Putting a Face to a Name: Developing a Company Brand
The business world is all about first impressions. If a customer likes what they see right away, they are likely to invest. This is what makes branding so important. Your brand is what consumers will initially encounter when introduced to your company. You want your brand to entice potential customers to dig deeper and further explore what your company has to offer. With any luck, they will like what they see!
How to Develop a Brand
Begin by identifying your target market. You branding strategy will depend heavily on this factor. For instance, you will choose different approaches depending on whether you are marketing to wealthy, retired men or adolescent girls.
The spending habits, interests, age, gender, education level, and many other factors will play into your branding plans. Similarly, your target market will also dictate where you make your brand visible. If a wide margin of you potential customers read the New York Times, you'll want to advertise there. If they are a more tech-savvy bunch, making your brand well known on the Internet will become a priority.
Once you know who you are trying to speak to, you have to figure out how. Decide what makes your company unique. What distinguishes you from the other guys? Why should a customer come to you instead of the competition? It is in developing those unique selling points that gives a face to your company.
Perhaps it is dependability, innovativeness, or creativity that sets you apart. Regardless of what it is, choose a couple of stand-out qualities and focus on them in the branding process.
Getting Your Brand Noticed
There are several ways to make your brand known to customers. The two main methods are the visual approach and the verbal approach. Any company would be wise to utilize both.
The visual approach involves a specific look to your brand that will be recognized no matter what the context. The best way to do this is through a logo. While it is helpful to have several versions of your logo to fit into different promotional settings, it is essential that a common "look" is maintained throughout.
Remember: what the eyes see, the brain remembers. Whether it be an identifiable font or a memorable graphic, the visual side of branding has become increasingly important in our media-saturated culture.
The verbal aspect of branding is directly connected to the visual. Sometimes they are one in the same, other times the words appear alone, away from the established "look." The wording involved in the brand becomes evermore vital when separated from the visual.
Choosing a good name for your company is part of the branding process. Be sure to choose a name that is descriptive. Don't get too creative with made-up titles that "sound cool." They might be pleasing to the ear, but they won't be remembered by the brain. Whether a customer sees the brand name with your logo or in a newspaper article in plain text, they should instantly recognize it.
A tagline can also be helpful in bolstering the brand. Taglines should always be short and sweet. Something clever or catchy will stick in the memories of customers the same way an attractive logo will.
Marketing With Confidence
You thought coming up with a brand was challenging, now try maintaining it. A devotion to your brand displays a devotion to your customers. It also shows that you have confidence in your product. Consumers will perceive that confidence and subconsciously internalize a feeling of trust for your brand.
It is that positive gut-reaction that you want. A creative, confident brand is generally the face on a creative and confident company, and that is something any customer will notice and remember.
About the Author
Johnny Albertson is a musician, blogger and writer. Visit his blog, Beatin' the Blues for more insights and pearls of wisdom. Johnny uses Article Marketer, an online article distribution service, to build a brand name for himself.