We come across it everyday. Logos, slogans, even music that immediately brings our thoughts to a single brand or business. You can't hear the phrase, "Like a good neighbor..." without knowing instantly that it ends with "...State Farm is there." or see the the words "Just Do It" without knowing it belongs to Nike. These are both very large companies that have been successful in Business Branding. One major mistake Small Businesses make is not knowing the importance of Branding themselves. In this post I am going to show you different ways you can brand your business without breaking the bank.
The first thing you need to do is treat your company as a brand. It needs to have it's own identity or mission in the business world that will make consumers want to choose you over the other companies in your field. Entrepreneur.com defines your brand as "who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be." Are you the veteran of your field with years of experience, or the new-comer with fresh ideas? What is your business' mission? What does your business offer that makes you unique? These are some questions you should have answers to when building your brand. Once you have decided what your business' mission is you can move on to creating your Brand Strategy and executing it to the fullest extent.
Now for those of you who are just starting out I know this can be a bit intimidating, but don't stress. There are so many resources out there that can help you when starting your business, and finding a small business group that meets locally is a great way to find out information from experienced business owners.
Here is just one of many sites you can search for local Small Business Groups: http://smallbiz.meetup.com/
What I am going to focus on is how to create a consistent image for your business. The easiest way to create a cohesive brand image is to have the same color pallet across all your business materials. This includes business cards, contracts, stationary, your website, social media pages, etc. Don't make blue the prominent color on all your printed materials, and then have absolutely nothing blue on your website. This creates a disconnect for your customer. Before you just start throwing different colors everywhere, research the emotion colors are known to evoke and choose your color pallet based on what you would like to convey. For example, the color purple to some is immediately seen as a more feminine, when in truth purple is considered an exotic color that rarely appears in nature. Because of its rare nature, purple has always been considered a very royal and expensive color. A better example may be the color green. Green has been known to symbolize nature, fertility, envy, tranquility, good luck, and health. A perfect way to show how this is used in today's branding is by looking at the M&Ms campaign. Each M&Ms color has a distinct personality. The Yellow M&M is the happy go lucky personality, while his buddy Red had a stronger and more intense personality. Green was the only female M&M character for quite awhile before they company introduced the Brown M&M, and Ms. Green usually portrays a more sexual emotion than her co-workers. This ties in the psychology that the color green represents "Fertility".
Another way to keep everything cohesive is with your fonts. If you decide you want your image to be more "casual" vs "formal" you can convey that with the fonts you choose to use on your website and printed materials. If you want to have less formal feel to your business you should not just use Comic Sans. Yes this font is definitely not formal, but it is also not very professional. Verdana is a font that conveys more of a modern take for businesses. Now if you want to stick with the most professional and traditional font, Times New Roman is always a safe bet. This font is as traditional as a font gets and it isn't going away anytime soon. This is why it is so desirable for most businesses.
Hopefully some of the tips you have read here today help you with getting a good start in making your business stand out amongst the crowd. As always there are so many places to find great information, including from people just like you! Make sure you check out a local small business get together near you and network yourself and your business!
Be sure to check back each week! I will be posting a new piece that will rotate subjects between Wedding, Business and Everyday Needs. If there is something you would like to see me write about please let me know in the comments!!
Thank you for reading!
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