In marketing, “brand” instantly brings to mind images like the Nike Swoosh and the Playboy Bunny. The need for a successful brand, however, is not limited to the marketing giants. A good brand can help any size business to become recognized and respected. There are traps to avoid, however, when creating your brand.
No Defined Brand Guidelines
Your brand is your first communication and will help build your reputation. Determine your brand guidelines by identifying the image and voice you want to portray, as well as the audience you want to reach. Keep those objectives in mind when choosing the colors, taglines, fonts and other elements of your brand.
Your Brand Is Too Complicated
The most memorable brands are simple, clean, and distinguishable. McDonald’s Golden Arches can be seen for miles ahead and will have you craving a quarter-pounder before you know it. Also, consider the Google, Target, and Apple brands. They are all immediately recognizable and classically simple. Don’t get carried away with multiple colors or complicated graphics in developing your brand.
Your Brand Is Too Vague
Alternatively, don’t fall into the trap of trying to cover everything in your branding. To achieve brand optimization, your brand should help you stand out. To do that you need to tell what makes you different. Use strong imagery and messages to create a distinct brand.
No Brand Management
Once you have created your brand, don’t assume your job is over. Now is the time to weave elements of your branding into everything you do. Continuously nurture and grow your brand image.
Don’t be fooled into believing that your brand is just a nice picture you attach to your website and business card. A brand is what people remember about you long after the meet-up group is over or a visitor has left your website. Careful development and management of your brand are well worth the time and effort.
7 Stupid Branding Mistakes Your Small Business is Making, www.entrepreneur.com
How to Effectively Brand Yourself — Regardless of Your Budget, www.huffingtonpost.com
10 Tips to Help You Build and Grow a Stand-Out Small Business Brand, www.sba.gov