Branding is not just about logos, colors, and images. It is about your business being recognized, the impact it has on your customers and how it connects with them. First impressions say a great deal about a company and their brand and should be thought of as a visible extension of the company it is representing.
Identify Yourself For Ease
Names that are easy to recall, graphics that stand out and a logo made from the letters of the business name are all good, but they do not tell consumers anything about you. All these things should provide insights into what your business is all about, and if they don’t do this it is an opportunity missed.
Clever wordplay that has no meaning for many of your potential customers will not help to get your brand known. You need to make it easy for people to understand what you do. In fact, a name that is easily spelled is ideal, as then it is less likely consumers will have trouble finding your website because of a misspelled name.
This is why using a fictitious name can be useful. If for instance, your umbrella business is called Joe Blogs Landscaping LLC, but you want to operate in several different states, you could use a fictitious name in each one. So you might have New York Landscaping LLC, Arizona Landscaping LLC or California Landscaping LLC. Really they are all part of Joe Blogs Landscaping but each fictitious name says a location and the trade.
Different states have varying rules for this situation, so you do need to check out the regulations for any state you are considering operating in.
Think Of Your Brand As A Person
This may not sound like the right thing to do, but every person is unique with his or her own beliefs, values and purpose. Our personality defines the way we dress and what we say. The same should apply to your brand, and all of these traits should shine through to your customers.
While you are achieving this, do not mimic the brands of other big and successful businesses; your identity needs to be distinctly you. You can be as bold or as calm as you like, as long as your brand stands for something you believe in.
They will also help you to build a long-term relationship with them, so you have a customer base you can rely on.
Attract The Customers You Want
It seems that often entrepreneurs create a business logo or slogan that they think will suit their brand without considering what the customers will think. This is often done before a business has even started and there are not yet any customers to buy. What you should be doing is looking at the audience you will be targeting and use things that will attract them as part of your branding.
As an example, if you give your company a very hi-tech look when you are aiming to attract pensioners, the two will not match and the branding will not work. Use something automotive if you are targeting car enthusiasts and something that is a reminder of meals if your target audience are foodies.
Something that will not be time sensitive is the best option. You could well have a logo created that is in line with the latest trend, but does that mean it will look dated in 5 or 10 years time? If you want to maintain your branding for a long time, you need to choose things that will stand the test of time.
Protect Your Integrity
As your business grows you may add new products to your range and start to sell in different areas. You may even start to target some different audiences to increase the reach of your brand. You need to realize that your business has grown enough to expand because your customers trust you and now you have to protect the integrity of your brand.
It is very easy for control to be lost when a business grows, and you should not let that happen. The integrity of your brand is crucial to your continued success and you should keep a tight hold of the reigns so any expansion goes exactly as planned.
Promote Your Brand
Once you are satisfied that your brand will be easily recognized and say exactly what you want it to, now is the time to start promoting it.
Your brand is the first thing potential customers should see when they go to your website, but you should also have interesting content if you want them to stay. It does not matter if it is videos, images or written content, as long as it shows them how good your brand is. The website should be attractive without being overwhelming. It should also be responsive to all devices and very user – friendly.
The content of your website can affect your rankings on search engines, and SEO is of vital importance. However, these search engines are so clever, they also account for how long viewers stay on your site and which things they look at.
Social media cannot be ignored either, as the search engines will know if this is where the viewers have come from. Promoting your brand on social media is a great way to reach your target audience, but link it through to your website for it to be most effective.
Don’t Treat Your Customers As Though They Are Stupid
Never underestimate the intelligence of your customers; because if your branding gives the impression that you think they are stupid, your business is doomed to failure.
Your branding says an awful lot about your business and its values, and if handled correctly it will attract the clients you want. It is from there that you will move forward to greater success, and if you have your branding right it will see you through any expansions and will become so recognizable that any marketing and promotions for your business will be a lot easier, and have more impact.