Guest blog written by Mary-Anne Amies, Wise Up Marketing
At the heart of building a brand that lasts, is stopping amidst the excitement of your new business idea and doing some structured planning:
1. Think First, With The End In Sight
Is your plan to run your business forever? Or is there a chance that you might one day sell it, expand it, even franchise it? Draw up some rough goals for your business, if they don’t centre on you being in it; make sure your brand name and identity have universal appeal (Avoiding your name, children’s names etc)
2. Avoid Fads and Trends
It may seem like a great idea to name your new bag shop “Totes Crazy 4 Totes” but in 5 years, will you be regretting it when the fad is over? Choose a brand name that can stand the test of time.
3. Be Consistent
Consistent repetition of your brand will go a long way toward cementing it in people’s minds. When you develop your brand name and logo, have your designer give you some basic style guide information so you can maintain consistency – colours used, fonts used, horizontal, vertical and square logo format, and logo versions on white, black and transparent backgrounds.
4. Spread Your Wings Wide
To have brand impact small businesses need to be seen by their target market as often as possible. Get your brand out in as many reputable channels that your target market engages with. This can include determining the right social media channels, having your own website (social media is not enough), networking with relevant bloggers and advertising in appropriate newsletters.
5. Embrace its Evolution
In most big organisations, they regularly research the market and compare perceptions to the previous year and to the competition this is used to create strategies to exploit their strengths and defend any weaknesses. The result can be a tweak to the logo to appear more modern, or a change to the tagline to reflect a new brand essence, and so thereby evolving the brand. Many small businesses worry about making changes to their brand, but it is important to remember that brand evolution is natural and is a sign you are shifting to remain competitive.
How to brand your business will depend of course on the unique factors such as your target market, your competitive environment and your offering.
Mary-Anne Amies, Wise Up Marketing
Wise Up Marketing helps small and medium business with all aspects of Marketing.