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Open For Business, An Expert’s Opinion

May 11th, 2015

Thinking about branding is an important step when establishing a new business, but often sorely overlooked. For some the assumption is either to delay the concept of branding, assuming that it is something that only big business get involved in or, try and do it by themselves without any real thought about the implications. However it’s worth remembering that, your brand is the way your customers perceive you.

 

Why is branding so important?

Branding is an incredibly powerful tool to differentiate businesses from competitors, most businesses work in crowded markets and it can be tricky to create a buzz about your service or product. Branding pushes us to think differently and innovate to make sure that we stand out.

It gives customers a clear image that they can associate with. Crucially as a business owner, we need to be the most critical of our own brand; Are our business cards impressive? And, would we be rushing to buy from someone who passed us a similar card? Even at its simplest, choosing the right colour for your brand can have an impact on the way that it is perceived.

 

How do I write a design brief?

Asking yourself a series of questions, helps to set out the parameters for your brand direction. What you do and what is your demographic? What is your company’s mission? What are the benefits and features of your products or services relative to your competitors? What do your customers already know about your company? What qualities do you want them to associate with your company? Who are you competing with in your market? Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it ritzy? Be more formal. These questions form the key points to drawing out a brief. Knowing these answers will place you in a better position to decide on leaflets or newspaper adverts; purple or blue; the type of promotion that would attract your customers. Only with these questions answered, are you armed to create an ambitious brand strategy.

Write a memorable statement that captures the essence of your brand. At Core Dais we can work with you to design templates and create brand standards to arm your team. Use the same colour scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. Customers will lose confidence, if you don’t deliver on your brand promise. Most importantly be consistent. Don’t forget that branding extends to every aspect of your business, how you answer your phones, what do you or your salespeople wear, your e-mail signature, brochures, menus, social media, website… everything.

 

How much will it cost?

“How much?” is the most frequently asked question and it cannot be easily answered. Every company has a different set of needs and expectations. Budgets must be managed, there won’t be a tougher time when costs are stacked ahead of a new business, but an investment in a new logo and good simple marketing material will help raise a business above the parapet and short cut the time between the tip of the tongue new guys and the guys that come first to mind. Rather then charging an hourly rate, which may be daunting; Our approach is to offer our clients itemised quotes with fixed fees so that clients can stay on top of their budgets. It can be difficult to replicate what a design team can do, we have experience and knowledge, but also the right tools to carry ideas through to print. The perception of an “it will do”, temporary DIY brand for new businesses can be a risky decision. Customers have the luxury of choice and, in lieu of a recommendation, they have become accustomed to making quick judgments on face value. No wonder, then, that logos feature so prominently in our lives. The van, shop front or website is the first look at a business and the branding needs to match your fantastic service and meet the test of the market.

The key is the impression that your branding leaves upon your potential customer. If the impression is positive then the chances of them using your product or service increases. Your branding is communicating a message about your business and if you get the message right then your target customers will respond. First impressions really do count, so spending some time and effort on ensuring that your business makes the right first impression will be a key factor in helping your business succeed.

 

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