Branding is perhaps the most crucial aspect of a new business. Lisa Gansky said it the best: “A brand is a voice, and a product is a souvenir.” But what exactly is a “Brand”?
According to Wikipedia, “A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
In short, your brand is your identification. It’s what sells. Therefore, whether you deal B2B or B2C, your business is large or small, having an effective brand strategy is of the essence. And that’s what this article is about.
In this article, I am going to post a four-point checklist you need to keep in mind when starting your new business/startup. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Product/service’s feasibility
Your business brand is built around your product or service. So, making sure that the product/service is valuable and can survive is critical. Statistically, about 30% of business fail in the first couple of years. And to not end up there, a feasibility test is necessary.
To conduct a feasibility test, ask the following questions to yourself as well as others. (Do survey and research too.)
- Is there sufficient demand for a product/service like yours? If it’s niche, how niche?
- Is your idea strong enough for an investor to invest in? If you are bootstrapping, how long can you survive?
- Will the product/service sell?
- What’s the USP(Unique Selling Point)?
If you can positively answer all the questions, *clap clap* you have laid the first stone of the brand foundation, i.e., you are sure that a brand can be created.
2. Get the basics right:
You just completed your survey. You are excited. You know you are going to sell. And you launch!
In this process of being impatient, many people don’t give much thought to the three first-impression factors of branding:
Brands and colors are inseparable. Color increases brand recognition by up to 80%.
Think about your favorite brand, and you will immediately retain the color of their theme. That’s the power of color.
Moreover, colors influence human psychology too. Red evokes energy, Blue is associated with trust, Yellow links to happiness, White displays purity, and many other colors are associated with different emotions. So, choose them wisely.
Naming your brand right is absolutely crucial. At the end of the day, your brand name will represent your brand. Therefore, choose a name that is easy to remember– If it makes sense, well & good; if it doesn’t, it’s perfectly alright.
Another thing to remember while choosing names is to make sure domain name and social media handles are available. After all, that’s where your brand will be built. You can use a tool like startup name check for that.
Logo is another element of your brand that adds to the recognizability factor. It’s similar to your name– it distinguishes you and shows what your brand is all about. So, better skip those $5 Fiverr gigs and invest in a unique and memorable logo.
All in all, your color, name, and logo are your first-impression representative. Having them perfect means laying another (big) block of branding foundation.
Note: Your Web design, Tagline, Vision & Mission statements, etc. should be a second priority after these three.
3. Commercial Office:
Unless you are a solopreneur/freelancer who loves traveling, having a business office is essential for branding.
Here’s how having a commercial office can give your business a brand boost:
- Customers/Clients trust a company with a physical address. For instance, will you trust an e-commerce store without a business address? I know I won’t.
- Apart from a terrible product, nothing is a bigger letdown for investors than a no-office-space business.
- Having a company space increases business credit.
- Sharing your business environment on social media builds customer-connection to the brand.
- If nothing else, it increases your employer brand.
Long story short, having a commercial space when just starting will give your brand a trust factor which can’t be achieved otherwise.
Tip: Co-working spaces are an excellent option when funds are scarce.
4. Perfect Marketing:
The above three points were just the stepping stone to frame your business as a fantastic brand. Excellent marketing is what’s going to (figuratively) pull the brick and build around that frame.
Digital Marketing strategies such as SEO, social media advertising like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn ads, Influencers, Content Marketing, etc. will pull clients/customers to show them the brand you created.
Once they are in, we can give them the most unbelievable customer experience and turn them into life-long customers/clients. And nothing says “Brand” more than an impeccable experience. That’s it.
You search for “How to brand a business” and the first result on Google is from Idontknowthissite[dot]com and second is from customerthink.com, which link are you going to click? Exactly! That’s what brand is.
Brand experience is something one ought to create right from the start of the business. Whether it’s name or color, good marketing or bad one, whether you have a physical address one can trust or a product just not good enough, everything matters!
And thus, if you want to create a successful business and brand, follow the checklist you just read when starting.