Your company brand is expressed through a number of elements including your logo, slogan, design, corporate identity and marketing materials. It provides your customers with a clear perception of your business and it should serve to communicate the value of your product or service. Whichever way you cut it, branding is crucial to a business!
It gives your business an identity, helps differentiate you from your competitors, and it helps your potential customers easily understand what your business’s service and values are about. Trying to market a new business in a busy market can sometimes feel like you’re swimming against the current in a sea of competitors, but carefully thought-out branding can make all the difference.
If you’re a small business just starting out, you probably don’t have the same sort of cash to throw at your marketing that some of the biggest brands out there do. You’ll need to start small; creating a specific, targeted brand and getting it out there to your potential customers. Here are five things you can do to get your business branding off the ground.
1. Know What Makes You Different
Before you go out there and start trying to sell your service to the world, take a moment to consider exactly what you’re selling. What is your company’s USP? Is it the quality of your products or service? Perhaps it’s that you won’t be beaten on price, or is it just simply that you have a unique product which you believe is different to anything else on the market?
Make sure that you, and any employees, have a comprehensive understanding of what makes your business special. From there, it is worth also considering your target audience and company values too.
2. Embrace The Visual
It’s true; a picture is often worth a thousand words. Don’t get bogged down with too much text within your marketing material; a stunning, unique image can often do the trick. This is particularly true of companies which sell aesthetically appealing products. For example, if you’re selling handmade jewellery, make sure that you’re got plenty of beautiful images of your creations across all of your marketing material and your website.
It’s also important to choose a company logo and colour which you feel reflects your business ethos. Different colours can reflect different values; for example, yellow can encourage feelings of happiness and optimism, whereas green is a more calming colour which can be associated with health, vitality and growth. Once you’ve chosen your colours, stick with them and use them often to ensure that your brand is easily identifiable.
There are plenty of brands which are immediately recognisable by their logo and colour scheme – just look at the red of Coca Cola or the yellow of the famous McDonalds “M”. You can’t imagine it being any other colour, can you?
3. Be Consistent
Once you are sure of your brand logo, colours and values, try to be as consistent as possible with your usage of them. Whether it’s in your business premises, on your website, social or print media – ensure that you have brand continuity across all platforms.
4. Print Still Works
We all know that utilising the internet and social media can assist a business in building a community, and there are plenty of articles out there with more information on this. But what many people don’t realise is that print media can still be extremely effective. If you’re targeting people in the local area try getting some leaflets distribute, take out advertising in local press or even just put up posters in the area.
Printed envelopes from Ace Envelopes are a great way to increase brand exposure in marketing – it makes your company appear a little more professional and, even if your prospect does not bother opening the envelope, they will still have been exposed to the company brand and colors. Even just a cursory glance at your logo can help improve recognition.
5. The Customer Experience
It’s all very well building up a brand image, but if your customers don’t see it then your work could be wasted. One of the most effective ways to improve your company brand and reputation is through word-of-mouth recommendations from your customers. Make sure that each and every customer that comes to you has a great experience that reflects what they should expect from your brand. If you’re marketing yourselves as a ‘friendly, family-run company’ but if when a customer calls in your receptionist is rude and abrupt, it can completely go against your image.
Try to go the extra mile for your customers in whatever way you can, whilst always bearing in mind your company USP. What you do will vary dependent on your brand identity, whether its regular updates on the dispatch of their items (showing you to be efficient and organised), free handmade gift boxes for a personal touch or a free initial consultation which allows the customer to gain an understanding of the depth of your knowledge on a subject.