by Henry Ma, CEO of Ricoma
Starting a new business is an adventure that often proves to be as exciting as it is challenging, and one of the biggest hurdles new entrepreneurs must overcome is branding their new business. A great brand strategy evokes emotion in consumers by speaking to what your business offers and stands for so it can become solidified in people’s minds and lead to a successful launch.
However, lackluster branding can cause your business to flounder before it even gets off the ground. While the branding process can be complex and sometimes frustrating, doing it well reaps significant rewards.
Branding should capture the essence of your new business. By following these tried-and-true tips, you can successfully launch a well-branded venture that will catch the attention of consumers and make you one-to-watch within your industry.
Define your brand identity
Your brand identity is how the public views your business, specifically your goals and mission as a company, your values and ethos, and your reputation. When you’re emerging as a new business, a well-defined brand identity helps introduce you to new consumers and helps solidify your place within their market.
A brand identity weaves together tangible ideas like logos and website design with intangible ideals, such as the feeling someone gets when they browse your website to the “voice” people hear when they read your copy. How your business is perceived is all based on brand identity.
To define your brand’s identity, you must first know who you are as a business. Start by defining your goals and the overall strategy for your brand. Do you want to target a particular market? Do you want to launch a revolutionary new product? What feeling do you want to convey? Is it cutting-edge and futuristic or down-home and cozy? Asking yourself questions like these will help you eventually arrive at what you want your brand identity to represent.
Creating a memorable logo
Even though branding goes far beyond logo, creating a memorable logo can help set the stage for a wider branding strategy, so explore the key elements that define your brand and incorporate those into your logo design.
Think of well-known logos such as the Nike “swoosh” or the Apple logo — simple, elegant examples of well-defined brands — to help yours become memorable. A memorable logo conveys the right message to your target market, sticks out among the competition, and is easy for people to recall when thinking about your industry or the product or service that you provide.
When looking at statistics about logos, some themes emerge that can help guide the new business owner toward creating a unique and memorable one. According to studies, blue is the most popular color for logos among Fortune 500 companies, and 36.7% of companies have used online designers to help them come up with their logos.
Building consistency across platforms
One of the most important factors in a successful brand image is consistency. Once you’ve decided what message and feel you want your branding to convey, you must ensure your branding is consistent across all platforms.
Communication with your consumer market should be consistent with the values and mission identified when you first started your business. You don’t want to spend time and effort on a unique brand only to confuse the market by being inconsistent.
In addition to a consistent message, businesses should also have clear guidelines for their brand so they don’t stray from their intended message. The color palette and logo that you decided upon should follow through on merchandise, advertising, and anything that is customer-facing. Your website and social media accounts should also stay consistent with your brand identity.
Once you land on a memorable logo, put it on everything, including your business’s apparel, marketing collateral, and any digital correspondence you have with partners, consumers, or anyone else online. This will help drive home a consistent message with your branding and remind people of your brand whenever they encounter it.
Brand identity is one of the most important factors in building a new business. By identifying who you are as a brand, creating memorable logos and visuals, and staying consistent, you can build a brand that people won’t forget.
Henry Ma is a business expert who has helped over 3,000 startups and established business owners in over 150 countries grow their businesses in his role as CEO of embroidery machine manufacturer Ricoma International. He is founder of several online startups and is an expert on scaling businesses, content marketing, audience building, community management, and more.