Are you starting your own business and not sure where to jump in? First of all, congratulations on taking the leap. I know it’s scary setting up a business of any size, and for you to make the decision to go ahead and do it you must have a pretty cool idea — something a bit different or something you’re passionate about. People often ask me for tips on how to set up their branding. This month is very exciting, as we will be exploring the topic of starting a new business.
In terms of solid branding, the best advice I can give is to do it right the first time. People often come to be going “eek! Sarah please fix my website, logo etc” because they’re cousin’s nieces’ dog did it a year ago and he went to Germany for Oktoberfest and doesn’t answer emails anymore.
Granted, your business model may change as you get going and gain momentum. You may discover a niche in your business that may take over from what you may have initially thought was going to be the bread-winning element of the business. That’s why setting it up from a business perspective and with simplicity and flexibility in mind is key.
Step ONE in setting up your business brand: Brand positioning.
Without this step you might get sick of your logo in 6 months time, or you may need to get your website redeveloped because it doesn’t represent your business anymore. Brand positioning is a simple exercise that clarifies the direction of the company. Good questions to ask are:
- Where do you sit in the market compared to your competitors?
- What are your unique selling points?
- Who is your target audience?
With a clear direction for your brand, you can more clearly identify your business strengths and will be able to communicate them clearly to clients, suppliers, partners, investors, and of course your graphic and web designers!
Step TWO in setting up your business brand: Logo.
When we think of a brand the first thing that comes into our heads is an image. The logo is the establishment of a direct relationship of a business with its potential customers. A good logo:
- brings professionalism and credibility to your business name
- represents what you stand for
- sets you apart from your competition
This is where the fun part (for us graphic designers anyway) starts! The design of the logo is the foundation of the brand. I could go on and on about logos but one key thing I’ll reinforce is simplicity. Often the simplest logos are the most memorable. There’s no need to squeeze every aspect of what your business does into the logo, you can do that in a tagline, or supporting text. Rather, it’s often better to make sure that the logo is flexible enough to account for a momentum shift in your business. Check out our blog on what colours represent in logos for more info.
** Very important note: Even if your business is solely online, do not omit steps one and two. Quite often people say “I’m starting a business, I need a website.” and when I ask them about a logo they hadn’t considered it yet. In order to create a successful website that works for you, you’ll first need to think about your brand strategy and have a logo.
Step THREE in setting up your business brand: Consistency!
Anyone who has heard me speak about branding before knows the important of this one. Familiarity builds trust and trust builds sales. People trust in things they know. So if they see your logo over and over with the same colors, the same fonts, and the same style, they will be more likely to buy from you. Simple as that!
–> Check out some examples of our branding here