When you think of the largest businesses in the world, you probably assign a product, logo, or even slogan to the business mentally – in other words, their branding. For example, everyone knows the Nike swoosh, the Apple logo, and Google’s G. This is referred to as “brand awareness”, and is a sign that the company has done a great job of establishing their brand by making it memorable, recognizable, and profitable.
Although you may not be a multi-million dollar international corporation, you can still employ the same practices that these corporate juggernauts use to become a household name. In the following article, we’ll highlight the key aspects of branding and what you can do to maximize your effort.
Business Name & Website
With so much business taking place online, it is incredibly important that you build a brand that is relevant to your market. If your business name describes your market effectively, it becomes much easier for search engines to direct your site appropriately (with the help of some SEO!). If your website name includes relevant keywords to your business, this helps even more. Finally, using a simple naming scheme allows for customers to better understand your service and what you do, reducing the odds of them being confused or disappointed by your service.
This also includes your business name as well as the URL of your website. If someone hears about your business through a friend or advertisement without a specific website to visit, you can salvage that lead by ensuring that your website URL is either your business’ name, or can be easily associated with your business on a google search for similar terms. For example, if your business is “Pete’s Flowers”, you wouldn’t want “floraldesignsbypete.com” as your website’s address as it is difficult to link the two entities for a new customer.
Logos offer incredible selling power. Just think: Beats by Dre are simply mid to high-end headphones, however their logo alone allows them to be incredibly expensive relative to similar products. Often, logos become a status symbol that people pay extra for to align themselves with a specific mentality, group, or style. If you hope to become as recognizable as Beats, Google, Nike, or other corporate giants, you need a solid logo for your branding.
We’ve already highlighted the keys to creating an effective logo here, but to sum it up, you are looking to create something that is simple but versatile enough to be used in marketing efforts, on your website, and on products. The goal is to make the logo the focal and selling point of your business, and to make it stylish and unique enough for people to remember it. By doing so, you are creating a separate business entity that has immense advertising and selling power, but still represents your business as a whole.
Online shoppers are understandably hesitant when it comes to buying products on a website. With so many scamming horror stories and dishonest businesses operating, trustworthiness cannot be understated as a part of your branding.
It is important to have your business and website available on all the primary social media platforms, as well as any locally applicable locations like Yelp or other review services. By managing your social media channels effectively, you are able to demonstrate your legitimacy in the form of reviews, customer service responses, and more.
For example, if you were looking to buy something online would you prefer to buy from a business that has a website alone and no reviews or social media, or a website with links to social media, reviews from past customers, and live support available through Facebook, Twitter, or their website? In some cases, you may even pay more for the same product just for the safety that good branding offers!
In the end, branding is more than just choosing the color scheme for your business and applying it to your website, logo, and social media accounts. The point of branding is to develop trust and achieve a level of recognition to where your brand is its own advertising. By ensuring your business and website names, logo, and social media accounts are optimized for success, you increase the odds of being found, recognized, and profitable. Be sure to take the proper time to develop your brand, as changing it down the road may cause more trouble than it’s worth!