To create a successful business you will need to direct your energies into a number of key areas, marketing and brand awareness ought to be one of your top three priorities right behind finance and the market you choose to sell into. How your existing and potential customers think of you is crucial to the ongoing success of any business so it is vitally important that you communicate visually with those customers in a professional and structured manner, no matter how large or small your enterprise a brand awareness plan will help portray the right image in the right way.
Here are some of the areas you should cover in your plan........
- Try to link your vision for the business to your brand.
- Think carefully about the name of your business, make sure it does not offend is easy to pronounce and is not too much of a mouthful.
- A logo or a pictorial link to your business name will make it more memorable and easier to recognise.
- Create a cohesive relationship between all visual imagery whatever the medium by consistently using the same logo maintaining style and colours at all times.
- Signage and Print should be of high quality reflecting the image of professionalism
The value of a well branded image will pay dividends, however, you have to keep the faith as it is not what you would class as a tangible measurable part of your sales and marketing strategy and so often is overlooked or neglected. Can you visualise the M&S logo, I should think the answer is yes - this is a well managed brand that is readily associated with quality products and quality service and a shinning example to all brand managers throughout the Country.
Of course comparisons to M&S might be a bit too grand for people like us, but the analogy is an important one, their customers associate the M&S brand and logo with quality - now that is tangible!
My business Betterprint can help you get started and improve your branding and visual image, business stationery is an important part of your overall branding and so should not be neglected or left to chance, we have thousands of pre-templated designs readily available for you to personalise creating the start of your very own truly unique brand.
A quality professionally printed business card can open more doors than you might think especially if you think laterally in ways you can use them, try some of these tips and see if it makes a difference for you.
- Don't buy cheap flimsy ones.
- Don't order the FREE ones on the net - nothings for free, they won't add value to your business and will adversely affect your brand strategy!
- Try to find the 400gsm thick cards and stay away from too many garish colours.
- Stand out from the crowd by adding matt or gloss lamination or have them round cornered.
- Print on the reverse with a marketing message or a list of your products and or services.
- Always carry your cards with you, give them out freely and leave them in places where your target audience are likely to visit. (you may have to seek permission)
- Whatever your product or service always supply a couple of cards to every customer - one for them and one for a friend or colleague.
- Join your local chamber of commerce networking club - lots of opportunities here to pass out your cards and generate business leads.
- Introduce yourself to all your local businesses, on foot in person with cards in hand!
Please feel free to comment on how your branding strategy has worked for you.