10 things to consider when branding your business
You have your business idea and plan. Now you have to brand yourself. The ins and outs of brand marketing might be confusing, but with this checklist you will be ready to go.
1. Business Name
This may take time. Come up with a name that's quick, clever and memorable. It should make sense with your product or service. Pair it with a catchy tagline if you like. If your name is unique enough, you can get it trademarked.
Give it a theme that emphasizes your message and passion. Do you offer a cleaning service? Try using a blue and silver colour palette. Add consistent graphics. Use high-quality, relevant images. Make sure your URL is simple and contains your business name for the purpose of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). More on SEO here.
Design a logo that’s your brand in a nutshell. It should be eye-catching and easy to understand. Consider hiring someone to do this. Check out sites like 99 Designs for logo services.
4. Social Media
Consider making at least two or three social media accounts once you start launching your business. Key platforms to pick from are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. Check out our social media checklist for more.
5. Pictures & Images
Use high resolution, well-composed photos and images. These can be in your posts, on your printed materials, or across your website. Try to use original pictures. It might be worth hiring a freelance photographer for web and social photos. Use professional headshots of yourself so customers can meet you.
6. Tell your story
Tell your personal story and the story of how your business got started. Where did the idea come from? What inspired you? At minimum, it could be a ten-word bio on Instagram or 300 engaging words on your website. You may wish to hire a copywriter to wordsmith your language to perfection.
7. Hire a graphic designer or website designer
Hiring someone with an eye for attractive branding is an investment that will pay off in the future. If the designer describes something to you and you’re not happy with it, get an opinion from someone you trust. Make sure it will look the way you want it to and that it fits with your vision.
8. Be consistent
Colours, taglines, patterns: be consistent with them. Use your theme across all your marketing platforms and materials. If your colours are peach and mint green, stick to that in your logo, Website layout, social media posts, and printed materials.
Get some business cards printed. You may wish to create pins, T-shirts and other accessories with your logo to promote your business. Creative tactics like these will help get your name out to the community.
10. Know Why
Why does your branding look the way it does? Is your goal to evoke curiosity and excitement? Trust? Friendship? Reliability? Careful decisions like this will determine whether customers will engage with your product or service. Infuse your brand with your key messages and goals. Research your customers thoroughly; ask them how your branding makes them feel. Be sure to understand the demographics of your customer: their age, gender, and interests. Know their psychographics too: how they feel, their beliefs and desires. If you craft a brand specifically for them, it will be easier for you to focus on one group in particular rather than scattering your energies and efforts.