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B is for Branding

The Oxford Dictionary defines Branding as: “The activity of giving a particular name and image to goods and services so that people will be attracted to them and want to buy them.” Put simply, people will  buy into an image if it’s good enough.

Many business owners think of branding as a bright coloured logo on their website and business card. Whilst your business card and website is a part of your branding, you need to look at the bigger picture. Branding your business successfully is a lot trickier than you think which is why the big companies like Apple, Google and Coca-Cola pay big bucks to make sure it’s done right.

If you are thinking about starting up a new business or revamping the brand on your current business, here’s some tips to help push your image in the right direction.

Figure out what ‘Branding’ actually means.

So what is branding? Branding is how you are showcasing and presenting your business through:

* Your company website

* Your company logo

* Your social media presence

* Your advertising

* Your marketing collateral

* Your business app

Research! Research! Research!

Yes, this dreaded word that many of us time-poor business owners dread. Research is time consuming but necessary to ensure the success of your branding. If you have no idea who your market is, how much they are spending and if they are even looking for the service you are providing, you are going to be hitting a dead end before you know it.

You must also research your own business and understand exactly what you are promoting and what is the best way for you to make money. This can include such research as ensuring you are advertising in the right places, reaching your clientèle through relevant social media posts and understanding where your marketplace is looking for your services. It has to be a brand that people can relate to and want to be associated with.

Simple is best.

When looking at designing the logo for your brand, understand what your market will relate to and don’t try to over-complicate it by incorporating every single service that your business provides. For example, if your key business is selling boats but you also do boat repairs and training for your boat license, don’t try and add all of that into your logo. That’s what your website and business card is for. Keep your brand and logo eligible, clear and easy to recognise.

People love originality.

It can be very tempting to try and piggyback off the ideas of the big players in branding. The thing you need to remember is one of the reasons why their brand is so successful, is they have full time marketing teams working around the clock on every aspect of their brand and image. It is also blatantly obvious to most that your brand is not original and thus can act as a deterrent to new clients.

You want your brand to be able to stand on it’s own two feet and not rely on the ideas of other business’s.

Keep it consistent. 

When kids learn to read it’s all about repetition and consistency, the same can be said for successful branding.  This is where having a good and professional marketing team, comes in very handy. Branding is about consistency so people recognise your business from one quick glance. There is no use paying for your car to be wrapped with a green logo, when the one on your business card is blue and the logo on your website is more of an aqua colour with an extra swirl around it. You need to give your business a solid and consistent image.

The best way to ensure your business is a success is to have the ‘2 B’s’ in order, the Books and your Branding. We can’t help out with the books but if you need any advice on how to start successfully branding your business, drop us a line at Shared Marketing.