is determined by your existing and potential clients. A successful brand is one that is trusted and respected by its clients, and building a strong community online and off can help you accomplish this. The internet allows entrepreneurs to communicate with clients in a multitude of ways our predecessors couldn’t have imagined. Your clients can become your brand’s ambassadors and spread the ideas and your brand’s message to their own networks, so focus on nurturing relationships with them.
Focus On Your Product, Not The Profit It Brings In | Quick-Start Branding Guide
Some businesses stop focusing on building great products and services once they become successful. This is a mistake, as clients won’t return to you, let alone refer you to someone else if you don’t meet and exceed their expectations. Even the strongest brand will suffer when it creates average or below average products or services. Don’t lose sight of your product – keep improving it, testing new offerings, and making sure you always put product first, not the money it brings in.