Many new businesses begin with a great idea. Once they have’ the idea’ most start-up founders go through what, these days, count as the basic marketing steps. They get a domain name, buy a website and hire a designer to create a logo. This is often where people start to run into problems. The designers hired to create their logo and website will start asking questions about what the start-up’s founders want and all too often the founders won’t have good answers. This is normally because the founders haven’t put enough thought into their branding. This then makes creating effective marketing and design very difficult.
All too often branding, marketing, websites and logos are talked about as if they are all the same thing. They are all connected but they are not all the same. It is often easiest to start off by thinking about branding. When creating the branding for a new company it is a good idea to think about some of the following questions:
- What does my business do?
- Why would people want to use my business?
- What makes my business different?
- What are my business values?
- What can customers expect from my business?
What you are trying to develop by thinking about these questions is an overview of how you want to be perceived by customers. Is your business, for instance all about quick low cost delivery or innovative new products? Or is it about traditional quality and skill and customer service?
Once you have this kind of overview of what a business is about the next couple of steps become fairly straightforward. You need website and logo designs which represent your company’s values. Being able to say to a designer that you want something sleek and modern or something traditional and reliable is much easier for them than saying you want something blue. It will also help you to better judge whether what they produce really suits your brand.
With the overall brand strategy in place and a visual representation of it through your website and logo the next bit is communicating the brand. This is where your marketing strategy comes in. Again your website will play a big part but you can also think more about the kind of customers who might use your business and where you might find them. Then you just have to figure out a way of communicating with potential customers in a way which suits your brand and which your target customers will be comfortable with.
Branding is really about establishing the personality of a business. The logo and marketing is about communicating that personality to customers. When you are a small start-up business this should be fairly straightforward. After all ideas become businesses because of the hard work and dedication of the business founders. By their very nature entrepreneurs tend to have very strong characters and very strong ideas about how things ought to be done. Branding and marketing is just about letting other people know what that character and ideas are.
The Company Warehouse’s team of in house graphic designers can assist you with website, logo and stationery design. Our business consultants will be happy to speak to you about your branding and marketing more generally.