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All You Need To Know About Branding Your New Business

Red glass bottles. Golden arches. Rainbow apples with a bite in the middle. A blue bird. All of these descriptions of logos are obvious, yes? Could you tell which companies were being described?

The brand of your business is going to be burned into the memories of your audience, but only if you make the right impact. You probably knew that the golden arches indicated McDonalds, and that the bluebird represented Twitter. What do you want people to know about your business? How do you want them to identify you? As a small business, you want to know how people imagine your business, and that means knowing what you want to convey with your brand message.

It may seem overwhelming to you, to consider having a brand as big as those that we mentioned above, but it’s not as impossible as you think it is. You have to avoid a few common pitfalls and branding mistakes that your business may make, and you really should think of everything, from logo color combinations to the typography and image you use. Making things complicated is not an option when simplicity is going to sell your business in more ways than you could have ever imagined. 

With all of this in mind, you should consider what you already know about branding your new business, and what you could do to be better next time. Let’s take a closer look!

Black pencils and Design word

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Understand the power of your brand. Your customers are going to spend a lot of time looking at what you do and what you can do for them. For instance, whatever solution it is that you are offering, they need to think of you when then think about their problem. If they can think of you, that means that your brand message is getting across. It will mean that you have an immediate and definitive brand message that you are imparting to your customers. Defining your brand value is important, particularly from an SEO perspective. It’s not a secret that Google likes to prioritize branded listings, so if you are not using the right keywords in your content, you’re going to miss out on being at the top of the list. If you focus a little more on building your brand, you’re going to have some unexpected website improvements that you can rely on.

Don’t forget to define your brand guidelines. A mistake that many businesses make, you need your company needs to develop a brand and you need to ensure that you have some defined guidelines to your brand identity. You want to ensure that you are covering all your bases, and for that, these guidelines may help:

  • You need a logo for your entire brand

  • You need a system for your brand colors

  • You should have the right taglines that define what you do and who you are

  • Paying attention to typography and fonts is vital for success

  • Give your branded materials a voice, and stick to that voice.

  • Use both static and moving imagery in your efforts

  • Where possible, embrace having mascots who can spread awareness, too.

This is not the end of this list, just a few of the things that you must consider for your brand guidelines. Any other characteristics for your business that you feel are necessary will really change the game for your business. The worst thing that you can do is avoid creating any of these characteristics through fear that you are doing too much. You aren’t; each of these things is vital to your success.

Avoid overcomplicating your brand. Some of the brands out there go unchanged over time because they are so popular. The McDonald’s arches, for example, may have changed their shade of golden yellow very slightly over time, but they don’t change by much because they are so recognizable! Once you have established your brand, upgrades and changes may be pertinent in the future, but that doesn't mean you need to overcomplicate things. It may be tempting to change things as time goes on, but it’s better avoided unless your business has started to fade into the background. Clean and simple elements of your brand are far more likely to be recognized and appreciated.

Close-Up Photography of Apple Computer

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Don't be vague with your brand. The opposite end of the scale to overcomplicating things is being far too simple, and you don’t want to do that, either. You want to be obvious enough that people know who you are, but you don’t want to be boring with it! Being generic with your logo is going to do you zero favors when it comes to your audience. Make your voice snappy and punchy, and choose imagery that is instantly recognizable with colors that stand out and ingrained into the minds of your audience. You need clear language, easy imagery and a business that is branded in a way that is sophisticated and professional. You want your brand to stand the test of time, and the way to do that is to be smart about the colors, font, logo and your message. There is no room for vagueness and boredom when you have a brand that must uphold your business.

Don’t cheat on yourself. You’ve spent time crafting your own brand guidelines and have started to implement those into your strategy. As time moves on, you may decide that you want to use colors outside of the palette that you started with, and you can do that but is it really a good idea? Choosing from your own color palette is the better option, and making a new campaign look differently can be done. If you decide to go against your own brand guidelines, you’re not going to get very far! You could diminish your own brand by going against the guidelines that you set for yourself in the first place. If you do this, you’re essentially cheating on yourself and - as you may already know - cheaters always lose!

Police your brand usage. Developing a business is hard. However, developing brand guidelines that you want to stick to is only half the battle. You must be proactive about monitoring how others use your branded elements on your behalf. You could end up with competitors creating logos that look much like yours and a website that’s almost identical. If you don't plan to police your brand usage, you risk someone using your ideas and passing it off as their own for profit - not ideal at all! These issues may be minor, but in the long term they can cause damage to your business and you end up spending more trying to keep your brand unique.

Monitor brand changes carefully. You can rebrand as many times as you need to, but unless you approach it in the right way, you’re going to have a mismanaged brand that could crash your business. The way you establish your brand is important, and you want to ensure that you educate your followers on all changes that you want to make. This means that your business isn’t going to have negativity aimed toward it for changing things that people are used to seeing. Monitor your brand changes carefully and understand the risks of making said changes.

Branding makes vital connections with your customers. The more you do it right, the better recognized you will be.