Brand image from yourlightingbrand.com
Consumers are faced with a huge amount of choice today in pretty much every industry or service. To make your company stand out then you need a brand strategy that has impact and really sells your company so that consumers or businesses continue to choose you. In fact branding is one of the key tools for breathing new life into a stagnant company or getting a new idea off the ground.
If you want to make your brand work better for you here are some top tips that can be applied to any type of business or service.
- What’s in a name? Let’s start with your company name. The name of your company can really affect the way your customers respond to your business. It needs to be clear and obvious so that people understand what it is you do but also meaningful and creative to create an emotional brand attachment. Avoid words that have negative connotations, are difficult to spell or pronounce or that are too long so as to be forgettable. Stick to short and instantly memorable brand names for better marketing opportunities.
- Finding your font. Once you have a name you will want to write it down and this brings you into contact with font. Font is important as it gives your company name a look and feel that your customers will take to reflect your business’s personality. A font can engage or turn off customers depending on factors such as how easy it is to read, whether it looks professional or fun (and this can work either way depending on the type of business you are in) and even colour can provoke an emotional response with red fonts appearing more forceful and upfront than those that employ yellow or a pale hue. You might choose to use a picture as a logo rather than just relying on a font to convey your company’s worth. Again picking the right logo that will work with your customer base is a difficult task. If you are not a creative person by nature you might like to work with a professional graphic design company to help you get the most from your company’s brand.
- Check out the competition. It is easy to see your brand in isolation but your company is part of a much wider business market and your brand needs to have impact on that market if you want to win new business from your competitors. Before you embark on your full branding or even rebranding exercise check out what your competition are doing so that you can see where there might be a niche or gap you can exploit with your brand. Once you have it make sure you protect it through trademarking.
- What is your USP? Your brand is more than just your name and logo it is also your company story and what makes your business the right choice for your customer. Part of your brand strategy then should be identifying your unique selling point and how your brand can help sell this to your customers. You will want to focus on what is important to your customers and why and how your company can add value to their needs. If you work this out you can then use this understanding as part of the core values that underline your brand. If your USP is that you can provide your customers with a quicker and cheaper service than your competitors then say so with your branded marketing materials. Put your USP up front so that your customers know what they are getting if they choose you.
- Evidence. You can say anything you like with your brand but it will only have impact if you can then prove it to your customers. If you want to create a trusted and respected brand then you need to be able to evidence that the claims you make are true. If your brand core values include excellent customer service and a fair price for instance then you need to be able to demonstrate how you deliver this so that your customers feel reassured. Brand loyalty is built on customer evidence and being able to continue to live up to your branding values.
- Choose the right medium. Once you know what you want to say and how you then need to decide what medium is right for getting your brand out into the world. There are lots of options to choose from and you will probably need a mix of both on and offline branded materials that are meaningful to your customer. Your website is a fundamental mouthpiece of your business’ brand but beyond that you also have social media, events and printed materials such as brochures and business cards to help give your brand a bigger share in your industry’s crowded marketplace. You can get inspiration and ideas from looking at what your competitors are doing, visiting brands online that you like and want to emulate and working with a professional printer such as clone-media.co.uk. You will save time and money if you get it right first time so make sure you fully understand the needs of your customer and where they might come naturally into contact with your brand. Then use your medium to really hammer home the message to choose your business.
- Prepare to be flexible. You may not get it right first time, in fact you may not get it right on the second attempt either. Don’t give up if your brand has to be flexible and adaptable as your company finds its feet.In fact being able to be flexible with your brand identity, even if it seems to be working at this moment in time, allows you to grow with your customer base and survive the fluctuations of your business market. Your brand is a living part of your business and as such should constantly be monitored and measured to ensure it is continuing to work for the type of company that you are and that you want to be in the future.
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