Your brand is one of the most important assets your business can have (well you would say that I hear you cry!) but seriously, it is. So it’s worth taking the time to get it right. Whether you already have a brand that you want to improve or you are just starting out here is my top tips for getting it right.
- Know your audience
Defining your target market isn’t really just a branding thing. It’s the essence of your marketing strategy. If you don’t know who you are marketing too how can you be sure your brand will attract the right customers? A brand will never really resonate with your target market if your brand values and key products/services are not working together.Carry out a simple customer profile exercise. You can find an easy to follow guide on how to do one here.By the end of the exercise you should have a clear idea of who your market is and more importantly the type of person you are targeting.If you have time and are selling in a specific area use demographic information that is available at your library (thanks to Emma Cox at Cox Consultancy for the tip!) – its completely free and will give you a really good insight into your local audience. So now’s the time to renew that old library card eh!
- What am I actually selling?
Easy right? But let’s dig a little deeper. It is surprising how many companies build their brand around their product rather than their target market. For instance many travel companies are selling family holidays, but its definitely only “Mum” they are targeting with the key messages. After all the youngest offspring definitely don’t make the final decision or have the credit card to back it up – well not in my house anyway! So in some businesses you may need to make sure your brand attracts both the end user/s and the purchaser. Not so easy now….
- Competitor Analysis
Take a sample of different brands from companies across the pricing spectrum from Poundland to Harrods. What do they do differently? What is the same? Where do you fit?Then look at your competitors. A word of warning here. As a small business its never very helpful to get obsessed with what others are doing. It will nearly always upset your business mojo, but right at the start, and with both feet firmly on the ground, it is a handy comparison tool.What words jump out at you when you see their brand? What audience are they attracting? What are they getting right?Now most importantly, what words do you want to jump out when people see yours?
- Mood Board
Creating a brand mood board is always really helpful for designers who are taking on the challenge of building your small but mighty brand. Use online scrapbooks such as Pinterest (make sure you keep the board a secret….) or go all Blue Peter with a big piece of card, some glue, scissors and plenty of magazines.Go with your heart and put everything you want your brand to be on that board. By the end you should have a pictorial view of your emerging brand. This, alongside your customer profile, will give any designer a big head start.
Now here is the challenge. As a small business fully grown up branding budgets are pretty scarce but you should get your baby off to a good start by employing a professional designer to nurture them on their way.A decent brand (or at least one that looks professional) will immediately give off the best impression of your business and save you costly issues further down the line. It will also help you to ‘feel’ your brand and send out the correct messages to potential customers.Despite what you may have heard hiring in a professional to design a new brand doesn’t mean you can’t eat for the next six months. A brand package including logo, typeface and colour palette can start from as little as £395. Don’t believe me? Just give us a call!