When it comes to your small business the most vital piece that you need to focus on is your branding and the message your are conveying. Your brand is the personality of your business and is what your customers will identify with. That's why it's important that you know how to build a brand that connects with your ideal clients.
A brand consists of the majority of your business, everything from your website, logo, to even the way you answer the phone.
Naming Your Business
The first thing you need to decide on is the name of your business. This is what your clients will remember about you so it needs to be easily recalled, easy to pronounce and make sense for your business. Don't rush this step and put a lot of thought into it. It can be helpful to come up with a list of possible names in a spreadsheet and rate them on a scale of relevance, how catchy it is etc. Then ask several people which they like best to help you narrow it down and get an honest opinion of what the public will think.
Defining Your MissionCreating a mission statement will help you get a clearer vision of what your business will mean to people and what it is you have to offer them - which then will help you develop your brand and what you want it to visually represent. A mission statement defines the values of your business and what your goals are.
For example take a look at Uber's mission statement:
“Uber is evolving the way the world moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers.”
Here we get exactly what it is Uber has to offer and why it is important to them. They want to connect the world, and not only provide benefits for riders but also their drivers.
Similarly if we take a look at Coke's mission statement:
“To refresh the world…To inspire moments of optimism and happiness…To create value and make a difference.”
Not only do we understand that they provide refreshing drinks, but that they also want to bring the values of happiness, optimism and make an impact.
Your mission statement can be simply one sentence or a paragraph, whatever you feel you need to establish your purpose and values.
Designing your Logo
Your logo is the first thing that potential customers will notice and will be making their automatic judgements on. It is vital that it is professional looking, eye catching and most importantly says exactly what your brand and business is all about. This can seem like a large feat for just a logo, which is why it needs to be well thought out. It is worth designing many options before you decide on just one or hiring a graphic designer to help you.
Key Branding ColoursNot only will people recognise your logo, but the colours you use to represent your brand are just as important. Colours evoke emotions and can be extremely powerful. We all know about Tiffany Blue, the signature Coke red or that McDonalds is a bright yellow M. The goal is to choose colours that are just as influential.
At the end of the day it is all about psychology and how you want your customers to feel when they think about your brand. For example, green is usually associated with nature, the environment or money, while red symbolizes strength and passion.
Creating a Catchy TaglineCreating a tagline is similar to your mission statement, except in shorter and catchy sentences. These are slogans or even jingles that get stuck in your head and says exactly what your brand is about. It can be as simple as Nike's "Just do it" or as long as Mastercards' "There are some things money can't buy. For everything else there's Mastercard."
You can place your tagline on your website, business cards or any promotional items.
Defining your Voice
When you think of brands whether you realise it or not you associate them with a certain voice or personality. A great example of this is the brand Innocent. From their marketing ads to the posts they make on social media we know that they are a playful, cheery and an uplifting brand. Through the words and humour, they use we feel like we really know them and what to expect.
When it comes to your own brand it's important that you define your own voice and how you will use it to interact with your customers. Are you a sleek, professional and serious brand? Are you a cutesy and sweet brand? Are you light-hearted and humorous? Whatever you choose you need to stick with it with on all that you do.
Consistency is Key
Once you feel like you have completed all of the aspects above it is essential that you remain consistent with your brand. Everything should have a cohesive feel and be the same throughout all of your platforms from your website, social media, business cards, advertisements etc. This creates solid brand awareness and elevates the professionalism of your business. Soon your customers will really get to know you and be excited about what it is you have to offer.