1 - Your vision, your values, your mission: think about the heart of your business. Why did you start in the first place, what was the market missing that you have to offer? What is your single most important attribute, what does your product mean to you and your customers? Answering these questions will help you stay focused on the quality characteristics of your business that distinguish it from the rest.
2 - Craft your logo carefully. What your logo looks like says a lot about your business so think about what you want it to say about your company. When drawing out your design keep it simple, direct and consistent. Your logo is placed on anything from a business card to a website to ads so it should be clean and uncomplicated, easily resized and look good in black and white or color. Colors play a huge role in memory recall, therefore choose a color that will set you apart yet works with your industry and image.
3 - Consistency is key. You want all of your promotion materials to be coordinated and professional so keep it consistent. You don’t want any confusion because of differences in colors, shapes or fonts so be sure to stay consistent once you have made a final decision.
4 - Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Having a base of clients helps to ensure success, but name recognition alone is not enough. Your ability and efforts to establish rapport with customers will result in long term relationships. These are where those coveted referrals come from. The best way to do build these relationships is to live your brand at all times. Spend time now to hone in on what you can deliver and what you stand for to help grow your relationships.
A few do’s and don’ts to remember as you plan for your brand:
- Focus your message
- Consider creative options: invest in your identity, but don’t rely solely on advertising
- Do check out logos of your competitors in the industry and note what you like and don’t like
- Talk to customers and friends: seek opinions about what your identity is conveying
- Don’t expect the work to speak for itself. Even the most ingenious ideas must be sold
- Don’t go too extreme with your look, or too simple
- Places to find good examples of strong identities (from Nicole Bianchi’s seminar on Do’s and Don’ts of Branding):
- Find Great People International - simple and effective corporate ID at www.fgp.com
Tazo Teas - richness in design and brand ID at www.tazo.com
Information for this column was compiled from entrepreneur.com and allbusiness.com