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3 Rules for Branding Beginners

3 Rules for Branding Beginners

When starting a new business or attempting to rebrand an old one, going back to a blank drawing board can be intimidating. However, turning your business into a brand is certainly possible when equipped with the right tools and knowledge to do so. Here are three rules to keep in mind when creating your company’s brand identity:

Be creative
When it comes to building your brand, your company’s name and logo are the two most important elements that should not be ignored or treated as an afterthought. Think about it like this: when you meet a new person with an unusual name or a distinctive feature, you will remember what that person looks like and what to call that person. A company functions similarly.  Your name and logo mark your company’s identity and public image.

The key to branding, then, is to ensure that you are not only strategic but also creative about your naming and logo design. When considering a name for your company, keep it short and sweet. Less than five words will do, because if your customers are having trouble remembering your company’s name, they will most certainly not remember what your company is offering them. Your logo should then function as the symbolic extension of your name. It is not just an image. It is a visual representation of your company’s identity. So when considering your logo design, you need to think about what your logo means rather than what it looks like.

Though you want to choose a simple name and logo for your company, you also want to make sure that people can pick it out of a lineup. This is when you need to think out of the box. As more and more companies are vying for attention, your goal is to make yours stand out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to be daring, to be gutsy, to be bold, because chances are that originality and quirkiness will pay off in the long run. 

Be consistent
Have you ever seen a company write with a very serious voice on its website and then turn around and try to be funny on its Twitter? Or what about a company that uses a slightly different color background in its email newsletter as compared to the one on its website? These are small marketing blunders that have large consequences, because there is nothing worse than seeing a brand look like it’s experiencing a mid-life identity crisis.

Inconsistent branding can not only be visually jarring to your audience but can also be a turn-off to your customers. You want to make it as simple as possible for people to remember your brand, which means that your company needs to portray its image and its message in the same way across all advertising mediums.

For example, when people hear “Just Do It,” chances are that they will immediately think Nike. This instantaneous association between Nike and “Just Do It” is due to the simple fact that Nike has been building its brand on the same phrase for over a decade. In fact, according to a report by the Center for Applied Research, Nike boosted its share of the sports shoe market from $877 million in worldwide sales to $9.2 billion between 1988, when it first coined the phrase in 1998. This spike in sales proves how consistent branding should be the core of any company’s marketing strategy.

How exactly do you remain consistent then? It’s simple: use the same font, the same colors, the same slogan, and the same tone across all your marketing platforms. Being consistent is your company’s promise that you will always deliver the same quality product.

Be connected
Having a creative and consistent name and logo essentially means nothing if you do not communicate it effectively. Create a list of the core values that define your company’s culture, and don’t just stick to it – embody it. From the messages that you put out there as a company to your employees’ interactions with their clients and with each other, your company culture should remain authentic to your brand identity.

Just because you are a company doesn’t mean you have to lose your human component either. Give your customers a reason to keep coming back to your company. It’s not just about what you sell that creates loyal customers; it’s who you are as a company too. Approach it like that, and your business will become a memorable and successful brand in no time.