How to Brand Your Company
Creating your online brand is critical to be successful in today’s market. It’s like the ink of a ballpen, or the foundation of a house. You wouldn’t want to invest in running a website without even knowing your purpose and mission. When it comes to marketing, many business owners tend to think that creating a website or putting up ads online is enough. But, what about standing out from a myriad of similar businesses? Knowing how to brand your company is essential for that success.
What is a Brand?
Entrepreneur defines it as “the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products”. Compare the montage of logos. You can easily identify what each represents with just a glance at the shape and colors. That’s branding. It should quickly identify what your company is and what it represents.
How to Build Your Brand
Everyone is unique. We all have our own peculiar identities that make us stand out from one another. Even twins and triplets are not perfectly the same.
“The adjectives and characteristics that make up your brand ideally differentiate you from your competitors and provide a clear understanding of what your business is not only capable of doing, but also what it is known for.” -Lou Imbriano
Similarly, your company has its own identity that makes it different from other companies. What makes you unique? What do you intend to fulfill? Who do you want to attract? How do you look? You can define it in the following ways:
1. Create Your Mission Statement
Do you have an elevator pitch? If you had :30 could you answer the question of what you do and leave them wanting more? How do you benefit customers? Why should people buy from you? Develop this into a brief mission statement that is actionable. Here’s a guide for developing your mission statement.
You can start by answering these questions:
- Who are you?
- What is your mission? Why do you do it?
- Who are your target market? How do you plan to attract them?
- Do you want to earn?
- Do you offer solutions to particular issues?
- What is your ideal work environment?
2. Define Your Target Market
This takes research. Will you market to retirees in Florida or recent college grads? Don’t try to be all things to all people. Doing so can leave you confused and stressed out. Narrow your niche market or you risk getting lost in the noise of online marketing.
Look at the image of logos again. This time, picture in detail the person each image represents. Old, young, female, rich, poor, educated, etc. They are all uniquely different but possibly similar in some ways. Think of your perfect customer in the same way. Write down all the traits you can think of that best describe your target audience. How would you connect with them?
3. Develop A Consistent Voice
How will you communicate with your target market? Your voice must be consistent across all modes of communication. This includes print, social, email, office environment and in person. Think of the people you want to attract. How can you talk them into your business?
Keep your voice conversational and friendly. Your goal is for your customers and potential customers to feel like you are speaking directly to them. You want people to like, love and trust you. Why drive away business opportunities?
4. Develop a Tagline
You’re ready to shout out to the world in a few words the essence of your brand. According to Forbes, it should be functional and memorable with a little personality thrown in.
5. Create Your Logo
Think of your logo as easily identifiable and easy to associate with your product or service. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a design expert to create a unique logo. For less than $300 you can have 100,000 professionals creating designs in your own personal design contest at Zillion Designs.
Color is also an important aspect of your design. Some colors don’t contrast well and make edges blur or hard to read. Black and white contrast well. Edges are easy to define and see. Need some ideas? Try out different combinations with this color chart.
Once you have your brand set up, incorporate it into everything you do. That might be packaging, email and social media campaigns, ads, blogs, videos, webinars, and presentations. Consistency is key.
Ways to Market Your Brand
Branding isn’t all about a product. It is neither all about the people you want to connect with. It’s about you—your company’s own unique identity. When you are clear about who you are and what you aim to accomplish, it wouldn’t be very difficult for you to express your self online. Here are five ways you can do to promote your brand:
1. Social Media
Facebook and other social media sites thrive with a lot of potential clients. They can be your next door neighbor or someone else who lives offshore. With this in mind, who knows how far your business can reach?
A recent research in the United States shows that 7 out of 10 Americans engage in social media. This means having a great opportunity to market your business to a variety of people. Social media is free, and allows you to: share your message, have your own share of faithful followers, and interact with your current and potential customers. Post, share, like, and stand out!
Businesses inspire when they have happy customers and followers. Find a way to keep them upbeat and interested. The stories they share and the happiness they radiate can drive others to you in return. They help build your company’s credibility as well.
You can share their stories on your website, social media, and other available platforms. Don’t forget to thank them in return. For this, you can give them freebies and other tokens of appreciation.
3. Brand Ambassadors
Let your workers and colleagues promote you. Having them by your side and establishing good relationships with them are things that you can always treasure. You don’t have to be perfect or put up a face in order to win them. You can promote your brand by sharing to them your real self. When they see your potential and innate goodness, they’d be happy enough to tell others about you. You can find brand ambassadors among your:
- Field of clients
- Fellow entrepreneurs
- Other areas in life
Producing good content can help you make the most out of your company’s online identity. You can do this through blogs, which can make it convenient for people to know more about you and your message. They help bring out your voice and approach to the public. Search engines also love it when you have good content, thus, increasing your chances of getting easily seen on the web. Let people know what you’re about, and talk them to it.
Perhaps, you can ask this question: How can you make your company the haven of potential consumers and followers?
Your fellow entrepreneurs aren’t necessarily your enemies in the field. In fact, they can be your avid supporters as well. You can team up with another company to market your brand. If you’re in the massage business, why not collaborate with salons and spas to help increase your clients? You can do this through vouchers, gift certificates, and the like. The same goes for other industries. Collaborate with those you know you can depend on, and together you can provide wonderful solutions to a variety of consumers.
Defining Who You Are
Branding draws out more opportunities for your company. It paves the way for clearer and more productive ways of achieving your mission. It doesn’t have to be complicated and expensive. Think of creative and efficient solutions in finding out How to Brand Your Company. If you don’t know how to go about doing it, you can always approach experts like Slapshot Studio to help you out. We also have valuable resources that you can use online. Know your brand and stand out!
If you have comments, questions or suggestions about How to Brand Your Company, leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!