Starting your own business is an exciting step for any entrepreneur, but building your brand doesn’t come without its challenges. Understanding the importance of strong branding and taking the right steps to accomplish it will help your business excel.

What is branding?
Branding includes elements such as your website, logo, social media accounts, the colors you choose to associate with your company, the tone of voice you use within your content, the packaging of the products you offer, the environments within your stores, and the advertisements you create. All of this helps to shape an image of your business within the minds of consumers.

The importance of good branding
Start-ups must work to distinguish themselves within the marketplace, and establishing a steady brand presence will help to do just that.

Think of the brands that have accomplished this successfully. Target, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Apple, and Google are some of the big-name businesses that have mastered branding. Their branding is unmistakable (from the bold red and white of the Target website to the colorful red, yellow, green, and blue of Google’s content), and resonates with consumers worldwide.

Tips to remember when creating your brand

Branding is an essential element of every flourishing business. Here is some key advice to keep in mind while you work to define and sustain your brand.

1. Create your name: Hearing or seeing your brand name is one of the first experiences customers will have with your brand. It should therefore be a robust and memorable reflection of your business. A bad brand name will immediately send consumers running, but a likable name can have the opposite effect. In fact, according to a 2015 survey, around 75% of internet users are willing to pay more for a product with a brand name they like and trust.

2. Define your unique selling propositions (USPs): Understanding what makes your business unique will help you make the most effective decisions when it comes to your branding, and beyond. It will also help to simplify these processes by pinpointing the heart and soul of who you are. What makes your brand special? Why should consumers choose you instead of your competitors? What do you offer that others cannot?

3. Develop your visuals: Branding visuals such as your logo, typography, colors, packaging, and stationery will all serve to reinforce your brand identity. These important elements are extensions of your brand and who you are, and as such they need to be thoughtfully considered and chosen with care. Your visuals will be the face of your company, and can have a powerful impact on consumers’ perception of your business. Opt for visuals that will stand out while staying true to the heart of your brand. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your design until you find something that you truly love.

4. Find your voice and tone: Your business must rely on more than just visuals to distinguish itself. Enter your brand voice, which refers to all textual communications, across any medium. How do you want customers to perceive you? Are you funny? Friendly? To-the-point? What is it that your leader keeps repeating? Your tone of voice will determine what you say in writing, and how you say it. Your brand is more than just a pretty face, and your brand’s voice is its personality—decide what you want this personality to be.

5. Integrate your branding into your marketing strategy: Now that you’ve determined what you want your brand to look and sound like, it’s time to put it all into action. Formulate a marketing strategy in consideration of these aspects. What social media platforms are best for your brand? What will your social media posts look and sound like? How about your blogs? Are there any types of content you’ll stay away from? A thorough plan of action will present your new brand to the public in the cleverest way possible.

6. Keep your branding consistent: We can’t say it enough: consistency is KEY. If your business doesn’t remain true to itself and its branding, it will become muddled and get lost in the crowd. Avoid confusion within the marketplace and the other negative consequences of brand inconsistency, and stay on-message, on-point, and on-brand through every move you make.

While all new businesses will undoubtedly face their share of obstacles, defining your ideal branding and ensuring you always remain true to it will help greatly diminish your start-up hurdles. For professional assistance with your branding and marketing needs, feel free to get in touch with the experts at NRPR today!

Ellan DineenEllan Dineen is the Marketing Associate at Design Wizard. When she’s not hard at work in the Marketing Department, Ellan can be found en route to foreign lands with a book in her hand and a podcast in her ear. With a Master’s in English and Diploma in Social Media Marketing, she knows the importance of staying up-to-date with the industry’s latest trends and insights and is keen to pass these tips on to her readers.