Generally, entrepreneurs have a decent understanding of running a business and the various things they can do to expand the trade. However, branding is something that many budding entrepreneurs know little of. Even those who know about branding, are led to believe that branding is meant for only large corporations- the likes of Nike and Apple. This is far from the truth.
Branding is just as important to small business owners and solopreneurs as it is to large multi-national companies. This is because even local markets have high competition. With high-quality branding, a business can stand out from others even in a niche market and drive growth.
Things to Keep in Mind for Powerful Branding
Building a brand that works isn’t easy. You need to put in a considerable amount of thought, time, and effort into it to get it right. However, if you have the right tools, plan, and patience, then you can build your own unique and attractive brand. Just keep the following points in mind:
Pick the Logo Wisely
When we talk about popular brands, then invariably, memorable logos such as Nike’s “whoosh” or Apple’s “half-eaten apple” logo come to mind. There is a reason behind it- these logos represent the entire brand. These logos are unique and they are used everywhere by the companies that own them. Hence, people immediately recognize the associated brands by their logos.
If you want to build a popular brand, then be sure to spend as much time as possible on your logo. You can take help from a logo designer or design your own logo at a very small price. Either way, spend time to understand your brand first and then instill the values and mission statements of your brand into the logo.
Keep the Brand Simple
It’s commonly seen that new entrepreneurs get carried away with the whole branding activity. In an effort to make a “grand” or “massive” brand, they overdo things and end up creating a brand that just doesn’t work. For instance, they may overcomplicate the logo by putting together many visual elements, use different fonts for their website, social media images, etc. The truth is that it’s the simple brands that win. A simple logo is easy to memorize, a simple mission statement is easy for someone to follow. So, try to keep your brand as simple and vivid as possible.
Build Brand Consistency
Keeping your brand consistent across all platforms- social media, website, blog, etc. is extremely important. For instance, your social media manager may keep things light and use humor in the social media posts. On the other hand, your blog writer might be more formal and focus only on thought leadership and educational posts. In that situation, your audience may fail to understand exactly what your brand is about.
In the same way, if you are talking about a particular mission statement in videos (value in luxury lifestyle, for instance) and another in your blog (tips and tricks for money-saving, for instance), then it will confuse your target demographic and cause brand dilution.
Always remember- a powerful brand is based on brand consistency.
Establish Clear Brand Guidelines
Creating a brand book that consists of all the key brand guidelines will ensure that your brand is consistent everywhere. Plus, it will save a lot of time that would otherwise be spent on guesswork.
Essentially, your brand guidelines should consist of the following:
- Brand Logo
- Brand Fonts
- Brand Colors
- Mission statement
- Brand voice and brand identity
- Mascots and spokespeople
Be sure to be very specific about each guideline and try not to overcomplicate the list. For instance, in the brand colors category, you shouldn’t have more than 4-5 colors. Ideally, your logo, blog, etc. should have no more than 3-4 different colors. The same goes for fonts- pick the ones that belong to a specific category only- formal, cartoony, creative, hand-written, etc.
Keep your customers front and center
Branding doesn’t stop at launch! At the end of the day, branding is all about crafting how customers perceive your business. So, with this in mind, you should keep your customers front and center of everything you do. This should be the case in every aspect of your business from product design, customer service, marketing, etc.
To ensure you are living up to your customer expectations seek feedback from your customers. You can do this through onsite or in-store surveys, and through tracking brand mentions and customer reviews. Actively seeking feedback and being proactive in monitoring what your customers are saying will help you keep your finger on the pulse of how your brand is perceived.
Are you ready to craft a winning brand?
Branding has become more important than ever. The eCommerce industry has exploded and your rivals are just a click away from the customers. So, if you want to compete with others and grow your business, then be sure to work on your brand and try to push it everywhere you can. Good luck!
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