One of the main things new marketers and new business owners get wrong when it comes to marketing themselves is not presenting their brand in a consistent way. In fact, most of them don’t even think about branding because they believe it is “for the big boys”.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Branding is for every business that wishes to gain instant recognition through their name and/or logo so that consumers know who they are and what they do.
Branding as Instant Recognition
- McDonald’s and the golden arches
- Nike and the checkmark
- Starbuck’s and the mermaid
- Coke and the classic red and white script logo
We see the name, or the logo, and we instantly think of:
- Burgers/fast food
- Sports shoes and clothing
- Coffee and luxurious beverages
- Cola drinks, including Coke Classic
The secret of these companies’ success lies in part on the fact that people like their product, want and/or need it, and are willing to keep buying it. It also lies in the fact that they present their brand in a consistent manner. The logo and color schemes are the same. They don’t suddenly make the golden arches blue or change the color of the mermaid.
The brand is also like a “shorthand” for people. They know what they like, so they buy Nike because it is comfortable and they fit well and cost a certain price. They buy Coke because it tastes a certain way — it is not Pepsi, for example, or C&C or a store brand of cola.
Keeping the Brand Consistent
Companies change their brands at their peril. For example, the “new” formula of Coke was a huge flop with many consumers, leading to the company having to bring back the old formula under the name and bottling canning conventions of Coke Classic.
They learned their lesson and started getting more feedback from consumers about what they really wanted, resulting in more flavors such as cola with a hint of vanilla, lime or cherry.
If you are just starting out in business, you are fortunate enough to have a blank canvas on which to paint your brand. Start with a logo and color scheme. Green is good for healthy or natural products, red makes a bold statement, while blue is very business-like.
When thinking about the logo, also consider typography, or what the lettering in your logo, signage, and letterhead will look like. Cursive script, which looks like handwriting, tends to be elegant and informal, compared to heavier non-cursive lettering, which tends to be more businesslike and formal.
There are a wealth of fonts available, but choose something that is instantly readable as soon as a person looks at it. Again, think Coca-Cola or McDonald’s.
Hire a designer for your logo. You can find very talented people on Fiverr.com who can design it for only a few dollars, and perhaps even do your letterhead and your website/blog design as well. Use the logo everywhere that’s appropriate to keep it in people’s minds.
Your Mission Statement
Your mission statement is all about what you do in business, and why. For example, the mission statement of the investment site The Motley Fool is, “Helping the World Invest – Better.”
If you haven’t already written your mission statement, come up with one and then use it on your website’s About Us page. Every time you make a decision in relation to your brand, think about the mission before changing anything.
Consistency is key going forward. Never make a change without consulting with your core clients to see what they think of the idea. The last thing you want is to dilute your brand or go off in a different direction that does not match your mission.