Branding your business
Maintaining and developing a successful, sustainable business depends on your customers’ perception and experience of your product or service. Marketing is the process of getting your business noticed by the people who need or want what you have to offer. Branding is differentiating yourself from your competitors by creating a unique impression of your product or service in the mind of customers.
People often use the terms ‘marketing’ and ‘branding’ interchangeably. The key difference is that marketing is what you do while branding is what you are. Having a clear and comprehensive marketing and branding strategy will ensure your business is sustainable and assist in differentiating you from your competitors.
Conduct market research
Market research is a key part of developing your marketing strategy. It’s about collecting information that provides an insight into your customers’ minds so you understand what they want, how they gather information and where they are located. It’s also important to research market trends and what’s happening in your industry. Before you begin researching your market it’s important to be clear about how your product or service will benefit potential customers. This will help you focus on gathering relevant information to develop a robust marketing plan.
Identify your unique selling proposition
Your unique selling proposition (USP) is the reason your customers buy from you and not from your competitors – it’s what makes your business stand out from the crowd. It’s important to define what you do differently and be able to convey that to potential customers.
Develop your business brand
Every business, regardless of size, needs a brand. A brand is more than a logo, tagline or colour. A well-articulated brand emotionally connects with your target customers and conveys who you are, what you stand for and what you can deliver.
What your business stands for will determine the following five elements that make up its visual brand.
- Business name: Whether you choose a quirky or functional business name, make sure it’s easy to pronounce and spell. Try to use keywords (eg. plumbing) in your business name, this will help with website search engine optimisation (SEO).
- Colours: Choose colours that reflect your business and create the desired emotional response from your target audience.
- Tagline: Use around three to seven words. It should sum up your brand’s position and stick in the minds of your target market. Great examples include Nike’s ‘Just do it’ and L’Oréal’s ‘Because you’re worth it’.
- Fonts: It’s a good idea to use common fonts, for example Arial or Verdana, as they are easy to read and are standard on most The same font should be used consistently across all your marketing materials.