Building a Brand
8 June 2015 // By Kat Atkins
Are you thinking of starting up your own business or building a brand?
From the beginning I had a lot of passion for One Leaf and my products however I was very naïve in the business world. Over the years I have learnt what it takes to develop a quality named brand and I have been so appreciative of those that have passed on their knowledge to help get One Leaf to where it is today. So in return I would like to share with you some handy tips that I hope will help get you started and assist you in following your dreams! (And the real trick is just that – JUST START!)
1. Choose a Name
This need to be a representation of you, your passion, inspirations and interests all in one. It will become an extension of what you live and breathe!
Tip: You need to register your business name. As you play with different names, research if they are available so you don’t get your heart set on something to then find it’s already taken.
2. Grab that URL!
GoDaddy is a good place for domain names yet there are many other options. Make sure you do your research to find the option most suited to you and your brand.
Tip: Whilst you are on this naming band wagon also see if your name can be consistent across all Social media platforms (this will make it much easier when referencing your business to new customers.)
3. Choose a Logo
Logo’s often become the forefront of any business and makes a brand recognizable.
Tip: A brand’s identity isn’t solely built on logos alone, you need to look at the bigger picture and how the smaller elements combined ensures your product engages with the client well beyond the logo.
4. Branding Statement
What is your key message that represents your brand? Make it clear, make it true. This is your opportunity to connect with people, if you don’t emphasize what makes you special, you may miss your chance and get lost in the crowd.
Tip: Stay true to your product, this will keep customers returning and you will become known for an honest brand with integrity.
5. Design Templates
Choose a look and feel throughout your product – colour schemes, logo placements, fonts.
Tip: You don’t need to be fancy just consistent.
6. Target Market
Consider your type of product and price range and who you need to focus your marketing at.
Tip: Use media platforms that this clientele will regularly be looking at, make sure the language, pictures and fonts used will appeal to these people.
7. Your Personal Brand.
As the owner, you become a leader not only for your employees but customers as well. Your personal brand needs to represent the value you are able to consistently deliver throughout your company and product.
Tip: Ask yourself – “Are you living your brand everyday throughout each aspect of your company?”
If the answer is no, slow down and work on bringing each area to a level playing field.
8. Don’t Spread Yourself Thin.
In the beginning you may feel like you are burning the candle at both ends but the hard work will pay off, and hey – you have to start somewhere!
Once you get into a rhythm and begin to learn more and grow in the industry, seek help from the more experienced and utilize others where you can,
Tip: We are all wired differently for a reason. Find those most suited to your brand with the same values and you will see your business grow.
9. The Clients Eyes
No matter how many years of experience you have – the client always knows exactly what they want. Make sure you regularly take a step out of the Director’s chair and look at your business from a customer’s point of view.
Tip: The experience you provide your customer’s should always be a warm and friendly one. Think – is my website user friendly? Is the counter positioned for easy access and positive customer engagement? All these little things will give people a reason to return.
10. Check the Competition
Do not dwell on what others are doing, but it is good to be aware.
Tip: Look at colours, fonts, styles and layouts used by others in the industry and then create something that is truly unique that positions you away from them all.
The branding of your company comes right down to the voice used answering your phone, visual pictures, packaging, fonts and email signatures.
Tip: How memorable the customer’s experience dealing with you plays a huge part of building your reputation.
The common theme throughout, I feel this is the most important tip of all. If you can’t maintain all of the above, then you may struggle in establishing a brand.
Tip: Be kind to yourself – your brand will always continue to develop and grow. You have to do the best with the resources you have at the time, but by maintaining consistency and integrity you will be headed for greatness. Keep going!