Dear reader, I’m not talking about the movie though I love magic and the illusions. I know you have probably bought something on impulse, not because you needed it but because it called out to you from its name right through to the colour and packaging… A lot of thought and careful attention goes into putting a product or service out there but sometimes companies are guilty of not wanting to put in the work. Branding is not just about the aesthetics but more like an experience.
Branding is a reflection of what your business stands for, its aspirations and even how the people see it. While it takes time and money to achieve quality and highly rated status, it is worth your effort in the future as the mere mention of your company’s name translates to dollars and more dollars. Ka-ching, ka-ching… That being said, there are key steps one should follow to achieve star status for their business and be seen.
You get what you pay for and this is sadly where a lot of new businesses get it wrong. Budgeting does not mean that you will be spending large sums in one go. On the contrary, a carefully structured plan will ensure that what you set aside for branding will be used over a period of time. A budget will be your safety net when you are likely to overspend. Devote time to drafting a good one.
2. I’m so sorry, but what exactly do you do?
Sounds familiar? It is rather awkward to come from a business lunch and have no idea what the people you networked with do. When you are presented with an opportunity to talk about your brand, you should think of it as a person. This will make it easier for you to craft a personality that you want people to associate with the business. Do you draw the attention to your values or your products? Is this personality warm enough to retain old clients and draw in new business without confusing those who have never heard of you? Be known for what you do. Lessen the ambiguity.
3. Logo Wars
Have a logo that does not need explanations. This isn’t abstract art. When a company has a logo which lets you know exactly what they do then you can be assured that they will be direct in the way they conduct their business. The logo needs to be professionally done and you should be prepared to pay for it (your cousin just goofing around with Clipart on the computer is probably not your best bet.) Avoid logos that leave the client wondering and if your tag line can be incorporated, it would even be better. Clients are highly likely to remember visuals. Make it pleasing to the eye.
4. Get Out There…
Get a website; professionally designed and hosted. If your budget allows, engage a social media manager to generate traffic to your website and also get you trending. Making a good and lasting impression is important so desist from posting unless you are 100% satisfied with the quality of your content. Your online presence as a brand should not be toyed with as we are living in the digital age. Be careful what you associate yourself with and choose what you endorse wisely. (if you are not sure about something, it’s wiser not to comment at all.)
5. Invest in human capital
We all have our skills set and even though you own the business, you cannot know it all. That’s why it is important to have the best people working for you. Even if they are better skilled than you, you really need them to push your brand forward. When you have a team whose work ethic is excellent, you can be assured that your brand will always have its best foot forward. Increase your visibility through the human capital you have. They know about your vision and the brand personality and would relish an opportunity to talk about it at business conferences and trade fairs. Trust them with this and this appreciation of their skills will have them working harder for the growth of the brand.
The views expressed in this post are entirely my own based on personal experiences as well as business studies. You can do things differently and still come up with the same results. I’m only offering pointers.