4 Tips To Build A Smart Brand

Branding isn't easy for many small business owners. Here are four things you need to launch a strong brand from the start.

More and more frequently, businesses that succeed are the ones that get a few simple things right from the get-go. Here are four things you need to launch a strong brand from the start.

 

1. Design a compelling logo

A logo is a part of your brand identity and it should always strive to be recognizable without accompanying text — especially within your industry.

Take The Rolling Stones, for example. Their logo is easily one of the most recognizable in rock ’n’ roll history. “Branding a rock band with a signature badge was a novel idea in 1969 when Mick Jagger called on London’s Royal College of Art in search of a student to create some visual assets for his band’s next album,” according to AdWeek. Today Mick Jaggger’s mouth is legendary they expertly branded themselves without using words.

 

Illustration: Carlos Monteiro; Source: AdWeek

There are a million different things that go into making a logo, and it’s something you really shouldn’t do on your own. A memorable logo that clearly expresses your company’s image is a perfect segue into the really hard stuff: consistency.

 

2. Create a consistent brand voice

Finding your brand voice and unique tone is not easy. Consistently using it throughout every communication with customers — from your website to social media channels can be even harder. However, regardless of the medium, your brand voice should be clear and unified.

Take Apple, for example. They pride themselves on poignant, short statements that stress simplicity. BuzzFeed, on the other hand, is known for its list affinity, while Cracked is known for producing content that perpetually drips with sarcasm. Find the voice and tone that matches your business, and stick to it.

 

3. Don’t shy away from a rebrand

My dad used to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon all the time, so I considered it an “old man” beer — something he drank in the garage while poking around with his car. Now I see millennials drinking it all the time at parties, dive bars, and cool clubs.

How did the company do an about-face to become relevant with a different generation? They underwent a rebranding effort that started by paying close attention to their customers.

 

Photo: © itman__47, YFS Magazine

As AdAge explains, “The secret to PBR’s success, really, is that the brand simply paid attention to how it was being used in the marketplace, and acted swiftly to fan the flames. Earlier this decade, it was adopted by the hipster, bike-messenger set. Lacking much of an ad budget, in 2004 it leaned on word-of-mouth to stoke the emerging trend (and presumably spent whatever was left over on trucker hats and bar-window neons).” Their bold gamble paid off and so can yours.

 

4. Don’t overlook brand strategy

As with anything else, take a strategic approach to branding. Plot out every course of action your company might take, avoid impulsive decisions, and create a contingency plan.

Don’t make any changes without research and customer insights to support them. A haphazard branding effort could easily alienate loyal customers and scare off potential ones.

 

A smart and relevant brand is the result of intentional planning and resources or one that naturally falls into place. So remember these four branding tips, and don’t be afraid to take chances.

 

This article has been edited.

Daniel Wesley founded Quote.com to provide consumers with auto insurance quotes from leading carriers. His work has been featured in Forbes, Mashable, Inc., and Fox Small Business.

 

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