Branding lessons for new businesses
The process of setting up a new business brings lots of things to do and think about - and one of the most important issues to consider is your brand.
From the name and logo of your company to your marketing campaigns and the way you communicate with customers, most facets of a new firm are connected with your brand.
Beginning the branding process
It's crucial you think carefully about how you want your business to be perceived and the type of clientele you want to attract to make sure you create the right brand for your organisation and stand out from the rest of the crowd in your industry.
Key things to consider include the products and services you want to offer and whether they fill a gap in the market, how your business proposition differs from that of potential rivals and whether you can actually meet the needs of your target customers.
The great thing about being a new business is that it's easy to position yourself as a challenger to established brands, so consider how you might do this if you're looking to enter a particularly competitive market.
You will then need to think about your company's values, vision and personality, all of which need to be communicated internally and externally. For the latter, advertising campaigns will be crucial.
With dozens of marketing platforms to choose from, there's sure to be at least one that's perfect for your business. Popular channels that can be used by organisations in most sectors include the internet - even if it's just in terms of setting up a website - as well as promotional items, direct mail, TV and newspapers.
Whichever you choose, your selected method will need to be successful in increasing awareness of your brand. After all, as a new business, your target client base will not have heard of you before, so you will have to create the right first impression.
The key thing to remember is your campaign should convey the main aspects of your brand in a clear and accessible manner. Use your company name and logo in all communications to reinforce this while keeping to your values. Fail to do this and it's likely potential customers will quickly forget about your firm.
As a new business, however, you should be in a position where you can easily change your branding in response to outside feedback.
Need to rebrand?
If you do need to reassess your branding strategy after a while, you may not necessarily have to overhaul all of it. Think about whether you just need to change your company's name, or perhaps take a new approach to marketing.
Don't forget that taking up a new name or logo will require you to transform your advertising communications and invest in new promotional items. There's little point in creating a new identity if you don't have the right materials to help you raise awareness of it.
Bearing in mind the expense associated with overhauling a brand you've already spent time and money on, be doubly sure you actually need to reposition your firm before you go ahead.
Have you learnt any valuable branding lessons when setting up a new business? What were the most successful methods you used for enhancing brand awareness? Let us know in the comments!