Of the many businesses that become part of the negative stats and fail within their first three years of formal registration, many go by the wayside as a result of very basic fundamental mistakes in building an enterprise. While it’s definitely not the be-all and end-all of business success, branding is a very important part of building a business. In fact, a strong brand could very well be the only element of your business that saves the whole venture.
There are times and instances when consumers choose a certain service provider or retailer based purely on their familiarity with the brand — a familiarity that comes with trust and a sense of belonging. So if you’re to build a strong brand, you have to invest in building up that pedigree from the very beginning.
Think of the brand as a separate entity
By no means does this mean you have to completely separate your brand from the core business it represents. Rather the branding should enhance the perception of the enterprise’s core business offering to give it some kind of identity people can relate to. The best way to achieve this strong presence is thinking of the brand as a stand-alone venture of sorts, with its sole purpose being that of conveying a message about what it is. What is it all about? What does it stand for? How can it be identified from a crowd of other similar brands that might stand for the same core beliefs?
Generally speaking a business venture stems from a decision made by at least one person identifying a gap they seek to fill, but it can take a while for any business to start breaking even, let alone start posting profits. This is when brand awareness should be pushed hard, in spite of the losses or lack of profits. It’s okay to spend even over a year simply building brand awareness and solidifying the formulated belief-system you seek to make synonymous with the brand and working on whatever it is you want your brand to be known for.
Right, so what then exactly constitutes a brand? What can you point at or make reference to as a set of brand identifiers?
The importance of an appropriate logo that makes a lasting impact is often downplayed by how easily you can get one for as little as $5 these days, but your logo needs to tell a story about what it is your brand and business is all about.
The colours chosen should serve to enhance your logo, but the logo should be recognisable and still be easily associated with your specific brand if it were to be printed in greyscale or black-and-white, for example. Otherwise the so-called corporate colour(s) should take into account what certain colours represent with regards to the emotions and reactions they invoke in people and how that relates to what your offering is all about.
A slogan or cause
Your brand doesn’t have to have a singular, official and static slogan, but it must definitely have some kind of cause it stands for. It doesn’t have to be a noble one in nature, but it also shouldn’t be offensive in any way. It can, for instance, be a mischievous one that suggests the arrival of a brand that challenges the status quo and does things differently but effectively.
Building brand pedigree ultimately comes down to making the right choices as early as possible in the brand development cycle.