When you are starting a business, Corporate Branding is by far the most important piece of the puzzle. In fact, your branding strategy is critical to your business long-term success. A corporate brand is so much more than just a logo, it establishes your business relevance and credibility and determines how prospective customers perceive your business. A brand is also the uniform of your emblematic agent who represents the desired attributes of your company’s products, services, and initiatives that visually communicates to your market who you are, what you do, and how you do it.
These 10 strategies will help you lay the right foundation to turn your corporate branding into a powerhouse.
1- Choose a company name that is relevant to your business. Your business name should define the nature of your business and should be self-explanatory. Choose wisely as it will stick around forever.
2- Understand your target market and your customers. If you want to build a brand that effectively targets the right market, you must know whom you are targeting, as well as who your customers are. This step is crucial and must be well-defined otherwise the market you wish to target with your brand, might not be the one you attract.
3- Set yourself apart from your competitors. Competition is fierce. Knowing your business offerings and understanding your competitions will help you to differentiate yourself and to position your business on the market.
4- Write a powerful mission statement. A mission statement reinforces and defines a company’s core values and commitments. Keep it clear, simple and short. Focus on “What you can be” rather than “what you want to be.” Your brand should reflect your mission statement.
5- Create a professional logo that represents your business. A well-designed logo not only gives recognition but, also, provides a powerful and instant image of whom you are to the outside world. It’s truly the emblematic agent that represents your business attributes. Having a remarkable logo that reflects the professionalism and trustworthiness of your business will definitely give you a solid foundation for your branding with a clear advantage over your competition.
6- Integrate a catchy tagline with your logo. Using a catchy tagline or slogan with your logo adds extra information that define who you are. It also helps your company stand out among your competitor. Although a tagline evolves with time, it should reveal your companies best attributes.
7- Choose a colour scheme that suits your industry. Choosing the right colours for your identity is an important part of the brand process. Don’t underestimate the power of colours, your colour selection can totally “make” or “break” your overall branding strategy.
8- Be consistent with the usage of your corporate brand identity. To build strong brand recognition, you must remain consistent with the usage of your logo, colours, and tagline by standardizing all marketing materials, signage, website, and other projects. Even your phone mannerisms and your customer service must reflect your brand so that customers can have a consistent experience and build trust in you. Too many companies neglect to put this point into practice showing clients a lack of quality, consistency, and professionalism.
9- Never compromise your branding to save money. The most common mistake new entrepreneurs make is to believe they can save money by creating their own branding or having a friend of a friend create it for them. Of course, you can save money by doing it yourself, but if don’t have the skills required to create an effective brand this will translate into a loss of sales. Corporate branding should be the core of your initial investment because laying the right foundation to build you brand the first time can mean the difference between “failure” or “success.”
10- Monitor, refine, and maintain your Corporate ID. Branding is not a one time deal, it’s an ongoing process to keep up with your market’s expectations. After being launched, your branding and marketing communications must be continually monitored and refined to ensure that your message resonates with your market at all times. Entrepreneurs that understand this concept and whom evolve with their market’s demands will be the ones that survive and prosper.
As you can see corporate branding is more than just a logo and when you’ve successfully built an effective corporate brand, it can only translate to more business for you.
Karen Couillard, is an accomplished Art Director at Vercomedia – Creative Design Studio.
With over 20 years in the design industry, she is committed to helping small business owners and individuals make the right decisions by sharing her expertise with tips, tricks and strategies about website design, corporate branding, package design and product development. She also supports entrepreneurialism through the “Access To Professionals Program – Expert on Demand” by mentoring new entrepreneurs who need business start up advice on Web Design, Branding and Marketing.