Branding your business can help you rise above the herd of the boring competitors in your niche. You get to choose whether your business will be just “another” car dealership, real estate agency, accounting office, insurance broker…
You can become the special, noticeable, and sought after “goto” business in your category. All you need to do to accomplish this is to take the time to calculate what is needed for branding your business in a way that will inspire confidence, security, trust, and even happiness! Developing a good business brand will
Establishing a Unique Brand
One of the first things you need to do when branding your business is to establish your uniqueness. What can you say about your business that will attract the attention and the business of your potential customers?
✓ Are your products unique?
✓ Are your prices better?
✓ Do you have additional or add-on services not found any other place?
✓ What is interesting about your business?
✓ Why would you buy from you?
Be Consistent with Branding Message
Whatever way you choose to talk about your company while
Stay on top of the revolving technology. As the marketing world changes so do your avenues of outreach. It’s fine to have a quaint “mom and pop” shop – but not so fine if no one knows about you. Or, worse, has forgotten about you.
First you establish your image, then you express your image. Next, followup consistently by advertising your image, and then be sure to maintain your image in a consistent manner.
The Advantage of Local Business Branding
Small local businesses have the advantage of being able to use their local status to beat out the major brands for community favour. However, it is up to you to give your customers a good reason to come and buy from you. Take the time to determine and convey to your prospective customer what makes you different or better than your big box competitor. Add this message to all branding efforts so the public becomes aware of what YOUR brand can offer them.
Often times it seems like the large shops can have the pricing advantage. It is true that people like to save money but they still prefer to
How to Build Your Business Brand
Branding & Your Business Website
Every business really should have a professionally built and maintained website. Over the years people have been given the message that it is easy and cheap to build a website. So they built cheap and easy websites that look like crap and are slow as molasses. Having a crappy website just tells your customers that you are cheap and don’t care – so, why should they? Or worse, they might think that if you are too cheap to pay for a website then your products and services are probably cheap too.
Don’t let the first introduction to your company be a second rate, slow, non-responsive, website that looks like your 12 year old nephew did it while playing on his XBox. This won’t help you instil confidence with your brand.
The good news is, you really can get a decent website for a decent price. If you want to impress your potential customers, please hire a professional to do it. Websites truly don’t have to cost that much to look and perform great.
A website needs to be: easy to navigate, nice to look at, and have a simple method to find your information. AND – most importantly – it collects good customer leads and sells FOR you, 24/7.
The Importance of a Business Branding Logo
A good business logo should be simple in design and adaptable to all media. A logo needs to incorporate the businesses identifying colours and be recognizable in all uses. If you are updating or modernizing an old logo, you can capitalize on this re-branding time as an opportunity to reach out to potential customers using several media sources.
Trying to think up new logo ideas can also become an opportunity to turn it into a business promotion. This is an opportunity where you an include your customers and followers. For example; you could have a Facebook contest to see who comes up with the best logo idea. To get people motivated to participate you could offer prizes for the top 3 winners.
Another method to come up with logo branding ideas is to use a professional branding or design service. They can have several uniquely styled logos designed and then you can have your customers vote on which one they prefer.
Branding Your Business Name
The cost to brand a business name can be astronomical if it has nothing to do with your service or product. If you use a made up word, or try to be pithy, you will have to define what it is you do or sell every time. For example “Yahoo” had to say “Do You Yahoo?” and then describe what that meant. Every… time… This form of branding is costly and mostly unnecessary for the majority of local businesses. Just keep it distinct but simple. For example, if you brand your business name with something like “Bob’s Muffler Shop” then the brand and deliverable is already in the name.
Regardless of which way you choose to brand the name, the first rule is to
Once you have agreed to that rule then you are ready to follow the steps necessary to carve out your own unique business brand.
Step 1: Purpose
First thing to do is to decide, and agree on, the purpose of your business. This means that all partners need to be on the same page as to WHY you are in business in the first place. You might be surprised to learn that you have a different understanding than your partner.
If this is a sole proprietorship, and you got into business because you would rather not work for a dick boss, then take the time to come up with a solid reason to be in business. People only care about the service you will be providing to them.
Here is a short exercise that may help you to come up with some branding ideas for your business. Grab your notebook and write out these questions. Next take the time to decide on the answers. If you want to involve everyone in the company at this point, you and your business partner(s) can do this exercise together. After that, maybe might want to involve your employees so can have a round-table discussion. This can be very revealing, especially when you start to notice that your current “brand” isn’t the same for everyone.
Have everyone answer these questions:
- 1. What do you do?
2. How is what or how you do what you do, different, unique, or better than your competitor?
3. Why are you in business, why do you exist?
4. What positive changes do you bring to your customers?
Step 2: Visual Image
What image do you want people to have in their minds when they think of you? When a potential customer hears your name on the radio, what do you think they visualize? What do you want them to think about?
This image of your business needs to be solidly consistent. Whether it is your customer, a supplier, or a competitor, you want that each of them think of you in the same way. Brand continuity goes a long way lending itself to TRUST! If everyone is getting the same message then people will be more likely
The Importance of Brand Consistency
~ Where there is inconsistency there is confusion.
~ Where there is confusion there is indecision.
~ Where there is indecision there is no sale.
~ No sale, no business.
Step 3: Choose your words carefully
Every business brand has a collection of words they use to convey the purpose and attitude of their business. Write out a list of characteristics you want your business to project.
Communicate this list to your sales and service representatives so they also project your brand and carry your image to the public. Find out from your employees and suppliers if they agree with that list. Do they have anything to add?
When you decide on the words you want your brand to convey, make sure that it is on message with every aspect of your company. There is no point in telling people you are “friendly” when you employ a rude receptionist. *SIDE NOTE* Admin roles is one of the weakest areas in small businesses. The people who often hold these positions are family members and employees won’t complain about them to you. You may not even be aware that Aunt Bertha is loosing you sales every day because of her bad phone manners.
If your employees (including family) aren’t projecting your desired branding image – get rid of them.
Step 4: Positioning
Now you need to do some intensive market research. You can hire a research group to provide you with a SWAT analysis or do it yourself. Either way you need to find out the following:
๏ Who are your competitors?
๏ What are they competing on?
๏ What are their big money makers?
๏ What are YOUR big money makers?
๏ How do you compare to each other?
Here you need to come up with a good marketing strategy that will push your brand to the top. Find out where they are advertising and what kind of followup they do. You can exceed their impact for your brand by capitalizing on what they are doing by using the “drafting marketing method”.
Step 5: Making it happen
You have made the decisions for your branding image so now it’s time to make the commitment and ACT! Putting your business branding plan into action will require you to start spending time and money. Maybe you don’t have much money to spend at the beginning but just get started on what you can. There are many brand marketing strategies that you can do that won’t cost much at all.
The Cost of Branding Your Business Name
How much does it really cost to brand your business? That’s like asking “How much does it cost to take a trip?” The answer is; it all depends on what you want. Where do you want to go? How do you want to get there? First class? Coach? Where are you staying? 5-star hotel or road-side motel. etc.
The cost to brand your business will depend largely on how you have named your business and the methods of advertising you choose. Regardless of which advertising methods you choose, be certain that you position your marketing efforts so you can measure all the results.
If you have big business goals then go for it. Maybe you don’t have the budget to do ALL the brand marketing right away, but the more you do, the more your business grows. After a time you will then have the money that you can use to keep putting into your dream of owning a big brand.
It is possible to
Do you have the answer for these questions?
*How big do you want to be?
*How large of a territory do you want to service?
*Will your business brand carry the weight even if you aren’t there?
Tracking and Testing Your Brand Marketing Efforts
A common mistake business owners make is to not track the results from their marketing efforts. Whether you do your own advertising or hire a firm, make sure you are able to track the results from each and every nickel spent.
One great interview question for a prospective advertising or marketing agency is to ask “How will you track the ROI on each channel?” and “What are you doing to collect leads and followup?” Here is a really fun question to ask a person who is trying to get your marketing business: ask them “Tell me about the businesses you owned and what worked for you?” You will quickly find out how many have never owned a business and are only cogs in a wheel.
Too many advertising and marketing agencies don’t track ad campaign effectiveness. Unfortunately, this is also a major weakness for people who manage their own business marketing efforts too. A buckshot marketing campaign might be successful, but if it does result in sales – you won’t know why. Worse yet, you won’t know how to mimic it again in all mediums.
Each and every media channel needs to provide you with accurate results feedback so you can build and expand on each marketing effort.
In order to optimize and create a well thought out advertising budget for both online and offline you need to test your ROI on each media outlet. Scattering your advertising like you were feeding corn to chickens probably won’t be effective.
Your marketing also needs to be tiered and connected to make certain you capture your leads. Even with a brand marketing campaign, the focus needs to be on pulling prospective customers into your sales funnel.
The most effective business branding marketing campaigns will harmonize several platforms together like your website, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Bing, Newspaper, Direct mail, Radio, Video, and email followup campaigns! All of it needs to be included for an strong and EFFECTIVE business branding campaign.
When keeping track of marketing costs and ROI, bare in mind that with a new branding campaign the front-end/ setup costs are usually the most expensive. The process of setting up a new website, developing a new logo, creating effective ad-copy, establishing and testing marketing headlines, landing pages, pre-sell pages etc. are not all things that will need to be repeated.
As you continue to test your ROI and marketing results you will be able to reduce marketing costs and hone in on your more successful efforts. By testing and tracking everything you can put more into what is working and less into what isn’t.