Learn the Best Tips for Branding Your Company

Proper branding is critical to your long term success. A lot of people think of branding as logo development. But in reality, branding is managing the thoughts and feelings of your customers to ensure that you are what they desire. If your desired brand image is not what is in the minds of your target audience, you must figure out where the gaps are and how to address them. Fixing these issues will be hard work but always keep in mind – the customer is always right.

Just think, Coca Cola only sold 25 bottles its first year and it is now one of the most recognized brands in the world. Branding your company is key to influencing your audience and leaving a memorable, yet lasting impression. It is not only the name recognition of your company, but also the perceived value of your organization. From both a consumer and brand manager standpoint I have gathered my top twenty essential branding elements to help you create a positive and memorable brand image for your company.

  1. Do your homework. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH! In order to be better than the competition you must first learn how. Learning the in’s and out’s of your industry will help you excel your business. Research your target market, market trends, competition, determine your brand position and strategy, also calculate your financial gains and losses. The best way to excel is to learn from others mistakes.
  2. Be original. Find your niche. Originality is key!  There are essentially thousands of companies that may offer the same services and/or products that you do. Determine your strengths and weaknesses and decide what will set you apart from the competition.
  3. Determine who are you. Develop a memorable tagline that expresses who you are and what you do.
  4. What is your purpose? Develop a mission statement that shows your reason for being what you are and the value you provide to your customers.
  5. Hire a professional. Once your ready to take a leap of faith and began to start your own business, hire a branding company, like myself 🙂 to tell your story. Have us develop all collateral and image materials (website, stationery, logo, tagline, mission statement, cards, postcards, brochures, elevator pitch, newsletters, letters, project sheets, resumes, bios, company description, etc.) to coincide with the brand and your message.
  6. Make it official. I would say roughly 30% of new businesses and individuals do not file the necessary paperwork in order to protect themselves and/or their business. Register your name, obtain the necessary licenses, copyrights and trademarks. Also determine the type of business structure that will work best for your start-up (LLC, Sole Proprietor, S-Corp, etc.). Formulating your business structure early on will protect you later on. (I will be posting more information regarding different business structures soon). 
  7. Incorporate storytelling. With the explosive growth of social media and content marketing, the opportunities to tell stories as part of direct and indirect brand marketing has become a strategic priority. Your goal would be to capture your market, keep them engaged and only giving them piece by piece without giving it all away. Most people are drawn to a brand based on their story and how they influence their customers. 
  8. Diversify all Marketing. PR and media should reach the markets where your clients are to be found, opposed to marketing within your own service industry.
  9. E-Mail Marketing. Create and issue an online mail newsletter. Get known for niche expertise or specific industry knowledge. (speak, write, present, teach). Stay connected with your customers and let them know what’s going on.
  10. Create Great Products and Provided Excellent Customer Service. Sounds simple? Hardly! These two essential ingredients will gain and keep your loyal customers. Understand what your customers want and try to give them what they want. Conduct surveys to learn more about your consumer.
  11. Have A Professional Website. It’s not just good enough to just have a website, you must reflect your brand image. If you’re known as a top notch photographer, the last thing you would want is for someone to visit an outdated website as your first impression. The web is the most common way, besides word of mouth that many consumers learn about new trends, companies, products, etc. If someone recommends your service, you can almost guarantee nine times out of ten, they will go online and look you up. Your website design should be updated at least every two years to stay current.
  12. Stay Up to Date. Again, keep your website up to date, be informational based so that search engines can find you, and clients can read in-depth material demonstrating your expertise. Add informative and engaging website content a minimum of four times per month.
  13. Use Meta Tags. These are very important when it comes to optimizing your website for the web. Using good meta tags on your website will allow the information on your website to be easily assessable in the top search engines on the internet. This helps drive traffic to your site if setup correctly.
  14. Gain Competitive Advantage. Develop tip sheets as to how your company is different than your competitors and why this makes a difference to teaming partners and to your potential clients. Include these differentiating tips as the basis for all your branding statements. Let customer know why to choose you.
  15. Potential teaming partners. Get to know all potential teaming partners in your new geographic area. Let them know your areas of expertise and the potential for cross referrals.
  16. Avoid being stagnant. With new companies launching daily, the worst thing for an existing company to do be stagnant. Learn new trends and research the competition to see what they are offering to stay ahead. Being stagnant will make it a lot easier for your competition.
  17. Get to know your customer. The best way to improve your products and services is to simply ask. Create surveys or feedback questionnaires to gain insight on how to improve your products and services.
  18. Ask Yourself. After it is all set and done you must ask yourself several questions from a consumer and company standpoint. Is your brand image perceived in the positive light  that you would like?
  19. Recognize Your Value. Establish your brand by regularly updating the financial value or potential value associated with your brand. Quantify your success achieved and add these results to your brand value. Communicate through all methods, this is imperative to the value of your brand.
  20. Hit the ground running! Now that you have all this vital information, you should better understand your position and how to effectively communicate your brand message to your customers. Have Fun!

 

Posted on August 18, 2014 in Blog, Branding

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