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Small Business Branding Busted

On today’s blog we are exploring the world of branding. Here’s a simple definition from Seth Godin:

A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.

When starting a small business we all have to think about ‘the brand’. Think of your brand as your promise to your customers. A brand differentiates your offering from that of your competitors so is something that needs to be properly thought through.

A great place to start is to look at Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle. Simon Sinek suggests everything starts with the question “why”.

Why worry about your brand?

When looking at your “why”, you are exploring and understanding the core belief of your business. By this we mean why the business exists, and not to make money, but the real reason you want to get out of bed and drive that business success.

Once you have your why, you should then consider “how” and by this we mean how does your business fulfil that core belief. And finally, you can then look at the “what”, which is what the company does to fulfil that belief.

What many companies do is start with their “what” and then look at “how” they do that and the “why” is often missed completely.

Once you understand your why, how and what here are seven things you should consider when creating a brand:

Pick a name

When creating a company name there are several options to consider. You could choose something that makes it really clear what your core business is such as XYZ Plumbing. Another option is to choose a descriptive word which says something about your business. Or you could choose a unique word which you have made-up but will be easily remembered

If you have a name in mind check that the name doesn’t currently exist elsewhere and this includes checking the url you would want for you company website. Your brand name should be short and memorable. Ensure the name is hard to mis-spell and easy to pronounce. You also need to check that the name doesn’t already exist with Companies House and that there are no existing trademarks in place.

Understand your clients and customers and ensure the brand image you are creating will appeal to them. You may have an idea you absolutely love but if your clients hate it then you have failed at the first hurdle. Do lots of research on your target audience so you fully understand your customers likes and dislikes.

Talk to people you know about what you are trying to achieve and seek their views on your initial thoughts, designs, colours and strapline. Friends and family can be great advisors for those creating a brand. However if you have contacts within the industry you are selling to, always try and run your concepts past them for another opinion.

Create a voice for the business

Create a voice for your company and maintain that tone of voice in all your communication with customers. Ensure that tone of voice represents your brand and is clear and easy to read.

Protect your brand by trademarking your company name, logo and strapline so it can’t be used elsewhere and becomes fully aligned to your business alone. You should display copyright notices on company literature and your website.

Once you have your name, logo, strapline, corporate colours, website, social media accounts and email make sure they are seen as much as possible. That way they become instantly recognisable to clients and customers. However, be consistent with your brand across all communication channels.

At Avery WePrint we can help you get your brand seen. You can create your own design using our online software and these can then be applied to a wide range of products including labels, laptop skins, phone skins, ring binders, business cards, wall stickers, and much more. ­­­

2 September 2015