There are so many things to think about when owning a small business—establishing an office space, setting up finances, figuring out who’s going to make the coffee and who’s going to talk to clients—that it’s easy to overlook one major detail: branding. Establishing a name for your company is an ongoing process that can be easily lost in the day-to-day shuffle, so it’s important to keep an eye on your efforts. Use the following tips as a guide while you work to establish and maintain a brand identity for your company.
Lay the Ground Work
We all know consumers hold the power in every purchase, but these days most get their information from online sources. In fact, a whopping 83 percent of American consumers research purchases of items like books and movies online before pulling the trigger in a brick-and-mortar store. This is why it’s crucial for your website to clearly inform visitors about why your product is superior to your competitors’ offerings.
Step one to increasing the clarity of your company message is making sure yours is an easily found website that runs quickly and reliably. This means choosing a domain name that relates directly to your business name, as well as selecting a reliable Web hosting service to ensure your site is always up and running.
Consider Your Content
Once you have your website up and running, your design choices and content become the next most important factors in communicating with potential customers. Put some real thought into the layout and other visual factors of your site; color is an especially important factor, given that its use can increase brand recognition by 80 percent. For example, red is seen as a powerful color, while blue helps your business to be seen as trustworthy. Incorporate appropriate shades into your logo, background color and font to make a lasting impression in the minds of your site’s visitors.
Once you’ve taken these initial steps toward establishing a brand identity, you enter the maintenance phase. This includes continuing to spread the word about your business through all means possible; don’t overlook real-world options like print media and advertising in addition to your online efforts. Join your local Chamber of Commerce; distribute business cards with your chosen (color appropriate) logo; and, most importantly, make sure your brand messaging is consistent across all platforms to avoid any confusion. And of course, all your efforts should direct potential customers to your website—ground zero in terms of your company’s overall brand identity.
No one can deny that it’s hard work to build a business from the ground up. Even with so many other items on your entrepreneurial agenda, it’s crucial to include your website as part of your overall strategy for establishing a brand identity. Take these simple steps to put you on the path to marketing—and commercial—success.