Let’s face it, not many micro-business owners and entrepreneurs can afford to hire a marketing expert that will walk them through developing a branding strategy. At least, not at the rate a marketing expert should be paid. So, what do you when you are establishing and defining your own brand? You do what most would do. You scour the Internet looking for branding tips to help you along the way. Hopefully, that search has brought you here.
Just touching the tip of the iceberg, here a few basic concepts to get you started on branding your new startup.
Get a logo.
Suffice it to say, your logo is not your brand. It’s only an element of your brand. It represents your brand and helps others to identify you and your product or service. It’s your mark, your insignia, or your business badge.
Your logo should be clean and easy to read and identify. It should be bold and capable of making statement when it stands alone on a sheet of paper. Don’t overdo it. Don’t over think it. Keep it simple. And, by all means, do not get caught up in the worry trap of selecting something that you’re unsure of that you don’t want to get stuck with long-term. Some of the biggest brands of our time all have rather simple logos that have developed with their business over time.
Create a slogan, catch-phrase or tagline.
Slogans and catch-phrases go a long way toward resonating in the psyche of your customers and others who come in contact with your brand. It should be simple and truthful of your product or service offering and, most important of all, it should be memorable.
Create a value statement.
More commonly known as a value proposition statement, according to Google a value proposition is “(in marketing) an innovation, service, or feature intended to make a company or product attractive to customers.”
It’s not your slogan, catch-phrase or positioning statement. And, it doesn’t represent the totality of your branding message.
What does a value statement include? Conversion XL has an excellent article on value proposition statements. It’s lengthy but very educational and worth the read. Click here.
Create your branding message.
What the fundamental thing you want to communicate about your brand? The branding message is what you and all of your employees should be aware of.
Assimilate and integrate your brand.
Your branding message, your company colors, everything should be used in every aspect of your business, including your voice mail service, how you answer the phone, your uniform – basically, whatever a potential customer might come into contact with.
Create brand standards.
Brand standards include things like the consistent placement of your logo on company documents or marketing materials. It includes a defined look and feel for all your communication mediums, including but not limited to, business cards, letterheads, envelopes, social media profile covers, and your website.
Build integrity around your brand.
In other words, be true to your brand. Deliver what your promise and nothing less. Customers return to businesses they can rely, even if the price might be higher than others.
An important and necessary step is for you to plaster your logo, your message – your brand – everywhere you can. Well, not everywhere but at least in those places that align with your brand.
In other words, if you make children’s clothing, your should be participating in or sponsoring youth events. If you make tea, you’ll want to be infused into the tea drinker’s world. Get seen and be seen.