When people think of ‘brand’ they often think of of the Nike Swoosh or the Coca Cola bottle. To most of us it’s usually considered to be a few elements – some colours, some fonts, a logo, and maybe a slogan. In reality, it’s everything a company does and how it communicates, and will be an ongoing evolution of marketing, research and conversation.
Branding for emerging businesses
Any marketing agency will tell you that a reputable corporate identity and successful branding can outlive a company’s founders. But for small and emerging businesses, it can often take a low priority compared to other areas such as sales, and this can be a huge disadvantage later on.
Having a unique and recognisable brand can be the key to success for any business or organisation. It’s not just about putting a sales message on a postcard and mailing to potential clients; branding is about your company’s face to your audience and it’s important to spend time making sure it properly represents your business as it will be the foundation for the rest of your marketing.
If you aren’t reaching your target audience, now is the time to adjust your branding. Remember, first impressions are everything.
• Do you Hoover or vacuum? • Do you Google or use a search engine? • Do you write on a Post-It or make a note for someone?
Positioning – be different:
Your branding needs to be distinct, with it’s own personality and characteristics. It is important to take time to develop and create an image you want to portray before bringing your business into the mainstream.
Keep in mind that consistency is of the utmost importance when building your brand. One of the most common mistakes made is to change things over and over again or to have, for example, your advertising looking different from your website.
As you move forward, measure the reactions to your brand. Watch for discussions on social networks and blogs and pay attention to sales figures. Your branding can always be tweaked to reflect this.
Remember, brands aren’t just for big companies, they can make businesses of any size stand out from the crowd. More importantly, they give your customers reason to choose you over your competitors.