Now that you have your small business up an running, it’s time to talk about branding. What is a brand exactly? And do you really need one for your small business?
What is Branding?
Branding is the art of marketing a creative name, symbol or design that identifies your product and differentiates it from your competition. Very simply, it is your identity. Branding is how you want your audience and everyone else to view your company. Branding is what your audience can expect from your services or products. However, it goes further than the look and feel of a logo or brochures, there are many levels to your brand.
Define your brand
First, define your brand by clearly focusing on your identity:
- Company mission statement.
- Characteristics of your company.
- Characteristics you would like your company to have.
- Who is our target audience?
- What are our company goals?
Create the Logo and Color Scheme
Although color may not seem like a super important decision for your brand, let me assure you that it is. Why? The human mind is extremely responsive to visual stimuli, which most of us already know. Each and every color will affect your brand differently as there are underlying messages behind each. The shade and tone of your color will affect your brand as well.
Meanings associated with differing colors:
- Pink: Feminine, Love, Tranquil
- Red: Power, Passion
- Orange: Health, Energy, Warmth, Excitement
- Green: Nature, Soothing, Money
- Blue: Peace, Loyal, Clean, Trust
- Purple: Magic, Creativity, Royalty
- White: Purity, Cleanliness, Simplicity
- Black: Power, Sophistication
- Brown: Rural, Outdoors, Masculine
Your logo is an extension of your brand. This is one of the crucial pieces in creating an effective brand. Think of your logo as your company’s identity. Your logo is what your audience will learn to associate with your company and its services or products.
When creating your logo, think long term. A good question to as yourself is, ‘what logo would I like to see my company have in 10 years?’
Also, think how your logo is going to be used online, billboards, stationary, vehicles, custom cardboard displays etc? You want to create a logo that is adaptable to each and every possible way you plan to use it.
Create a Tagline
Tagline is a unique phrase that links your name to your brand. However, don’t get so focused on creating the perfect tagline and get too caught up in the meaning behind the message. Your tagline should ‘say’ to your audience what your products or services are representing.
Examples of great taglines:
- Nike: “Just do it.”
- LG: “Life’s Good”
- Apple: “Think Different”
- Lego: “Play on”
- Walmart: “Save Money Live Better”
- McDonalds: “I’m lovin it.”
- L’Oreal: “Because you’re worth it.”
- Disneyland: “The happiest place on earth.”
Integrate the your Brand
Your brand is now ready to be integrated into every aspect of your company. Small businesses have a leg up in this area, because with fewer employees comes the opportunity of being more personable with your audience.
Make sure every communication you send out in regards to your company is consistent and in line with the brand you have created. A confusing brand will deter rather than attract your audience.