For most businesses, effective branding is the difference between success and failure. This is true for big corporations, but also local mom and pops, freelancers, and small business entrepreneurs. You might be thinking, “okay, so I just need a cool logo?” Not quite. Branding is much more than a sleek logo. It involves much more thought than that. It’s about communicating the essence of your business to the world. This involves defining and constantly evolving your branding strategy, which includes considerations for every aspect of your business, including:
- Your target audience
- Your location or region
- Your competitors in the industry
- your online presence
1. Create a Brand StrategyMany business owners’ entire branding strategy involves paying a graphic artist to create a logo, slap it on their website, and calling it a day. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to cut it in today’s competitive digital landscape. Effective branding requires that you have a true understanding of who you are as a business (and who you are not). This is crucial because this is the only way you can effectively communicate who you are to your potential customers. Once you define who you are as a business, and what you want to achieve, all of your branding decisions will flow out of that. In a nutshell, an effective branding strategy answers the following questions:
- What is the goal of my business? That is, what do you stand for as a business? What gap or need are you trying to fill for your customers?
- What are my competitors doing? And what aren’t they doing? Think about what sets your company apart from the competition, and use that to your advantage as you brand your business.
- Who is my target audience? This one sounds easy, but there’s a lot more to it than you might think. It’s more than just choosing a specific group of people – you have to choose the right people for your business. This involves doing research to determine which types of consumers prefer which goods and services. You can do this by conducting surveys or doing secondary research online.
- What is my brand message? To help answer this question, consider what your business does, why it exists, and who it exists for. This will help you determine the personality and values of your business, and how to message those ideas to your potential customers.
- Is my brand registered as a domain? Preferably, your brand and domain should match exactly. This means you should check to see if the domain for your brand name is already taken. If so, you will need to buy the domain. Saw.com offers a free consultation for domain broker service.