3 of the Best Branding Essentials for New Businesses
What was once viewed as a luxury is now necessary: a strong brand is crucial for any small business to succeed.
Building a solid brand identity is also essential for improving your reputation. A brand with no identity will often end up being directionless and having no focus, leading to weak brand awareness and poor success. On the other hand, a brand with clear goals tailored messaging, and defined execution will be much more successful and memorable to its target audience.
Your brand reputation can be based on various factors. Decide on your unique selling points and what you want your brand to represent. Ensure that you take steps to fulfill your promises and deliver on key services. Branding can increase revenue, make customers more likely to repeat shop, and serve as a powerful form of marketing that not everyone takes advantage of. So, what are some successful brand strategies for new businesses to focus on?
Create a Good Brand Name and Logo
A unique logo is one of the most crucial branding tools you can invest in as a business owner.
Think about Nike. Coca-Cola. Apple. One thing they all share, besides being some of the most recognizable brands on the planet, is a simple and effective logo. Your brand name and logo can have an enormous impact. A good brand name will resonate in people’s heads and make them much more likely to remember your business and use it in the future. Meanwhile, an outstanding logo can make your brand more recognizable and make people look at your business more favorably.
Instead of creating it yourself or using a low-quality online site or app, consider hiring a professional brand designer to take care of it. Your logo likely will be the single most used part of your brand. Can you afford to have your most essential brand element cut-rate?
What makes a good logo?
It should include relevant colors, a timeless and easy-to-read font, and a simple yet memorable design that represents your brand story and core values well. Your logo should convey your brand personality and give your customer an idea of what to expect.
This one tiny design element can tell a lot about your brand. You will also want to make sure that you have various logo orientations such as square, horizontal, and the icon by itself. This will allow you to have the flexibility for varied uses and protect the continuity of your logo by not forcing you to use only one logo orientation.
While you might already have a name and logo, you might want to work on rebranding if they’re not doing the job. Your name and logo should be simple yet stylish and memorable, and you might even want to contact branding experts to help you. Once you have a firm name and logo, your branding efforts will become much more consistent, and consistency is critical in any brand. As the saying goes, “people trust what they see most.” If your brand is fluid and consistent, this only improves your brand recognition.
A Modern Content-Driven Website
It’s never been more critical than it is now to have a website. Gone are the days when your website could be just a fancy digital business card with your company name, tagline, and a similar color palette. Your potential customers expect your website to be professionally designed, modern, content-rich, and outfitted with your company’s contact information.
Your website is a primary branding tool; it needs to be 100% unique to you. This makes it memorable and helps your business stand out from your competition. Your colors, imagery, and chosen fonts should build off your original logo development. Everything should look and feel like family, so having a style guide or brand positioning document can be helpful to keep everyone on the same page.
Content is also helpful for your branded website. If your target customers find you on Google because you’ve created enticing, informative, and entertaining content, they’ll see you more favorably from the get-go. There’s a reason SEO and content marketing have taken off as some of the most popular marketing strategies available for small business owners. Moreover, promoting your content on social media can help you build a bigger audience and drive them back to your website.
Whether you decide to build your small business website from the ground up or outsource the job to professionals, there are some key things you should always keep in mind.
Start with a great domain name
An excellent online presence begins with a great domain name, so choose one that is short, sweet, easy to remember, and easy to spell. Since the writing of this article, there are 1,966,328,904 websites online right now. This can make it increasingly difficult to find a short domain. You may have to get creative or purchase a domain other than “.com” to purchase one that fits.
Make your website design mobile-friendly
Mobile-friendly or responsive web design has never been more critical, so make sure the website you create for your small business looks just as great on a smartphone, tablet, or traditional computer. Google will even penalize you in search results if your site is NOT responsive. Therefore keeping your audience in mind when and where they may access your information is also a high priority.
Optimize your website for lead capture
Most visitors to your website will do some research first, looking around the site, learning about your products, and reaching out for more information. Optimizing your small business website for lead capture will help prospects and your firm. Including chatbots, free downloadable info packets, newsletter subscriptions, etc… allows your audience to take an action step on your website and will enable them to follow up with their contact info regarding what they may need.
Make your contact information highly visible and easy to find
People want to know that they are talking to a natural person, not a faceless, nameless corporation, so make it easy to contact your team. Contact information should be obvious, and the website should be easy to navigate. Ideally, having your first set of contact information above the scroll (above the fold) allows visitors a clear and concise way to contact you.
Do your SEO homework
Even the most beautifully designed website will not do your business any good if would-be customers cannot find it. If you want to get the most out of your website, you will need to do your search engine optimization (SEO) homework and add content that will drive your site up the rankings.
Make sure the site is well-designed
Remember that the design of your website is an extension of your brand. The website you design for your small business is more than just a placeholder in the online world; it is an extension of your other branding efforts. Make sure your website fits well with your existing brand, is professionally made, and is a good reflection of your company.
Focus on creating a unique and eye-catching design
If you want your small business website to get results, you need to make it special. It is OK to start with a template, especially if you are doing the design yourself, but that prebuilt template should be just a starting point.
Put your products in the spotlight. It is important not to lose sight of the purpose of your small business website design – namely, to sell products and services. No matter what you do, you should put your products and services in the spotlight, giving them a prominent place in your small business web design.
Keep your content fresh
Timely and informative content will help your SEO efforts and make your website more visible but keeping your content fresh will also please your customers and help you build a better brand. Google loves relevant content and constantly scans the internet for new pages and updated content to ensure their user’s experience populates the most pertinent information for the search terms people seek.
Check out the competition
Look at your most successful competitors if you need a starting point for your small business web design. You know how your biggest rivals are, so check out what they are doing well and the places where you can improve their design.
No matter what your business does or where it operates, you need a solid website to keep customers coming through your real or virtual doors. Small business website design is not rocket science, but a few fundamental rules exist. Design a small business website that gets results, so you can gain new customers, boost your brand identity, and ultimately pad your profits.
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Steer Your Online Presence
Once your brand deliverables are ready, and your website will launch, you must now steer the ship of your online brand presence. You could allow the internet to do this for you, but make sure you are the ship’s captain and not a passenger. Here are some ways that you can do just that.
Get involved with social media
Social media can be an incredible tool for promoting your business and building your brand reputation. For instance, hosting competitions and giveaways for followers can help create a more robust audience and bring more customers to your business. Also, providing links to new informational content from your website that benefits your view will draw them back to your site.
It helps to create multiple social media channels. Instead of focusing solely on Facebook, you might also want to create accounts for Twitter and LinkedIn and keep all of them updated regularly with enticing content. Getting involved in hashtag discussions and responding to customers’ tags can also go a long way. As such, you should always look for ways to get involved with social media and engage with your audience.
Collect good reviews and testimonials
If a consumer searches your brand and finds that you have tons of good reviews on Upcity, Google, Trustpilot, and other platforms, they’ll instantly see your brand more favorably. You could even display good reviews on your website and allow customers to submit reviews for products in your online store.
Good reviews are sure to enhance your brand reputation, so encourage your customers to leave reviews for your business and address any problems in bad reviews. You might even want to ask customers or clients for testimonials you can display on your website to show you’ve done an excellent job. Reputation management can often be arduous; outsourcing this task ensures that your reviews are quickly identified and responded to appropriately.
Always be honest and transparent
If you’re leading a brand, you should always be open and transparent with the public. If your business makes a mistake, take responsibility, be honest, and resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Likewise, it would help if you were honest about your brand’s goals and targets and worked hard to fulfill them.
Businesses that lie in press releases or try to fool their customers by purchasing likes, reviews, etc… will suffer from a poor brand reputation. As such, you’ll want to avoid this at all costs. Even if your company isn’t always perfect, being transparent and always striving to improve will have a much more positive impact than trying to fool people.
Business Branding Is Essential For Your Marketing Plan
Getting these branding essentials ready before your business opens is vital to set your business up for success.
Taking the time to craft a unique logo, build a fantastic website, and steer your online presence can be the difference between a thriving business and a business struggling to get by.
Set your business up for success: make using branding tools a priority. Building a strong one can take a lot of time and effort. However, putting in the work is worth it. A brand with a good reputation will acquire more customers, improve customer retention, and make more sales and profits over time.