Newcomer to Wikizine, Claire Burdett, shares her expert advice on branding when starting a new business venture...
Branding, even more than most of the other media disciplines, is as much alchemy as science. However, there are a number of key areas to focus on to help give you the best chance of creating a successful brand.
Know what are you offering
Focus on what your business offers its customers. Your brand will be a failure if it doesn’t deliver what customers want. And once you start growing and employing staff, then they need to understand what the brand is about too, and portray that to your customers at all time.
Above and beyond the call of duty
Always meet and exceed what your brand promises – always give your clients more than they expect, whether that is the added bonus or the extra good service or the courtesy follow up call. And remember that failing, even just once, can damage your brand.
Simplicity is the key
Keep your brand simple. Choose a clean logo that is easy to see and understand and a short and snappy strapline (less than five words). Simplify your key core values - aim to encapsulate it in three values, and you certainly shouldn’t have more than five.
Every aspect of your business should make customers feel the same way about you, and that is particularly true in the areas that they can see, such as your website, your letters, your brochures. Keep the tone and style the same at all times, and use your logo EVERYWHERE.
Believe in it
If you don’t believe in your brand or care about it, then you won’t look after it and your business will come across as false and untrustworthy. Always undersell and look for opportunities to go beyond your promises, to make improvements, and don't be afraid to make changes to reflect shifts in the way you do business or to reflect new trends in your market. It shows you care.
© Claire Burdett
Claire Burdett is a qualified and experienced business coach, a home business expert and a serial entrepreneur. She runs www.businessmidwife.co.uk and www.thefunkyagency.com and is the founder of www.funkyangel.co.uk, which is the site for people combining home and business and where this article first appeared. She is also divorced and a solo mum.