Yesterday we talked about reasons to brand, today we would be looking at what branding is all about and how you can come up with a very good brand. Before we proceed i would like us to know that branding is a marketing practice in which a company creates a name, symbol or design that can be easily used to identify the company, it products or services.
Branding is important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers but it allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company. It is a way of distinguishing yourself from the competitors and clarifying what it is you offer that makes you the better choice. Your brand is built to be a true representation of who you are as a business, and how you wish to be perceived.
How to brand
The first step to branding is defining you brand like;
Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable. It requires, at the very least, that you answer the questions below:
- What is your company’s mission?
- What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
- What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
- What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?
- Do your research. Learn the needs, habits and desires of your current and prospective customers. And don’t rely on what you think they think. Know what they think.
This can be complex at times so it’s best you see a business consultant or you can also join business groups to discuss your ideas.
Once all these have been done the next big thing is getting the word out, so the big question comes how can this be done?
- Get a great logo. Place it everywhere.
- Write down your brand messaging. What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand? Every employee should be aware of your brand attributes.
- Integrate your brand. Branding extends to every aspect of your business–how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, your e-mail signature, everything.
- Create a “voice” for your company that reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it ritzy? Be more formal. You get the gist.
- Develop a tagline. Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
- Design templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don’t need to be fancy, just consistent.
- Get a website.
- Be true to your brand. Customers won’t return to you–or refer you to someone else–if you don’t deliver on your brand promise.
- Be consistent. I placed this point last only because it involves all of the above and is the most important tip I can give you. If you can’t do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail.
Importance of branding
- Revenue Generation: Branding is one of the best ways to get referral or word-of-mouth business. And again, this is why it’s important that your logo, marketing, and reputation work cohesively to form an indelible impression on consumer minds. Think about it, you can’t tell your friend about the cool stuffs you just bought if you can’t remember the brand.
- Branding motivates employees: Anyone can hire employees, but only a strong brand can hire motivated employees that are inspired to carry your vision and mission forward. When your brand feels pride, your employees do as well. Having a strong brand is essential for employee morale and productivity.
- Branding increases the demand for your product: Branding is very essential if you want to increase demand for your services and products. The more you invest in building and maintaining your brand, the more people will recognize you as an expert in your field.
- It saves time and money: For small businesses, it’s so important to watch where your money is being spent. You have to decide what is most important to you and what makes the most sense for your business. Trust me, I completely get it! It might seem easiest to just go with the cheapest solution at first, but without proper branding in place, you might not be very consistent. You may want to change your strategy, logo, messaging, website and everything else several times before you’re completely happy with it. In the long run, you may end up spending more time and money on changes, rather than setting a good foundation in the first place. Constantly changing things also won’t do anything good for your customer loyalty.
- It increases your value: It can be hard to get your first clients and customers. In order to start making money, sometimes you just have to take whatever you can get. Many times, you may charge way less than what you deserve just to gain some traction in your business. With a solid brand established, you will come across as a professional and therefore you can charge like one! If you show that you produce high quality work or products, clients will be more likely to value what you offer and pay higher prices for it.
- Advertising Support: Advertising is another component to branding, and advertising strategies will directly reflect the brand and its desired portrayal. Advertising techniques such as the use of promotional products from trusted companies such as Outstanding Branding makes it easy to create an appealing advertising strategy that plays well into your branding goals.
Let us know what you think with your comments and if you’ve got questions leave them in the comment box.
Happy Branding from us all @Youngprenuers