How To Build A Professional Brand For Your Small Business
Small Business Branding
Your business may be just starting out. It may have a strong foot hold. Or, it may be in your mind yet to make a penny for you. It does not matter. One of the most important things for any business is to design a brand for themselves. Think of the big companies out there. If you think about fast food, McDonald's golden arches come to mind quite easily. Think about computers, perhaps that Window's icon is one that is emblazoned into your mind. You may want to think about soda. You definitely can recognize the signatures of Coke and Pepsi, right? While these companies are huge and powerful (not to mention some of the largest in the world) one thing that they have in common is the ability to hit home with you. You know them by their logo. You know them by their name. You know them and that means that someplace deep down inside of you, you trust them, too.
In your small business it is just as important to create a brand for yourself as these companies have done. Doing so strengthens the way that the company sees you and can provide for you. Ultimately, even the biggest of companies base their marketing on what you know of them. When you are able to create this type of recognition with your own businesses, your customer base widens, your profits soar and your company is set on the value of the brand alone. But, how in the world can you create this on the income and profit of a small business?
Start Now, Start Small
Perhaps the best place to start is now. The goal is to get people to know you and that means getting the message out. You need to start now so that you can see your business grow. Many of the businesses we have mentioned and others out there started their logos and their brand names long before they became big names. In fact, if they changed their name now, while they are well known, you may be leery about working with them again. After all, that does not sound like something a prosperous company is going to do at this stage in the game.
So, let's start now. To do so, consider what you already have and what you need to add to that to create a brand for yourself and your company. The key is to have a variety of tools for your marketing campaigns that will offer the same standard of quality. Having a great logo is just the start. There is much more that you can do, on a small or large scale to see a brand come out.
All of the marketing materials that you begin to pull together should all work together. You should have one logo, one specific way of writing your company's name and one spread. The reason for doing this is quite simple. When you coordinate everything that you are doing, you allow people that notice and see your materials to create a bond with them. You want them to have a similar style or similar feeling to them. You want the customer to draw a similar reaction to each type of marketing that you do. This does not mean that all of your marketing materials should be the same, just similar enough to be part of the same campaign.
There are many ways to make that happen and it can be very easy to do. Think about all of the various ways that you can create a logo or design that will be your brand name. This is out of all of the possibilities out there. Now, link them together in the most beneficial way to see the most beneficial results. Here are some ways to make that happen.
Use Color As A Link
One great way to create your brand is to use color as a tool. Again, what color are the golden arches? What color are Pepsi products and what color are Coke? Color is a significant part of any marketing medium but it is an even bigger asset when it comes to your brand's identity. Which color is best to use? There are all types of research done on color and its use and that can be used by you to help you to come up with a good fit. But, for a straight forward answer, simply start with a primary color that suits your business. There are plenty out there to consider, but look for a color that is going to be recognizable to your business. This color should be used in your materials, at least in part, as to create a customer attention grabbing design.
Many companies take this farther and also include a secondary color. That is also a good idea, as long as one color is your primary color throughout. Secondary colors should never interfere with the use of the primary color. In other words, you want to have customer recognize blue with you or red with your company name primarily.
Another good thing to do for your color planning is to use the meanings of colors to help you to create a perfect match for your business name and logo. For example, yellow and red are colors that are consider hungry colors or colors that stimulate the brain in such a way that makes you hungry. Do a bit of research to determine what colors would help to market your specific type of business.
Another important part of creating your brand is with the graphics that you use in that brand. For example, many companies will use various symbols or borders to distinguish their brand. Again, consider the Window's icon. It is the same throughout all of their products and you probably instantly recognize it. There are a wide variety of shapes and angles that you can use like this. Ultimately, you want for the graphics that you use to be a good choice for your business, not just what you like. If you have a modern company, a contemporary design will work best. If you are hoping to strike a cord with the traditional element in people, then you may want some graphic element that communicates this to your customers.
When it comes to using graphics the key is to use quality graphics that are designed for your brand. That means that whenever your company's name is seen, the graphics should also be seen in the same unique way. Just like with color, you want every time that your customer sees that graphic image to think of your business. This helps people to pick up on your brand faster, and delivers more brand recognition faster. You may want to hire a professional company to create a logo for you. Or, look for some talent from your own skill set. You do not need something fabulous or very difficult to draw. What you want is something that relates to your business but provides for a unique element.
Your Company Name
Perhaps the most important element in your brand design is to create your brand name in such a way that everyone will know what it is. Think of all of those signs that you pass on your way to work for restaurants, pubs, even the grocery store. Each has a unique way of presenting their name. This is often done in the font that is used for that company's name. The font, or style, of writing that you use can be anything you would like it to be, as long as it is unique to you and something that is easily understood.
The fonts that you use should be used standard throughout all of your marketing products and promotional elements. If you go with a specific style, such as a signed name for your brand name, stick with it so that consumers can begin to pick up and connect your company to that signature. Use one or two fonts for your design and stick with them throughout.
Using Your Logo
Your logo is an important part of your brand, of course. If you have not given any thought to that logo just yet, do so now. Your logo can be anything you would like it to be so long as it ties into your company in some way. You will want to look for something that is just for your company so that your business is not confused with others. The logo is a basic element of your branding. Think Nike, for example. Everyone knows that the check mark symbol is that of Nike and that often means that it is a high quality product.
When using your logo on your brand materials, be sure to locate it in the same place throughout and it should be colored the same and sized the same throughout everything that you will use. Your logo should not be redone unless there is some problem with it. It is likely to be one of the largest distinguishing characteristics of your brand.
Creating a brand starts with your promotional materials. Having a brand that is known by your customers is the best way to gain a place in the business field that you are in. The more ways that you can do that the more recognition your company will gain. This means more customers coming in your door and more recognition of your product. When the customer connects their need to your brand, you know you have done your job and done it well.
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