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Building Your Brand

Mon, 14 Sep 2015 by Hawkins, Kathleen

A brand is a class of goods or services that can be identified by name as the product of a particular company. Coca-Cola™ for instance, is instantly recognizable in the marketplace due to its consistent use of its script logo and the colors red and white. While it’s easy to see how such a large company can benefit from sparking recognition among prospective clients, branding is becoming increasingly important for all businesses, especially smaller ones. 

It is easier than ever before to develop a product or service, create a web site, and run a business from home. However, that means there are a slew of other similar businesses competing for your prospective client’s time and money. By carefully identifying and presenting your business image, you can set yourself apart from the competition and increase your company’s perceived value. This is especially important for small businesses because with small businesses, branding is about the impression you make. As a small business owner, it is imperative you make a positive impression. 

Several factors must be considered when you build brand recognition:

1.      Consistent use of your company name, logo and tag line are essential ingredients. Create an image that will attract attention and will endure for years to come. This is something that should require a good amount of planning. A dull brand image will be a letdown to you and your customers, and one that capitalizes on current trends will appear outdated in a short period of time and will need to be changed frequently. 

2.      Your brand should be evident in all of your marketing materials. Your letterhead, business cards, postcards, brochures, website, signage and business interior, if applicable. Everything should  be designed to create a singular brand experience for your clients. Make consistent use of your name, logo, color theme, etc., to portray your business in a way that will appeal to your desired clientele. 

3.      If you are just starting out, your brand can be applied to every aspect of your business at once. However, if you have been in business for some time, you will need to revamp one item at a time to achieve a total brand transformation. Start with the logo, which can be applied to your website, emails, business cards, letterhead, and other client facing materials. 

4.      Don’t forget your branding extends into social media and not just on your business profile pages. If branding is about making a positive impression, then the impression you personally make on social media matters. 

Companies with a solid business identity and careful branding tend to be stronger and more successful in general than others. Consistency in your marketing efforts conveys a strong sense of professionalism and breeds familiarity. Needless to say, this appeals to prospective clients, who like to feel assured that you will provide the quality products and service they desire. However, keep in mind telling your story with authenticity and passion will shine through to your clients the most and that passion will fuel your personal brand.