7 Handy Branding Tips For Entrepreneurs
Establishing a new brand to the point where it becomes even relatively well-known is hard work. It takes time, effort, consistency and planning. If you’re just starting out, don’t make the mistake of putting all your concentration into stuff like sales targets, market research and logistics, thinking you’ll figure out how to build your brand later on. You should be thinking about your branding story and strategy, as well as ways to boost brand awareness, right from the start. Here are 7 essential and handy branding tips every entrepreneur can benefit from:
- Choose a memorable name
A name can make or break a new business, no matter how great the concept. Your brand begins with, and should be summed up by, its name. Choose something memorable, catchy and totally in tune with your brand’s core values. (Ensure you know what those values are before you begin.) Be unique. Research name ideas to avoid potential legal trouble. Make sure matching URLs are available. If you’re a little stuck, don’t be afraid to reach out to others for their ideas and opinions. Consider getting hundreds of name suggestions submitted by professionals for as little as $200 by running a Squadhelp naming contest.
- Come up with an effective slogan
Just like a name, a slogan (or tagline) should never be an afterthought when kick-starting your brand. A slogan should be emotive and short – aim for five words or less. Your slogan could convey your brand’s attitude – think Nike, and “Just do it”, or it could describe what you do, e.g. Nokia’s “Connecting people”. Remember, the shorter your slogan, the easier it is for consumers to recall and retain. Aim for precision and punch when coming up with a slogan. Squadhelp helps small business owners to choose great slogans. Run a contest, and get hundreds of professionals submissions within 24 hours.
- Don’t forget an effective logo
Not only should your logo be an appropriate visual reflection of your brand, it must be truly original in design, and, just like your brand name and slogan, it should be as memorable and uncomplicated as possible. Squadhelp can help with logo design, too.
- Build an effective online presence
We live in a “social” world and you must engage with it. Right from the start, devote some time and attention to building profiles on the social networks most appropriate to your brand. These could include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Don’t wait until your business reaches a certain stage before starting to build an online platform from which you can engage with current and potential customers. Post regularly, and be relevant. Let the personality of your brand shine through. Remember to build an email list. Ideally, aid brand awareness by providing information and insights consumers in your sector will find useful, either on your own blog, or by utilizing guest blogging posts.
- Don’t try to be everything to everyone
We all know you can’t please everyone, all of the time. Keep this in mind as you work to develop your brand. If you try to appeal to everyone on the planet, you’re bound to end up with a watered-down, boring brand personality. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Look to be the best brand you can be to a specific audience of target consumers.
- Get leverage via other brands
Connecting with other brands is a great way to help build brand awareness. Leveraging yourself off of other, stronger brands gives you credibility via your association with that brand, helping to build your brand equity. Think event sponsorship, brand ambassadors, or endorsements from clients who are themselves more well-known and trusted as brands than you are.
- Get creative
You may think building your brand will end up costing a ton of money in advertising or agency fees. And it can. But you can also get creative and come up with less costly, and often more effective ways to spread the good news of your brand all by yourself. You could set up a referral program for instance, that gives existing customers a perk in exchange for referring a friend. You could host an informative podcast. You might want to wrap your vehicle with ads. Or consider running a competition on social media.
Dan Taylor is responsible for content marketing and branding at Squadhelp.com, a crowdsourcing platform that lets companies host competitions to find a name and logo. He writes about topics related to startup naming, branding and entrepreneurship.