September 23, 2009
When someone has a great idea for a business, they often fall over themselves in excitement and anticipation. They can’t wait to get to market, unfold their vision and ride the high waves to financial freedom. Whilst enthusiasm and vision are important, you need to sit down alone for a little while and work out some of the basics. Before you even start telling anybody about your idea or what you may have to sell or promote, you must first figure out your branding.
When you create a brand, you set yourself apart from the competition. This differentiation allows you to create a potential bond between yourself and your target audience, convert your prospects into clients and then retain them. Branding has many elements to it, and you must ensure that you pay attention to each one.
Before you start, you’ll need to work out what your overall message is. People out there will perceive you and your organization according to your message; first impressions are crucial and you have to make a great one.
One of the initial things to do when you’re setting up a brand is to choose a company name. Many people incorporate the company name with their website domain name and make them one and the same. Note, that while your legal corporate name may be one thing, your “doing business as” name, whatever it may be, should receive your full branding attention, and be fully reflective of your business goals.
If you’re very clever with your trading name, you can much more easily go on to achieve great heights. You’ll realise you’ve attained the summit of success when your corporate name also becomes a well-known verb, like “Hoover”, “Google”, or “Xerox”.
Along with the selection of your company name, you must make sure that your domain name is perfectly relevant. Realistically, no enterprise can survive without a website nowadays, and your website will probably be the first point of contact when it comes to client marketing. Creativity is the key, but you must make sure that – technically speaking, your domain name will make sense in the world of search engine optimization and have a high level of viewability. Your domain name should ideally incorporate your primary keyword or keywords, which relate exactly to whatever you are promoting or selling. So, in an ideal world, the keywords relating to your “hot potato” new marketing idea should appear prominently within your domain name and within your company name.
Keyword selection is quite a complex subject which we have already touched on in (R – Right Keywords) but, as we have seen, is important within your branding set up. Keywords should appear within your mission statement and in all marketing materials. It’s vital that they accurately illustrate what your potential client is seeking from you.
Visual image is everything. Once you have a great company name, domain name and the keywords selected, you can move on to create visuals. Your logo should essentially sum up what you’re trying to achieve. The logo doesn’t necessarily have to incorporate your company name or your domain name or your keywords, but it should be a great visual representation of all of these and project the very reason for your company’s existence. The logo is one of the first things that a potential client will see, so take as much time as you need in this area, as it’s likely to leave the biggest impression.
Once you’ve established your logo, you should create all your marketing materials according to a particular style and presentation. Maintain this throughout your organisation and don’t dilute your message by going off point.
Your website is your window to the world. A correctly composed website speaks volumes about your business. Don’t forget that in business it’s all about perception, and if you don’t maintain a storefront of any kind in the real world, people will judge your business by looking at your website. You should always maintain a high degree of professionalism and clearly display this throughout your site. It doesn’t matter if you’re a one-man band; you should still give people the impression that you’re a highly successful, well-organized and thoroughly established enterprise.
Pay careful attention to branding and maintain your position throughout your business cycle.
Michelle Dale is The Managing Director of Virtual Miss Friday, an accomplished Executive Virtual Assistant Service which helps companies of all sizes reach their commercial targets. Want to get more information about online business building success strategies that really work? Contact VMF Today!