While it may be the most recognizable component, a logo is just one piece of your brand. Your brand is an amalgamation of what you perceive it to be, what your customers perceive it to be, what services and products you provide and what your corporate image is at any given moment. Your brand can change over time, of course: Just ask BP how its brand has changed since the massive oil spill in 2010.
Leaving the logo aside, the following elements compose your company’s brand:
- Ideas and values: Your company needs to stand for something in order to effectively communicate what it has to offer. If you’re not sure where your company stands, how can you market a business or service?
- Reputation: What are people saying about your product or service? Would they recommend you?
- Name and catchphrase: Generically named businesses have to work much harder when differentiating themselves in a crowded market. Think of a generic name like “First Realty.” If you were going to buy a house, would you want to see an agent from “First Realty” or “Home Solutions Realty?” A distinct name and a catchphrase will relay your message clearly and quickly.
- Customer relationship management: Poor customer service will not take you far. Offering great customer service will increase the value of your brand.
- Social presence: As a company, are you using social media wisely? How can clients follow your company’s events? Are you thanking clients and answering critiques in a timely manner?
Cultivating a Marketing Strategy
To succeed in business promotion, you’ll need to cover the marketing basics. Begin with a startup budget or pay a consultant to kick-start a marketing strategy. Take the next step by developing marketing materials such as brochures, a webpage and an elevator pitch. Don’t underestimate the positive effect stemming from a word of mouth promotion.
Focus on networking and building connections in the community. Connect with local entrepreneurs offering similar services. Larger businesses might increase brand awareness in a new market by sponsoring events, tabling at festivals, marching in parades or taking other community actions.
To really succeed in creating brand awareness, you’ll need to have substantial web presence. A website that illustrates who you are, what you do and what makes your business unique is a necessary. Spend time aligning your logo design to your brand. Providing customers with a memorable logo allows a natural brand connection to take place.
Dedicate time to regular blogging. Consistent blogging will allow your website to rise in SERPs and deliver prospective leads. You’ll also need a social presence on various social media platforms. You can’t jump-start pages on Twitter, Google +, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube overnight. But you can select one or two channels to target. Don’t forget to monitor social performance using analytics tools.
Although it may take time to develop your brand and ancillary materials, the invested time will serve you well. Brainstorm how you’ll most effectively advertise your top services to potential customers and investors. Sharpen your message. By being clear in whom you are and what you have to offer, and by communicating these attributes clearly, you will create a strong presence for yourself and your business.