These days, many people want to try working for themselves and so they look into starting a small business. Many of these are ecommerce businesses, or businesses that operate solely online, but there are many different types of business endeavors. However, not all businesses are successful— especially within the first five years of opening— and first-time business owners can lose a lot of money if they don’t properly create and market their business. Here are four strategies for creating and promoting a successful brand.
#1: Branding basics
Your company name is just one of many important components of your overall brand. Choosing a company name may come easy to some, but it can be difficult to choose the perfect name for others. After all, it’s a permanent decision (in most cases), and it impacts all other aspects of your brand and your marketing strategies. Some strategies to help you come up with a brand name include:
- Acronym, like CVS (Consumer Value Stores)
- Combine two words, like Wal-Mart
- Create a new word, like Google
- Use a literal description of your business, like The Shoe Company
Once you’ve decided on a name, you can come up with a slogan. A slogan isn’t necessary, and unlike your company name, you’re free to change it whenever you like— but not too often, as that can confuse your customers. Just remember to keep it short and make it catchy.
After you’ve decided on a name for your business, it’s time to design a logo. You can design your own logo, or consult a professional. Your logo is another major part of your brand identity, as it is the face of your company that will be applied everywhere: your products, uniforms, business cards, storefront, company car, social media profiles, website, etc.
#2: Research your competition and target brand market
So you have an idea of the product(s) you’d like to sell or the service(s) you’d like to provide, you’ve come up with a great name, and you have your logo— now it’s time to start marketing. This is going to require some research, specifically on your target market and your competitors. One of the easiest ways to do this is to look at the social media accounts of businesses similar to yours and take note of:
- How they present themselves and their products/services
- How their audience engages with their posts
- The makeup of their audience
Keep in mind that while this method is a good starting point, you should still do more in-depth research.
#3: Develop your brand’s personality
Having an idea of what your target audience and competitive market looks like along with creating the visuals for your brand gets you halfway to completing your brand identity. Next comes the more difficult, abstract part of a brand identity: your brand’s personality. If your brand was a person, what kind of traits would it have? Some examples of ways to help you come up with your brand’s personality include:
- Core values
- List of words that describe your company
- Mission statement
Your brand’s personality will also show up across all platforms. These platforms include your social media feed, your business website, your store design (if applicable), and even your packaging.
#4: Market your brand everywhere
When your brand has been fully created, it’s time to create meaningful content to help you create brand awareness. This content is different from your inventory; it’s digital matter in the form of photos and videos, and can also include infographics, audio content, and blog posts related to the products you’re selling or the services you’re providing. Your content will be marketed through your website, social media, and through emails.
Two things customers love when it comes to a brand they love are sales and merchandise. This is where promotional marketing can be helpful in marketing your brand. Promotional items are pieces of merchandise (usually relevant to your company in some way) that you can sell alongside your products/services, or give away as something for free with a purchase. Examples of effective promotional items include:
- Coffee mugs and tumblers from coffee and tea companies
- Reusable grocery bags from brands that promote a green lifestyle
- Water bottles from sports and fitness brands
Before you can market your company, you must create a strong brand identity for your business. This is what will allow your customers to connect with your company on a deeper level, and also what will help you with your future marketing efforts.
Read more: What Are the Features of Social Marketing?