Starting a Business: Branding

SAB_Branding

So now you’ve written your business plan and it still seems viable even after you’ve plugged in your sales projections? You’ve secured the funding or have funded the idea yourself (it’s that good an idea!)? Now what do you do? You brand your business!

What is branding?

  1. A brand is an image or idea of a product or service that customers can recognize and relate to by identifying the design, image or logo of that company.
  1. Branding is marketing that image or idea so that it is recognized by more people and identified with that company’s service or product. Especially within a group of companies offering similar services or products.
  1. But branding is more than just the visual recognition. It is also the good reputation and standards represented by the service or product. 
  1. When we combine the visual brand along with the good reputation we see how branding is an important company asset that should be protected throughout the company’s life cycle.

Let’s go back to the beginning. That moment where you realize that you have a great product or service that you’d like to sell. Your cupcakes are legendary and all your friends and family have hinted that you could make a killing if you sold them. You could start selling them as Cupcakes for Sale, but in a sea of mediocre cupcakes how would you possibly stand out? How would a customer find, ask for, and recommend YOUR cupcakes? By defining what makes your cupcakes special and giving them a catchy name, you’re taking the first steps to creating a brand. Death By Chocolate – Legendary Cupcakes. By assigning a name to your goods, you’re now able to market your unique product. You’re able to register the name, advertise your product, create a logo and packaging around your name.

Logo and packaging you say? There’s a company called Leo Loves Design who can develop the logo and look and feel of your packaging for you. Unashamed punt!

When you choose a logo designer, a good designer will want to know as much about your product or service as he/she possibly can. They’ll be interested in who you are, what your product is, why you’re starting your business, who your target market is, and what your vision for your company is. They’ll also want to know which brands you admire, and which you don’t.

These answers should lie in your original business plan, which I’ve written about here. I cannot stress the importance of writing a basic business plan as it will guide you through your business idea, give you insight into what to expect, as well as indicate where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

Your logo designer will develop a visual identity for you and supply you with files suitable for various uses.

Your great product/service + the perfect logo visual identity = the opportunity to create a lasting impression of your company.

A visual memory that your clients can lock onto, as well as a great product/service that your client needs and wants.

But there’s one more ingredient to cultivating a strong and sustainable brand: Reputation and Standards. At every opportunity your company should represent the goal and standards of your product. Starting with always putting your best foot forward:

  • a neat and consistent promotion of your branding at all times
  • friendly, helpful and honest service to your clients
  • and let’s not forget the age old adage of under promising and over delivering.

In my opinion, these three things will garner you a following who will remain loyal to your brand. And that’s what it’s really all about. Building brand loyalty!



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