Branding + Marketing Tips for Starting A Successful Brand in 2016
If you don’t have great branding, you can’t compete. If you are launching a new business, your launch process will begin with branding and branding will be the DNA for each marketing initiative going forward. Types of branding: 1. Visual Branding – logo design, graphic design, web design, etc. 2. Perceptual Branding – customer experiences and associations with your product or services and employees. 3. Tactical Branding – how you market your visual and perceptual branding.
What’s In Your Launchbox?
Starting a new business has all the sweat and thrills of an off-road adventure. But like any adventure – this business venture requires planning. Here’s what you are going to “pack” for a successful launch of your brand.
The logo is the mother seed of your brand ecosystem and brandscape. All of the components of your visual brand will take their queue from the logo. Ideally you want your logo to represent the reason why you are in business in the first place. First, read your mission statement of how you intend to win in business and who your target market will be. When you are imagining what your logo should look like also try to picture it embedded with the public – on the web, trade shows, magazines, etc. What will it take for the logo to carry your aspirations and hold its own against the competition? Imagine the knowledgeable and helpful staff behind your logo. What kind of a logo can your business grow into? Now you are ready to communicate what you want to a logo designer. When your vision for success is represented in all your communication materials and fueled by great marketing and design, your business will move forward with brand power.
From the logo designer’s perspective, the logo is the single most important part of your branding that you will develop. Your marketing materials and websites will go through many changes, but your logo should remain stable—the anchor of all of your branding. This is the ideal.
You’ve heard this many times, but it’s worth repeating: your logo will be on every piece of collateral and every visual touchpoint with the public. Familiarity is the first step toward trust and trust will lead to sales.
Be bold and get mobile. All new websites today should be mobile-responsive to be competitive (and user-friendly). Your website must have a clean design, easy navigation, and quality content. Your web design should engage the visitor to explore. Always remember, “content is King,” so give these visitors and the search engines quality content. One of the most common misconceptions is that you are “done” once the site is uploaded to the web. Nothing could be further from reality. It is only the beginning. Now you must achieve high search engine rankings. And this takes time and sustained effort. This is the web visibility game and if you don’t know how to play it, you would be well advised to get quality help. Your website is your electronic store front no matter what you are selling and you need to get visitors in the door and convert them into customers. Sometimes it’s best to put up a one page website to get things going and then replace it with a full website.
Today, SEO is really about content marketing and content promotion. Gone are the days when you could buy a number of links and then rank on the first page of Google. Even if you have an ecommerce website, it is a fact that you must accept, you must write content in order to rank. Per above, it’s not uncommon to start your launch with a one page website while you are building a full website. If you do this – there is no delay in getting your social media following going. Why is social media marketing important? Social media is one of the ranking factors used to determine the value of your website (DA – domain authority). Social media will play a substantial role in your content promotion and ultimately your rankings.
Quick Tip: Launches are newsworthy. Once your website is live and you’ve had a chance to polish it just a little bit, you should issue online press releases about your new company. Marketing gurus will tell you that press release marketing is dead, but that should not confuse or prevent you from issuing this press release.
Print is not dead. Many businesses still depend on offline marketing materials to make sales or inform customers or clients. A skilled copywriter can be worth their weight in gold to develop quality descriptions about your business and services. Once that is completed, you can put that writing to use in your print collateral, such as brochures, direct mail, sales letters, and ads. And even repurpose bits for social media content marketing. Depending on your business, you may need a marketing folder with sales sheets inside, a full page brochure or simple tri-fold brochure to mail or give away. If you are starting a new business on a tight design budget, one option is to simply prepare a one-page corporate overview and have an online printer turn it into a sales sheet for a few cents per print. A one-pager can be a vital catalyst for conversation or a leave-behind when you meet a prospect.
Make sure you write short sentences in short paragraphs and bold your headings – prospects will skim first and then read deeper if you have them hooked. Your print collateral should make use of your USP (unique selling proposition) and then lead into the target audience benefits. Don’t forget your physical address, phone number and web address and consider adding your social media addresses.
The Modern Marketing Mix.
You’ve developed your logo, letterhead, all your print collateral, website, and social media branding – all of your collateral is perfectly consistent, right? You are now ready to present your business to your audience through marketing. It’s best to have a multi-faceted approach to your marketing plan. Budget determines the reach and possibly the success of your marketing campaign.
Marketing Mix Top 5 for 2015:
- Content marketing
- Social media
- Print: ads and direct mail
Tip: Running a promotion or offering a free service are both great launch practices.
Tip: CEOs of small businesses need to master the art of self-promotion. You are in the business of promoting your business.
The Brand New You. You are now set with an intelligent launch and can focus on a sustained marketing campaign to get yourself in front of your target audience.