How to create and use your brand successfully!
Creating a strong and appealing brand image is one of the most important marketing projects you can carry out for your business. Creativity is the key to a strong and engaging brand and logo. Your brand is the one piece of marketing that you have to get right from the start. It will carry your business from start to evolve and building the brand.
Whilst being creative with your brand you have to be careful not to over complicate it with too much of your own personality. We all have to be careful about sending out the right message for our business. If I think of one of the most iconic brands; is Apple, which let’s face it everyone has heard of. It is probably one of the most recognised brands in the world. We can all learn something from this brand, indeed, from all the top brands too. We can aspire to (and should) their greatness, use them for our own brands to help create a look and feel that clearly describes our business. This aspiration will encompass everything your new and existing customers think about your company, including the level of customer service you deliver, your reputation and how you communicate with customers.
The logo design is key to how your customers perceive your business and you implement website design, social media accounts and marketing assets.
Listed below are a few points we think will help you with your brand and how to use it with your marketing strategy.
Know your brand
This might sound obvious, but really it is so important. In the first instance it is important to engage and employ a brand designer. The designer will be able to create the logo to your requirements and make sure that the brand guidelines and assets are created across all media platforms. Make your message or company statement really clear and your logo simple and clean to get the message through. Don’t be too clever as this may “cloud” your message.
Keep the look and feel consistent
Once you have an identity that meets your requirements, it is imperative to stick with it. Changing your “brand/look” or your approach too often undermines customers’ understanding of who you are as a company. Keep the fonts the same and the look and feel. What can be created is to take the logo and use it with different colours to offer different services/products. Apple do this really well. We have seen the white apple the black apple and the multicoloured apple to name a few.
Make your business stand out – Find your USP!
When starting a new business, it is really easy to cut your prices to win the business, but this is not sustainable in the long term and you can get sucked into working for companies that only buy on price and not the product quality or service. This can damage a brand and your business can be labelled as cheap.
Set your store out at the beginning and make sure your customers understand what you can do for their business and how you can help them. If you have a good brand and you know more market, then it means you can ask a fair and competitive price for your services/products.
Put yourself in your customers shoes
Understanding your customers is key. I once met a great entrepreneur, Lara Morgan, and she gave me some really good advice. “Go and work with customers where you can add value and make a difference to their business” Once you understand your customers, you can find their pains, take those away and deliver a great product for their business and help them run more smoothly. Always listen to your customers – the more you listen the more they will tell you about their business and what their needs are.
Use the best suppliers and talent you can find
There is a saying and we all know it! “You are only as good as your last sale!” I always try to get the best I can in my suppliers from print to promotional merchandise to web developers and designers. I always innovate and search for the next technology/paper/imagery. I hunt for the unusual, something that will help my customers stand out and be the best of breed in their market place.
Build your customer relationships with your brand
It is so easy to take business from customers, especially, when you are busy and more and more now we are sitting at our desks writing proposals and quotes. Just for a minute think about the customer relationship. It is like a marriage; you have to work at it. Keep in contact with your customers through social media, emails calls and of course the most important (well I think so) meeting face to face. I once worked for an MD and she said, “if you really want to know someone go out and have lunch with them.” People open up in more relaxed situations and you can pick up more information about work and the running of the company.
One thing we do at Sentio is send out thank you cards and biscuits/chocolates/cakes to say thank you for the business. The customers really feel special and either pick the phone up or email to say thanks and feel “special”
Be brave and keep your brand objectives!
Never forget your brand’s objective and be willing to take calculated risks that can move you toward your goals. Rather than focusing your branding efforts on avoiding failure, emphasise the quest for success. Listen to your intuition.
If you would like to find out more about logo branding and design please call 01295 268649 and we will be delighted to help you.