In order to stand out from the crowd and build a steady customer base, companies must dedicate a lot of attention to brand management and public promotion.
The first objective of every startup is to get the production off the ground and start generating sales. In the rush to ensure that company remains out of the red zone, strategic branding is rarely treated as a high priority.
As a result, some pretty successful companies remain unable to develop a clear and recognizable identity, depending on the success of each individual product for sustained profitability.
Your brand is the most indispensable asset you have, and you need to take steps to maximize its long-term value.
Quite often, it is enough to follow the elementary principles of good branding and stay consistent over a long period of time, since repetition breeds familiarity.
This article will take you through some of the most fundamental elements of brand identity, explaining how each of them contributes to the positive image of your company.
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Develop a Brand Story
Every company has a set of basic values it adheres to, even if they are not stated explicitly. It is simply a matter of arranging those values into a coherent story that can be used to welcome new employees, brief the marketing team or entertain possible investors. The story can be symbolic, inspirational, or even funny the point is to capture the spirit of the enterprise in a format that’s easy to remember.
It is much easier to determine the right tone for communication with customers when you have a pretty good idea what image you want to project. It’s up to you how to formalize the brand story it could be summarized into a single sentence or extended into a longer document.
Create a Memorable Logo
Logotype is the central pillar of your visual identity since it represents a signature of the company that can be found on each product, advertising or company document. In a way, this tiny image represents an official seal of approval of the company, sending a message of quality to the customers and confirming that your authority stands behind it.
A well-made logo can last a couple of decades and achieve nearly universal recognition at first sight just think about the iconic Nike "Swoosh" logo that requires no explanations. Prices of logo design can range from $50 to $500 or more, and this is probably not the best place to cut expenses. It might be far more costly to pay for a redesign if you realize your first logo isn’t doing any favors to your reputation.
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Pick Primary and Secondary Colors
When you think about Shell, you immediately see yellow and red, but if someone mentions British Petrol, you will visualize yellow and green. Colors can be used as a building block of the brand, helping to visually standardize all company products and advertising while fostering familiarity with customers.
Colors already present on your logo are usually chosen for primary corporate colors, and they are used for a broad range of applications. Separate sets of colors may be preferred for specific product series’ or seasonal campaigns, although primary colors may still be used discreetly on these materials to tie them in with the overall identity of the company.
Start a Themed Campaign
One way to differentiate from the competition is to pick a unique theme that will become a part of your advertising for years to come. When people are associating you with a certain style of advertising materials, your new products will benefit from brand visibility accumulated during the long-term campaign.
Some companies support professional sports teams and promote the connection through various means, while others may choose socially responsible topics that are in some way related to their core business. There are plenty of examples to draw inspiration from, and you don’t need an astronomic budget to create something that people will talk about. It is more important to identify the theme that’s a natural fit for your company and to be creative when it comes to execution.
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Establish a Strong Online Presence
The fastest way to build up your brand in the modern marketplace is through intensive use of online platforms that can significantly extend your outreach and amplify your key messages. It is not enough to create a website and upload pictures of your products there since the customers expect constant interaction and communication in real time.
For example, a company providing cleaning services in Chicago might want to advertise on Chicago-based media sites and develop a strong online following in the area, making their company well-known to the local residents. In the ideal scenario, this would lead to a spontaneous outburst of word-of-mouth marketing, where existing customers voluntarily recommend you to their friends and family members.