A brand is an important piece in the longevity and success of your business. Your brand is how someone instantly recognizes what you represent and sets up expectations on how you will do business based on what they have experienced and heard in the past. Think of Pepsi, the UFC, McDonald's and the NFL. All of these brands instantly bring something to mind - good or bad. If you misrepresent your brand it can be a long, tedious process of trying to regain trust and rebuild your reputation. So, whether you're already promoting your business or you're getting ready to jump into business, here a few things to think through. A healthy business can be the key to your dreams and an unhealthy business surely can create some nightmares.
Planning Your Brand
There are a few things to consider when laying out how your brand will look, feel and perform in a marketplace that will require you to fight for its attention. The more eyes you control the attention of, the faster and stronger your company will be.
Your logo is one of the first things your customer or future customer will see. If you look at some of the biggest and best brands in the world, they are sleek and simple. This was brought to my attention by a mentor when I was starting my first business. I wanted a long name and some elaborate design and color scheme, which was not only expensive to design, but also not easy to recognize. If you think of Coke, Apple, Nike, Microsoft and Facebook, these brands are some of the biggest in the world and all have one word as well as a basic layout. All these brands are also unmistakable.
Your Brand Voice
When planning your brand, it might help to think of it as a person. Ask yourself some of these questions about your brand:
- Who would it be?
- How would it represent itself?
- What would it stand for?
- What does it want to accomplish?
- Why are you in business?
Make sure you pair your brand to the kind of personality you want it to represent. If it has a strong personality (think Grant Cardone), you would have a harder time capturing the attention of Martha Stewart's audience, for example. Take some time to think this through. You want your brand to be as seamless as possible.
Launching or Re-Launching Your Brand
Now that you have a well thought out foundation for your brand, it's time to get your company out into the market and KNOWN!
Social Media Platforms
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and many more. Which platforms will serve you best? Take time to do some research and talk to an expert. Social media is a huge resource if it is used properly. It's important for your brand to be as consistent as possible. You want your social media platforms to tell the same story that your website is telling. You would be surprised how many companies are out at trade shows and events selling their hearts out but have a scatter shot presence on social media and a website that is not as nearly inviting as their social media posts. Be consistent in your logo, text color schemes and templates, be consistent in your posting frequency, and be consistent in your message and brand voice. Promote, promote, promote!
Tools, Things to Have On File, and To-Do Lists
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you are launching or re-launching your brand. All are helpful to think about during this process:
- #Hashtags - Create some original hashtags to follow your brand and use them on social media
- Logo - Save a file with different formats and sizes
- Colors and Fonts - This will help make print and digital branding look the same
- Set up a company signature on your email with all your business contact information, including social media outlets
- Make sure all of your listings and profiles on Google Business, your website and social media are complete and up to date. If your company has a physical location, be sure to include the correct hours of operation and phone number!
- Helpful tools - Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and Re-post all make social media a little easier and some even allow you to schedule out your social media posts!
Representing Your Brand
This is the final step. Remember you are always representing your brand. Treat your customers the way that best represents your brand, and deal with a negative review of a disgruntled customer head on. Always stop and think how a bad dealing will impact your company's future and reputation. Don't be scared to stand your ground, just think it through and do the right thing. Maintain your brand voice, be consistent in your messages, and be fair in your dealings, and you just might end up building the next mega brand.
This blog post was written by Zayne Taber, Tabletop Media Group's Business Developer.