Tips for brand building that will work for you not matter what stage of business you’re in.
Read this blog for the ultimate guide on brand building.
As an agency that is in the middle of servicing in the digital age, we get to experience the gaps faced by organizations and brands quite frequently. We are always on the watch researching brands on a daily basis and it is astounding to find out about these gaps in branding that we see so very often.
What are these gaps?
To start off with, we understand that as a business owner who is just starting out, your key focus lies on getting new business and keeping the wheels of revenue rolling. While you are busy running day-to-day operations, servicing your clients and customers, and improving your team productivity, your brand does get left out. We have observed this with not just small businesses, but even large corporations that are somewhat on top of their industries. We as leaders and key decision-makers are not left with enough creative time to solve the brand problem.
- Your logo looks somewhat funny. It does not communicate the right message about your brand or business offering. Imagine being a multi-million dollar organization and having to rebrand your logo. The cost to just have the redesigned brand logo’s across all channels will put a dent in your marketing budget.
- Your business name in itself is completely isolating in nature and does not necessarily communicate what your business does. So, your audience finds it hard to relate to you
- You don’t have a company profile or catalog of your products or services. So your target customers or clients don’t know what you’re selling
- You lack brand guidelines or don’t have any brand guidelines. This is quite normal, many businesses find later in time that they need to have a uniform brand guideline across all channels – traditional or digital
- Poor understanding of your own consumers. Remember, it is a consumer’s market, your customer is king. If you haven’t done enough research about your buyers, it’s more likely that you’re putting yourself up for unforgivable failure.
- Your brand looks like it’s come out of the 90s- Yea, we can point out to at least a thousand businesses that look like they are stuck in the 90s. Design is everything. Aesthetics have a direct psychological effect on how consumers perceive your brand. With time, the design guidelines for all your marketing collaterals need to keep changing.
Now, somewhere down the line you or someone in your business points out that it’s about time to focus on brand building in order to get more credibility and authority in your industry and more trust amongst your customers.
It’s never too late at this point. Brand building is a long-term activity, it can take years to build a winning brand that is memorable, competitive, and a leader in your niche or industry.
What your brand needs and how to fix a poor brand identity
- Brand Guidelines or Manuals – The brand guideline is the holy grail for your entire organization. It’s not just a piece of document that dictates what typography or colors you should use. It carries the weight of communicating your brand perception amongst your target audiences for years to come. The right typography, the right colors, and placement rules across all marketing collaterals build a strong foundation for your brand. You should ideally hire a professional or an agency to assist you in developing your brand manual once and for all. We at Whizcrow have a mission to build awesome brands for our customers. Give us a shot.List of things to have in your brand guidelines:
- A brief history about your brand, its mission, and values.
- Selection of primary and secondary fonts with examples and use cases
- Selection of your brand colors with inferences to why they are being used for your brand with use cases. Colors need to include HEX Codes, CMYMK codes or RGB codes for later use
- Logo inspiration and use cases. Your logo should be variation or A/B tested. Don’t just go for one logo, have multiple options to choose from, and pick from the best of 3. Your logo is going to represent what your brand stands for. Choose wisely.
- Placement rules. Defining how your logo should be used. What versions of the logo are relevant for a change in background colors. What kind of spacing should be maintained around your logo and the do’s and don’t of its usage across multiple channels and marketing collaterals
- Marketing Collaterals – What are marketing collaterals? It’s ok, industry jargon can be sometimes confusing, but FYI your marketing collaterals are all the marketing documents you need to keep designed and developed beforehand. These include your company profile/portfolio, your product catalog, your business cards, letterheads, emailers/newsletters, Ebooks, PDF, website/blog, social media channels, business emails, mail signature, and any other printable/digital material under the sun. You should think about what marketing materials your business will need. Think for the year ahead in time. It can be quite overwhelming to get this out of the way. You can make a checklist of things you will need for the course of the year and get the designed and developed for your brand by an employee or an external expert or agency.
List of Marketing Collaterals your business must have:
- Business or Brand Name- Want to be remembered? Yea, us too. We need to put a strong emphasis on the brand name. You want people to remember you at first glance. Think of love at first sight. What’s in a name? Everything. Your name is going to stay with you for the rest of your business or brand’s existence. There is an entire framework for how to come up with a business name that sticks. You can use a name generator. Sit with multiple rounds of coffee alone or with friends to brainstorm the name or let a creative agency handle the chaos. The choice is yours. But remember that your name is everything. Imagine choosing a business name just to figure out later that the website domain name is already taken. Yea, we’ve been there too. The best tip we can give when you choose your business name is to work in reverse. Yes, you heard that right. Let me explain. You need to first search for a domain name for your business and register it before you close your business name. Why? This simple tip will help you save hours going back and forth with a business name that just doesn’t have a domain name available.
- Logo- Get a well-designed logo for your business. It should communicate the power of your brand identity. Make it simple, make it sticky, make it memorable. You can even have a logo that is just your business name. Whatever works for you.
- Business Card- It could be digital or printed. But do keep a business card handy. If you’re in a rush, you could use Canva to whip out a business card in no time. It would hardly take you 10 minutes to get around Canva, in the next 30 minutes you would have your business card, that you, yes, you have been able to design yourself. Keep it simple. For those of you that need the professional touch, get a graphic designer to do it.
- Domain Name- Like I said earlier, by this time you should have registered your business domain name. If not, go to GoDaddy or Namecheap to book your domain name right away. It will come in handy when you have to set up your business email and website later.
- Hosting-This is a little outside branding, but since we are on the topic, let’s just burn through. The hosting server is where your website files are going to be stored. You need a relevant hosting plan for your website. We recommend the Linode Cloud Platform which provides a one-click WordPress installation for as low as $ 5 per month. You can miss this one. The best part is, given some time reading up our blog, you will be able to set up your website on your own, that is if time permits.
- Business Email- Yes, [email protected] doesn’t sound professional now does it. Get yourself a business email immediately after purchasing your domain name and hosting. This can be set up yourself too. You can head over to mail.zoho.com and select the free plan just to try it out. You will be set up with your business email in less than 5 minutes if you know how to work around MX, DKIM, and SPF records. Don’t worry, on the internet, there is a guide for everything. Patience is key. Don’t break your keyboard.
- Email Signature- When you send out emails, you want people to know who you are, what position you hold, and what your company does. Keep a basic email signature that communicates just exactly that. This is a great opportunity within emails to build trust and nurture your network all the while building your brand. Nowadays, email signatures are even being used to promote offers and to make announcements. Try what fits you. The general rule is, Keep it simple with your name, designation in your company, company name, personal contact details, maybe links to the website and social channels. That should do. Want an email signature generator? Try out HubSpot’s free email signature generator and thank us later. N0, email marketing is not dead, the most serious consumers are out there checking their mails. Just make sure you’re not on their spam list.
- Website- This is a hard one. Sometimes, your business might not even need a website. But we all know how important this can be. If your business is into retail and does operations globally, or even if you’re a freelancer who is building up a niche website to generate traffic for your niche to monetize later, the website is going to be the single point of window to the world. The world is watching. And the world wants to know what your business does, what you’re selling. You need to really think deeply about what information you’re going to be presenting on your website. Contact details for your business, solving the buyer personas pain points and other website written copy should be strong in communicating the strength of your business. You need to spend a considerable amount of time thinking about brand guideline implementation for your website, the content strategy, and the different ways in which you’re going to be engaging your user. Do you need a blog? Are you going to be selling products online? Do you need a payment gateway? do you need an SSL certificate? Who’s going to design your website? Who’s going to develop it? Many many questions that need answering. Lucky for you, you’re in the right place, you can contact us and we will guide you through the process and what you will actually need to go up and running in as little as 2 weeks.
- Social Media- Believe it or not, the website is not the only place people hear about you. Across the globe, people spend considerable amounts of time on social media. There is a platform for everything. Some people spend more time on Instagram than on Facebook. Some on Tik Tok. Some on Quora. Some on Reddit. Some on LinkedIn. How do you know what social media channels are right for you? Simple answer- go back to consumer persona research. At this point in business, you should know exactly who your customers are and where they are spending their time. This is where you get to them. Build a strong presence on social media channels with a consistent content strategy. Don’t just post about your products. Post about things that matter to your audience. Speak benefits over features. Make your content engaging. Make it informational. Give them a reason to engage with you. Make social media social.
Still reading? Great, Sheesh Kabab!
This was just the tip of the iceberg. Just to get your business off the ground. You need to have a consistent and scalable content strategy to keep moving forward. It’s a lot of work. That’s why businesses approach us. We have been helping both established brands and businesses just starting out to take full control of their branding. If you feel the need to connect with us, just drop us an email and tell us about your brand. What are you building? What’s your story?
Sometimes, you might not even know what you need, but leave that to us. We’ll help you figure it out.
We know this was a long read and we are glad you’ve reached this far. Wish you the best for your business and hope you’re able to lift off. Let us know your thoughts.