Branding Your Business
So, you’re about to start your own new business. Exciting times. You have a solid idea, a plan to grow the company and the prospective customers you intend to target. But have you given time to consider the look of your new company, what we term the ‘branding’ of your new start up ? It is really important to start thinking about the look and feel you want your brand to take on, as if you get it right from the start, it is something you can grow and develop as customers become familiar with you and you earn their trust.
As a small business, reputation and trust are everything. Creating a solid brand look for the company gives customers something to identify with, a face for the company as such. If you play your cards right and are honest and good at what you do, this brand will become synonymous with clients and become a brand they rely on.
What is a brand and branding ?
Well the origin is quite interesting “an identifying mark burned on livestock or (in former times) criminals or slaves with a branding iron.”Assuming you wont’ be doing any of these things, for you a brand is an identifying mark that others can recognise you by.
Building a brand isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes time and effort. It culminates in the customers overall perception of your company. This needs to be positive.
How do I build my brand ?
There are a whole host of methods you can employ to build awareness of your brand. The overall goal is always to create an awareness of your company and it’s place in the market. The more awareness of your company, the less you need to advertise to make prospective customers know you’re there. This saves you money, and increases your profit margins.
There are essentially 3 parts to building your brand.
Brand Strategy – this is outlining how your company is different from the others out there. How are you’re more effective, more trustworthy, better to do business with ! Your brand strategy should include the following
- A discovery of your brand
- Research on who your competitors will be
- Research on your prospective customers
- Brand image – how will you present yourself to the world
- Brand message – what is your story !
This is an interesting link to further explore how you can build your brand strategy
Brand Identity – Is how you convey your message to the general public. The strategy you employ with your Brand Strategy, will dictate how your brand identity unfolds and is presented to the public.
The elements of your Brand Identity should be applied across all of your marketing collateral. Displaying a consistent appearance to the public will ensure your visual message is seen again and again, this is how you build up recognition for your brand. Your brand identity should include the following :
- Your Logo design
- Colours and Fonts used in logo and marketing materials
- Web Design
- The content you put out there
- Any online or offline advertising your do
- All print and packaging materials
Brand Marketing – this is the way that a business promotes it’s good or services in the hope of attracting more clients to them. Targeting the right products to the right audience, at the right price is the winning combination to insure success for your business.
Researching your competitors
Regardless of the line of work you are in, it’s always a good idea to find out who your competitors are and how they are doing things. Now there is no need, if you are a small start up to try to discover how the giants of industry operate, instead start small. Have a look at how similar operators in your area are doing business. In terms of online marketing you can use tools like AHREFS or SpyFu to discover the keywords your competitors are using to drive traffic to their sites and PPC (Pay per click) ads. You can also discover who their competitors are, so you can get a better grasp on who is occupying your competitive space and what measures they are employing to bring in business.
Tracking your progress
Once you have established your branding look, and found out who you are competing against, it’s time to get stuck in. How you carry out your business will differ from one entity to the next, but one final word of wisdom we would offer is to track everything you do. If you don’t know what you’ve done, how do you know what worked. If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know the best way to get there.
There are lots of research and analysis tools out there to help you out. Tools such as SEMRUsh will provide you tonnes of insight in terms of keywords, traffic and competitors. HotJar will give you great info on how customers are using your site, which sections they are reading most and which spaces are contributing to conversion the most.