Your business started as an idea, and that idea has to have a personality. In today’s post, we take a quick peek at branding practices that will help you define your business better. In the following paragraphs, we hope to help you better understand branding and give you a few actionable ideas you can use starting today.
What’s in a Brand?
David Ogilvy, often called the “Father of Advertising,” described branding as, “The intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised.” In other words, it is a company’s identity. In the modern age, your brand is also closely linked with your online presence.
Where Is My Branding Used?
The short answer here is: everywhere. Your brand is seen on everything from your webpages and social media sites to your store signage and your promotional products. You show your brand every time you pass out a business card or have your employees wear shirts with your logo embroidered on them. Branding is also a part of your identity, and your customer service, operating hours, and even telephone greetings can become closely associated with your organization.
In the early days of your business, you can handle much of the branding on your own. Ideally, you’ll start with a company name, logo, and social media pages. If you plan to be your own promoter, use this Facebook ads maker to help you get started on your social media campaigns. Although it caters to an older demographic, Facebook is still an excellent way to advertise.
You can also make a point to distribute promotional products, such as T-shirts, business cards, and coupons, to other local business owners. Sign up for community events, and you will have a valuable opportunity to network with entrepreneurs, event promoters, and potential future customers.
While many small steps will create a big impact, there are also some larger projects you might wish to look at to help you best create, manage, and promote your brand. Going back to school for marketing or business is one example. You can apply to an accredited online school to sharpen your business development and management skills, which can give you a boost of confidence when it’s time to start branding (or rebranding).
Speaking of rebranding, you may need to change the way your business looks and behaves in response to issues, such as bad press, (remember THIS story from a few years back about Kelly Blazek?) outdated practices, or declining sales. This may be something as simple as changing where you advertise, but you may have to consider updating your visual imagery or even altering the way you do business, such as being more transparent.
When to Hire a Professional
While you can begin to lay a solid foundation for your brand yourself, there are many reasons that you might want to hire a professional. If you don’t have a good grasp of color and design, for example, Scotland-based Pixelbase Studio recommends utilizing a graphic design firm to help your business establish a professional brand. You’ll also want to outsource things like website design and public relations to an individual or firm with experience.
A good way to think about your brand is that it is intricately intertwined with everything you do as a business; it’s a part of your print, digital, and face-to-face marketing strategies. From small things, like creating social media posts, to business decisions, like going back to school, your brand matters at every turn. Make yours the very best, but don’t be afraid to re-strategize if needed.