Your brand is the way the world perceives your business, products and services. With thousands of new brands being developed every day, it has never been more important to develop a strong brand that differentiates itself from the competition.
Top tips for successful branding:
1. Stand back and observe
Take an objective look at your brand by laying your collateral out (brochures etc). Do they reflect the business you are now? Sometimes it takes an external or objective view to completely understand what your brand represents. Your customers will tell you if you ask them!
2. Get to the point
Can you communicate what you do in 60 seconds? Get your story straight now. Make it easy for people to understand what you do immediately. The most effective way of doing this is through promoting the benefits of your product or service and clarifying your key messages.
3. Consistency is key
Be clear and consistent in your collateral. Consistency builds brands faster and shows everyone is ‘singing from the same song sheet’. This helps your brand be clearly understood rather than via a confusion of disjointed messages. Ask your designer to set up a style guide of rules around the use of your logo so that everything within the organisation fits in line and can be easily related to the brand family.
4. Stand out from the crowd
Remember great design cuts through. Is your logo unique and recognisable? Take an edge over competitors and help your brand stand out from the crowd. A company logo gives a lasting first impression of who your company is and what your core values are. A good logo will represent strength, trust and innovation.
5. Hit the target
Tailor your brand to fit your target audience. You may perceive your brand to be innovative and fresh but does it fit in with your target audience? What do they think of it? Check your message is correctly received by asking your prospects and customers what they think.
6. Stay true to your word
Be true to your brand promise: make your brand meaningful by doing what you say you will. This is critical for building credibility and reputation for your brand in the short and longer term. Internal training is a key tool to ensure that your organization is true to its word across the entire organisation.
7. Websites talk
Ensure your website supports your offline branding. Often your company’s website is the first port of call. It should clearly communicate with prospects and customers, informing, reassuring and educating them on all things relating to your company. It is crucial that your website looks part of the family.
8. Tag the line
Create a catchy tagline or three or four key messages that accurately summarise your business. A good tagline will complement your logo and provide a lasting first impression and help explain what you do.
9. Spread the word
Get your message out there. Branding means nothing until your target audience hears it. A regular and positive media presence will further enhance your company’s public image and help build brand. Media coverage greases the wheels of your sales process and provides a third party endorsement that is invaluable.
10. Live and breathe your brand
You should always be looking to extend your brand. Brand everything from your office, to your email signatures to your events…even your car and t-shirts!
-Sharon Williams is founder and MD of Taurus Marketing (www.taurusmarketing.com.au), Australia’s fastest growing marketing agency with a boutique approach to service.