When it comes to figuring out your brand, it can seem like a monumental task. You need to identify a slogan, a logo, standard branding practices, and most importantly, a story to undergird your brand. With all these different things it can seem overwhelming at times; considering some of these ideas can help you get off to a good start.
Connect it With Emotion
When you’re developing your brand, you want it to be associated with more than an item. You want it to be associated with a feeling. If you’re selling ice cream bars, think about the specific message you want to convey with them.
Are your ice cream bars the fun but healthy option? Or are they the mega-serious-body-builder’s option? Or do they seem to embrace an elegant old-world charm? Whatever it is that you offer, try and find a story to connect it to so that your product evokes positive feelings in your buyers.
Target the Right Audience
Of all the things to focus on, making sure that you are aiming at the right target audience is by far one of the most important. No matter what your product is, if you don’t zone in on a particular group, or a few particular groups, it’s likely that viewers of your advertisements won’t be able to individually connect with your product.
As you think about your target audience, ask yourself the type of problems that your product intends to address. Who has those problems? Then make sure that your branding reflects the interests of that group.
Use Social Media Advertising
Social media can be a great tool to better broadcast your brand to more people and build a story that goes along with that brand. But often, it can be easy to assume that publishing any old content on the internet will be enough to engage followers. In reality, it doesn’t work like that. You need to think carefully about the type of consumers you are trying to reach and then you need to figure out the content that they would find the most useful and engaging.
Try to aim your posts at the same problems that your services try to address. For example, if you sell skincare products, post videos or text explanations about how to care for your skin.
Give Away Promotional Items
Everybody likes free stuff. But even though people appreciate free stuff, it’s important that you don’t just stamp your logo on a random item and expect that people will use it. You need to carefully think about your target audience, what types of things they would actually use, and then invest resources into a carefully designed aesthetically pleasing object.
When your items are fresh, convey your company’s brand, and are well-made, customers will want to wear that shirt or use that water bottle. It’s also important that you think of unique gifts that you can give in settings when you need something smaller. Custom toothpicks are great additions to gift bags at company events.
Use Creative Marketing Strategies
In addition to using more traditional marketing approaches, you should also think about other fun and creative options. Often, marketing that wittily manipulates its surroundings and prompts viewers to laugh is the most effective at staying in the viewers’ minds.
For example, instead of paying for a typical billboard, try and make your advertisement more of a photo-op. Additionally, consider doing things like wrapping a company car to up your marketing in an on-the-ground type of way.
Sponsor a Scholarship
Sponsoring a scholarship is a great way to reach out to the community and demonstrate a meaningful commitment to giving back. There are a variety of ways that you can get involved in sponsoring a scholarship. Depending on your budget, you could contribute to a scholarship fund that is already established. Or you could start your own and publicize it out in the community.
Get Involved in the Community
In addition to sponsoring a scholarship, you should also think about other ways that you can get more involved in the community. For example, think about sponsoring a high school athletic team in the area.
Often, you can donate money to the team and have your name put on their team shirts or displayed as a banner on the game facilities. Alternately, if you have services that could be useful to the team (such as catering that you could offer for a team banquet), you could offer those for free and get some free marketing out of the process.
Not only does this allow you to spread the word about your company, but perhaps more importantly, it allows you to build your rapport with members of the community. Seeing that your company is involved in and supportive of their children, parents will be more inclined to go to you when they need the services you offer.
Regardless of all the different strategies that you might take to reach out to potential clients, they’re only going to remember you if your visuals are consistent. This might initially seem like a no-brainer, but it’s actually quite easy to make little inconsistencies in the different materials that you send out to represent your company.
A common mistake that some companies make when they are first starting out is simply throwing together a brand and logo. While this may not be your main focus at the beginning of building your company, it could really hurt you if you have to come back and totally rebrand everything later on.
This is a made so often with small businesses — especially those that rely on online graphic tools like Canva. They try to “re-create” new materials for every event or every marketing piece they put out, and there is no consistent branding that ties all of their marketing pieces together. Simply relying on a logo to tie everything together isn’t going to do it. People need to be able to look at a piece without a logo and know instantly that it comes from your company!
For example, it can be really easy to not standardize minute aspects of your branding like fonts — but taking the time to do so can make a world of difference. Colors are also an area that needs to be consistent. Using the same colors over and over again solidifies branding. Additionally, you also want to make sure that your tone throughout different marketing materials is consistent. While you may have a variety of different authors writing blog posts on your blog or managing your social media accounts, ensure that they are all committed to the same tone whether that be more casual or formal.
Figuring out your brand isn’t easy. You need something fresh, catchy, and memorable. These ideas can help you get off to the right start. A seasoned freelance graphic designer or creative agency who understands branding can be a great asset to your business.
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