Let’s get back to basics on branding for just a moment. What is a brand and why is it so important? Wikipedia defines a brand as ‘the name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.’
Your brand is your calling card, your entry point and your introduction to everyone you come into contact with. If your brand looks dated it will imply your business practices are too if it looks cheap and unprofessional it will imply you are as well and may attract the sorts of clients you spend your life trying to avoid.
If you’re just setting up in business, and need to come up with a brand, or if you think your business is in need of rebranding, make sure you have a branding expert or someone you trust on hand. Early things to think about include the name — make sure it’s not already registered or trademarked, and also your online presence — before you make your final decisions on your brand name, make sure you can also secure the domain name you’re after.
When you’re thinking of your new brand or a rebranding of your business, think about the distinctive qualities about what you do that sets you apart from your competitors, and what value you’re offering your prospective clientele. Try to narrow down what your Unique Selling Point or USP is and ensure all your branding elements such as name, logo, tagline, colours and applications onto marketing and communication materials reflect it.
If you’re struggling to come up with a name, some prompts include initialism — a name made up of initials such as TJP Accounting, or something descriptive or evocative like the brand name Amazon, or personification such as the brand name Nike which takes its name from mythology. Make sure you do some preliminary Google searches too to ensure your brand name would come up well in organic searches, and ensure there isn’t a company with a similar name trading in an industry you wouldn’t want to be associated with! Check the right domains are available too, and company profiles on facebook aren’t already taken which would create customer confusion.
Think about using a neologism (a made up name) for your brand, such as Kodak or Wii, as when you do this it’s more than likely that you will come up trumps on Google searches and stand out from the crowd.
Once you’ve established your brand, ensure it is professionally and consistently applied to all you do and has a style-guide of consistent fonts around it. Use it on your email signature, your Facebook page, your website and your wider marketing and communications.