So, you’ve got a great product (or at the least a great idea for one), you know what you want the future of your business to look like and you’re ready to take that big first step of getting your product out there…
Before you start putting time, effort and money into marketing, you need to make sure you’ve thought about your branding. Unfortunately, most people just start marketing and figure out the branding part along the way. This can often be a costly mistake because branding shapes the face of your company and makes it relatable to your customers, so getting it wrong could spell disaster.
Here are our top 8 essential branding tips, to help you build a strong brand:
Branding Tip #2: Think big
Good brands are the ones who stand the test of time, and while not all businesses are called to global domination, having no foresight can make things difficult if you do grow. For example, if the local chicken shop named their business ‘Cherrybrook Chooks’ (Cherrybrook is a suburb in North-West Sydney), and after a few years of doing well decided to expand, it would make it hard for them to set up in a new location and keep the brand recognition that their current customers are loyal to. It would also make it hard if they decided to expand their operations into something like a fish and chip shop. While some brands have overcome this limitation, it is preferable to build branding from the start that can grow and adapt with your business over time.
Branding Tip #3: Keep it simple
Over-complication can be your own worst enemy as it makes it hard for your customers to know what you’re about or form any kind of attachment to your brand. Few people are going to save up for a family vacation to “a kingdom with rides, characters, and toys,” but with more than 50 million annual visitors, Walt Disney World has truly established itself as “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Make sure your branding images, logo, tagline and copy all reflect what your product and business is about.
Branding Tip #4: Deliver on your promises
Your branding needs to be an accurate representation of your product and what it does. Trying to promote your brand and products as something that they aren’t will only damage your credibility, leaving prospective customers confused about what your business does. For example, telling mothers of newborns that you will “solve their infants’ sleeping problems” when in fact you sell baby blankets is probably going to win you more enemies than friends.
Branding Tip #6: Stay the course
You need to know that building a strong brand that is easily recognisable will take time and consistency. Topping the list of the world’s most recognisable brands are Nike, Coca-Cola, and Ford. All have brands that have remained largely unchanged through the decades. The entire purpose of branding is to provide a consistent face for your company to the public. If you change direction too frequently, the customers you have taken the time and effort to cultivate might get lost and you will be essentially flushing your efforts down the drain. Taking the time to create a solid brand should ensure that only small tweaks are needed to keep your brand fresh and relevant over time.
Branding Tip #7: Be consistent
Brand consistency is vitally important for instilling confidence and maintaining expectations for your target audience. Inconsistent branding not only looks unprofessional and scattered, but it can also lead to brand confusion—which makes your brand less identifiable and understandable to your customers.
Branding Tip #8: Keep building
Building your brand isn’t going to be a process with a clear start and finish point. You will need to be purposeful in keeping your brand alive, even when you enter the ‘maintenance mode’. Also, be open to new opportunities, technology and markets so you can easily position yourself to take hold of new opportunities in your branding journey.
Once you’ve built your branding, you can move into the marketing phase with confidence.