Branding

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Step 1) An Introduction to Branding

What is your brand?

Your brand is more than just your business logo. It’s more than your business name or location. A brand is a combination of your business design and your business messages that you consistently send out. It combines not just the colors of your website, but the tone with which you speak to potential clients. It encompasses more than just the sales you make it’s the strategies and methods you choose to use to make those sales.

Your brand is the messages that your company sends out in all of these different ways. It involves what people hear when you speak, write, show a picture, send a clip, create a logo, design a color scheme, and more.

A lot of small business owners make the mistake of thinking that just because of their size, they don’t need to put the time into details like this. Or that picking a logo is sufficient. I think that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here’s a tip! Your brand identity should always remain consistent to reinforce your values over time. This will help your customers make the decision to buy from you instead of your competitors.

Why is your brand important?

The fact that branding represents communicating with potential clients should tell you a lot immediately, whatever is communicating with people who are potentially interested in your business should be of extreme value to you as a business owner.

Your brand should be part of how you target your target audience, and when it is kept consistently geared towards that target, can really make it clear that you have a commitment to this group. People like to buy from those that understand them.

You are in a sellers market, shouldn’t you be doing everything in your power to make the sales you’re after? The answer is absolutely if you want to succeed, and this is why branding is so important.

What if I’ve already started my small business without taking this advice?

So long as your business is running, it is not too late to put in the necessary work and build your brand properly.

Our business program – The System to Business Success – can help you here.

You may even decide it would be worth re-launching your business when you see how much branding will end up effecting your business decisions, but regardless, you definitely need to get started.

Something that’s important to note here is that I’m not by any means asking you to shut down your business and relaunch. If you want to relaunch when we’re done, fine, but I think rebranding can be accomplished while you are still working with your existing business.

So let’s get started, I’ve prepared an exercise for you.

EXERCISE: Brainstorming time!

1)    Did you know what a brand was before you read this section? Did you know you already had one whether you knew it or not?

2)    What messages are you currently sending with your business?

3)    Are you being consistent in the messages that you’re sending? Are they compatible messages?

4)    How are you sending these messages?

5)    What changes would you like to make to your messages?

Struggling to figure out your brand

Everybody in business has a brand because everything you do in business communicates with people. It’s not as hard as you think to figure out what those messages are, and whether you want to keep projecting them or not, it just takes time and effort.

Tips when brainstorming about your brand

1) Find inspiration in whatever you can – Get creative. Do you have pictures that remind you of places or things that you love? Of course you do. Save some in a folder for those days that inspiration just doesn’t seem to be flowing.

2) Get creative – There is not a lot of success in simple cookie-cutter branding. Your brand could be traditional or it could be brand new. Find the part of you that’s confident and ready to sell and call her out to help you with this branding process

3) Be yourself – Look, you’re always going to have competition. You’re always going to see some one else and think “I wish I was more like that” but the truth is, in doing this, you’re really undervaluing the power of being you! Forget about what you think you’re supposed to want, and figure out what it is that you want your brand to say.

4) Take a break – You’re not going to be in the mood to get creative and feel inspired when you feel like you’re banging your head against the wall. Take a walk, get a drink, don’t think about your business for a bit. Just taking a simple break can often be enough to start the old inspiration juices going again.

Your business foundation

Think of your business foundation as the supporting pieces that your business has been built upon. This is primarily composed of your target market, your product (be it physical, services, or information), and yourself.

Being clear about your foundation is just as important as being clear about your brand, the two need to work in harmony with one another for your business to succeed.

So, let’s brainstorm your foundation a little bit.

EXERCISE:

1) Describe your product. What is it? How does it help people? What specific market does it belong in, and how does it contribute to that market?

2) What products go well with yours?

3) Who is your target audience? Where do they hang out? How can you reach them?

4) What common issues do they have with products like yours? How can you answer these objections?

5) What businesses in your market could you end up working with?

6) What is the competition in your market like?

Keeping your brand consistent with your foundation

Keeping your foundation and your brand consistent will keep you on a focused track with your business. This is how you avoid waking up unsure of how you ended up where you are today, by having a plan and sticking to it.

This will be an exercise in determining how your brand and your foundation are consistent and can be kept consistent.

Here’s a tip! The way you ‘position’ yourself in the market will determine how your customers think about your company in relation to your competitors – are you price lead or quality driven?  Whatever your chosen path, this should be reflected in your marketing copy, images and materials.

Have fun!

EXERCISE:

1) Now that you’ve been thinking about your foundation, what common ideas flow through it? What messages come out of these themes?

2) Do you have any gut feelings regarding your foundation? Do you like it? Do you hate it? What do you like or hate about it?

3) Describe your brand in a few words

Step 2) The building of your brand

Elements of your brand

We’ve already talked about this, your brand is more than just any one element of your business. It’s important to understand what elements of your brand exist in order to ensure that they consistently work together. You don’t want one aspect of your brand seeming edgy and the other seeming luxurious, these groups don’t generally mix and there isn’t any one target audience who is into both.

Here’s a tip! You must manage your brand consistently to ensure it remains strong, clear and unaffected by outside influences.

Let’s take a minute and learn the elements of your brand. Remember, your brand is the message(s) that your business is sending out through different business decisions:

  • The name of your business
  • Your logo
  • The color scheme of your website, promotional materials, and blog
  • The fonts that you use throughout your materials
  • Photographs that you use (the quality of them, the ones that you choose to present)
  • Your slogans and other promotional material

Your brand should be set up to foster both recognition and trust in your customers.

EXERCISE: Take a minute now to think about either how your business is now or how you want it to be. Answer the questions below.

1) What message are you sending with your brand elements? Is your message consistent? Describe.

2) Think about your ideal brand for your business, what message do you most want to send? What sorts of brand elements would help you to get closer to that goal?

Interactions with clients

A major part of your brand is you, and how you interact with clients.

Interacting doesn’t just mean when you’re having a face-to-face conversation, it can include (but is not limited to):

  • Business cards
  • Your website and promotional materials
  • Email interaction
  • Photographs
  • Meetings
  • Pricing
  • Strategies you choose

Not all of these apply to every business, and some businesses have even longer lists. The key is that you need to identify which elements your business has, and keep it consistent with the branding you have done through your color schemes, naming, and other brand elements.

Here’s a tip! Write and post press releases as often as you can – write articles and post them as often as you can – spread the word about your great business!

This is the concept of keeping your voice consistent with your message.

EXERCISE: Write down each interaction type (including ones I have not included) that apply to your business, writing a sentence or two about how you will keep your actions in these areas consistent with your brand words/sentences you formulated above.

Tips for building your brand

  • Keep your notes together and consistent. Go back and forth between them as necessary to keep yourself consistent.
  • Own your brand. It is a part of you.
  • Keep your target audience in mind, try to think about what they’d want and need from you?
  • Take a break when necessary. Give yourself permission to breathe and take a minute before focusing again on these tasks.
  • Focus on always promoting the things that you love, not just the things that you think people want you to love
  • Consistency, consistency, consistency

Step 3) Finding a name for your business

A business name is one of the first things your clients will see, representing a significant interaction with your client. Yet a lot of small business owners don’t take it seriously.

Your name must be consistent with your brand. If you haven’t performed your brainstorming on your foundation and brand yet, go back and do the exercises we’ve listed.

If you already have your business named and are happy with it, you should still at least scan this section to make sure it’s what you want.

Naming tips

  • Your name is a critical part of your brand. Keep it consistent with your message!
  • Your name is about YOU and what you enjoy, own it.
  • Your name should be a part of your target audience, not your product.
  • Your name is something you will be living with, pick one you feel comfortable with.
  • Don’t rush your naming

A business name is a long term decision. Make sure that it’s something that you can feel comfortable with, and keep these tips as just that – tips.

Characteristics of a strong business name

  • Simple
  • Memorable
  • Timeless (trends change)
  • Broad where possible (leave room for you to expand)
  • Distinct within your market

If you do already have your name, but you’re not happy with it…

If you are reading this and thinking it may be time for a rename, take a moment and consider some of the following factors first:

  • How many people already know your business by its name?
  • How much promotional material investment have you already made in your current name?
  • Do you hate it or are you sick of it?

Do your research before changing the name with your existing clientele. Will they be okay with it? Do you have a good reason for it?

If you are changing the name DO NOT LEAVE ANYTHING OUT. Make sure you get everything from your email letterhead to your domain name and Facebook.

If you’ve thought the better about changing your name you can still work with the existing materials to match your brand. People will still be able to connect with your material even if the name isn’t something that you love.

EXERCISE TIME: Brainstorm names

Think about:

  • Your product name
  • The benefits of your product
  • The things that make your product stand out in your market
  • Your passions
  • Your target market
  • Common problems your target market is having
  • Your solutions for these problems
  • Your business goals

Make notes about each of those. Now, take a look at the list that you have, and use it for inspiration!

In and amongst your list can you find/make…

  • A creative pairing or set of words you hadn’t thought of before?
  • A pun?
  • An alliteration?
  • A rhyme?
  • A paradox?
  • A figure of speech?

You probably see where I’m going with this…I’m hoping you’re developing a list of potential names for your business here. If you have, go on to this final step of the activity. If you haven’t, do the first two again.

  • Does the name fit with your brand?
  • What do you think of when you think of that name?
  • Do any images come to mind when thinking about that name?
  • Is the name memorable?
  • Is the name brief enough to be placed on different size promotional materials?
  • Does the name make a good or bad acronym you should be aware of?
  • Is it available as a domain name?
  • Do you love it?

Name testing

When considering a new name, it’s a great idea to test that name out. Ask any one willing to give an answer whether they like it or not, and why they think they do or don’t like it.

Just by asking those two questions, you will learn a lot of information.

  • You will learn how they feel about the name
  • You will hopefully gain some reasoning about why the name is good or bad
  • You will learn how YOU feel about the name by your reactions to their reactions – and it’s the name of YOUR business so that’s important!

So do some research and figure it out. How problematic is the current name? Are you sure you want to change it? What is it that you want to change about it, and will a name change really do the trick?

Registering your business

Every country has its own regulations surrounding business registration. The key is that you register, and that you use a name that is not registered to some one else. All About Biz leads you step by step along the registering process.

Copyrights and trademarks VERY IMPORTANT!

If you want to guarantee that nobody bound by the law in your area can steal your name, you may want to consider a trademark. It costs money but can save you a lot of hassle, as if some one else copyrights when you haven’t they can get your webpages and other materials taken down.

The bottom line is that it’s your job to protect your business and make sure  your name is safe for you to use. So do your homework, register your business, and set up those websites!

Domain names

Domain names represent ownership of a website. You can have a free blog (blogger.com/yourblogname type sites) but by not owning your own domain, you’re missing out on a chance to brand your business.

People may remember your domain easier than they initially remember your name. And if your domain is related to your business name, you’re getting brand availability right there.

Reasons to buy a domain name

  • It’s cheap
  • It’s a way to maximize your connection with your brand
  • It’s professional
  • It looks better on a business card (trust me, it just does)

Note about domain names

Purchase all of the endings you can (.com.au/.com/.info/.biz/.net) for your domain name. This ensures that you can have people directed to your webpage (no matter which ending they type in) and keeps other businesses from making use of your cleverly thought out name.

My final note on domains is important. Use a .com.au ending. There are a variety of endings (.com/.ca/.biz/.net) for domains, but some are better than others.

EXERCISE:

1)   Jot down  your brand words/sentences again

2) Write your ideas for your business name and explain why that business name was selected

3) Brainstorm a logo for a business with that name

Step 4) The logo

Logos, like names, are also critical to your business. They are the business face of your name, and are what your business will be associated with from here on out. So, now that I have you ready to take it seriously, I’m betting you’re nervous about getting it right?

Never fear, this chapter goes through the elements of the logo to help you design the best one that you can.

Essential parts of the logo

The following are a series of elements that are necessary parts of your logo. Keep each of these factors in mind when planning how to be consistent with your brand in the future.

  • Your business name and tagline/header (if applicable) We’ve just discussed this. The business name and logo work hand in hand to represent your business. Taglines or headers are the slogan of your business if you have one, and should be used to explain a bit about what you offer the client.
  • Fonts, colors, and sizes of the text within the logo, colors, placements on the page, sizes of text, each of these things hold meaning despite seeming unimportant.
  • A graphic design. This must be appealing, representative of your goals for the emotions your logo will evoke, and fit well with your business.

You can do this yourself, but I highly recommend having a professional do it. Professional graphic designers have been trained in the importance of each of the elements we are discussing now, and will be able to take your notes and create something that resonates with you.

Here’s a tip! Try to make sure your logo itself looks nice in black and white OR in color, as some promotional materials will require you to have it in black and white.

The use of color in graphic design

Color means a lot to people. Different colors are typically associated with different moods and markets. If you aren’t trained in the importance of color, that’s alright, that’s why we recommend the use of a graphic designer.

You need to be careful when selecting colors for your business. You need to make sure your color scheme is focused around as few colors as possible (2-3 maximum), and that each of the colors you choose not only look great on their own but also that they complement each other well.

The use of fonts in graphic design

Fonts are key in graphic design. Your font not only conveys emotion, it dictates how easy your material is to read.

If you’ve gone to a graphic designer, they likely already have shown you some fonts that fit well with your branding. But it can be good to understand the importance of fonts for yourself so that when you post, you understand how its effecting people.

Here are some tips for choosing a good font:

  • Use a maximum of two different kinds of fonts with your brand
  • Stay simple and understandable, but with flair
  • Never use all uppercase in a fancy font
  • Make full use of the bold, italics, and underline features instead of changing fonts

Where to put the final product – logo placement

There are a number of elements you need to consider in terms of placing your logo effectively. Before you figure them out though, you generally need a sample logo based on your designs so that you can see what needs improving.

  • Keep in mind that readers look at logos like they do text, left to right, they usually end up focusing on the lower right corner.
  • People like symmetry in their graphic designs
  • Leave some space around the logo to play with and make use of later
  • Leave some room for making adjustments or having multiple versions of your logo, you need it to be able to fit in the banner or on your Facebook profile picture.

Keeping these elements in mind when designing a logo will ensure you are well on your way to having one that works.

If you’re struggling with the logo…

Take a look at other logos that you enjoy. Try to think about what you enjoy about them. Is there a consistent color or theme that runs throughout them? Is it the word choice or business name that you like? If so, what do you like about it?

Often times thinking about what you like can really drive home the meaning of how much logos mean to other people – and thus to your brand – and this thinking can get you in the right headspace to make a decision about a logo.

EXERCISE: Brainstorming about your logo

1)    How will your logo stand out? What will be prominent about it?

2)    How do you see your logo? Is there anything specific you need included?

3)   Where will you be displaying your logo?

EXERCISE: Brainstorming about your colors and fonts

1)    What colors are you naturally drawn to? Do you think these colors would represent your business well? What messages do they send?

2)   What colors are you currently using/are you thinking about using with your business? How do you think people will see this color scheme? What messages does it convey?

3)   What fonts are you drawn to? Why do you like them for your business?

EXERCISE: Brainstorming about your icons

1)    What types of mental pictures/icons/graphic designs come to mind when you think about your business name and brand? Don’t be afraid to go looking for pictures to help you figure out exactly how you feel about these things.

2)    What message does each of these pictures send to those looking at them? How do you think they are viewed?

3)    How do your images fit with your brand?

EXERCISE: Brainstorming – the whole logo package

1)    Does this make you think of your business? What does and what doesn’t (specifically)?

2)    What does your graphic design say about your product?

3)    What do other people think about this design? Are you still proud of it when they don’t care for it?

4)    Is your logo professional looking or does it look like you did it alone as a first timer?

Here’s a tip! You’re not necessarily going to be locked onto a logo immediately. You may have to go through a few versions before you find the one that you love. Take some time and take a break when you’ve been looking at logos for awhile though, sometimes if you’ve seen too many it’s hard to keep an objective point of view.
Come back after some time and see if you feel differently.

Summary – what do you need to have by this point to approach a graphic designer

  • Your business name
  • Any slogans that will accompany your business name
  • Logo examples
  • Your business idea/product
  • Your brand descriptions
  • Your target audience
  • An idea of your color, icon, font, and logo ideas
  • A sample layout forming in your head regarding how you will use this logo

Step 5) Your slogan

Slogan, tagline, business mottos, and any other name by which your slogan will operate refer to the line that appears just below the logo that should give a brief summary of the core of your business.

The purposes of the tagline:

  • Acts as a reminder of the thing(s) your business is most committed to
  • Acts as a promise
  • Provides a hook for your target audience to get them interested in you in particular

This is your shot at conveying what is most important to you about your business to people checking your business out. It’s connected to the logo and headings of your webpage. I don’t think I need to tell you how important it is.

Whenever creating a tagline there are several things you need to keep in mind, but here are some of the most important:

  • Make this clear – Don’t keep your passion a secret. Let customers know in one line what they’re getting into when they use your products.
  • Keep in mind that your slogan is not about sales, it’s about branding – You can have entire articles to pitch people on products, you only get their attention on why you’re good at what you do or why you’re doing what you do for a very limited time (when they’re first getting to know you).
  • Your slogan MUST be consistent with all elements of your branding. It is prominent, it is ever present, and it is hard to get away from a bad one.

So take some time and put some thought into a tagline before you declare it.

EXERCISE: Your target audience sheet

1)    Who is your target market? Be detailed. What do they like/dislike, where might you find them, etc?

2)    What are the typical issues your target audience has within your market, and more specifically with products like yours?

3)   How does your product address those issues, and how can you respond to those concerns?

Make a list of each of the problems and how you plan to respond:

Target audience:

Problem:

Solution:

Summary – what do you need to have by this point for your brand

Let’s look back on your notes and try to assemble a summary sheet of information for quick and easy reference.

You can return to this every time you’re trying to check for brand consistency in a business decision, so try to be specific.

  • Business name
  • Brand description
  • Fonts, colors, icons
  • Background wallpaper or pattern
  • Slogan
  • Your target audience and the issues they have that you can solve

Step 6) Putting what you’ve learned together

We’ve been working you up to building a brand piece by piece, but all the pieces have now been completed (if you’ve been following around). You have a brand!

This is great, and will act as a guide for all of your future success. To keep your business running smoothly, you need to ensure that it is running consistently with the brand you have chosen and the messages that this entails.

The more you communicate the same message, the more familiar that message will become and the easier people will associate it with your name. As a small business owner I’m sure you’ve already figured out, recognition is everything!

Be up front with your brand, let it show through in absolutely all that you do – especially the interactions that we talked about.

Brief reminder of the types of interactions

  • Person: Appearance, mannerisms, gestures, attitude, environment, meetings, follow up (or lack thereof)
  • Product: Effectiveness, pricing, packaging, quality, value
  • Materials: Business cards, flyers, labels, media releases, etc.
  • The internet: Your blog, your website, your social media campaign, your commenting, and your emails.

Consistency

If this article has one theme beyond “you need a brand” it should be “consistency”. Our broken record manner on this has purpose, repetition is something you can use to remind yourself of the importance of this lesson.

You need to make sure that every piece of information you pass on to your clients includes consistent elements that support your brand. Every logo, every photograph, every conversation, must hold consistently to the messages you are trying to communicate with your brand.

Tips for staying consistent

So with all my discussion on the importance of staying consistent, you may be wondering how to do so with so many elements at play. Let’s overview the various types of interactions and how you can keep them consistent with your brand.

Advertisements

  • ALWAYS present your logo and name in an easily located (preferably consistent) place
  • Make sure that when you’re designing your logo it can be used in a variety of advertisement shapes and sizes, and can look good in color or in black and white so that it can be flexible and appear anywhere. 

Email

Face-to-face contact

  • This could be in person interviews, sales, or connections you’re networking or it could be a skype meeting from your home. Regardless, you need to stay consistent.
  • How do you hold yourself (posture), what type of clothes do you wear? Are they consistently professional and in line with the voice you present yourself as to your clientele?
  • Display your own products when possible on your person. This shows that you believe in the quality of your products and that you are interested in using them personally.
  • Keep these rules for any affiliates, franchises, or business associates. Each person associated with your business is representing it.

Facebook
The welcome section to your Facebook

  • Make sure your username is your business name and shows that way in the url (example http://www.facebook.com/username)
  • Tailor the first thing that people see – the welcome page – for people new to your business. Provide a brief description of what you do, your brand commitments or messages, and end with a sincere call to action to Like your page.

Your photos

  • Focus your thumbnail of your profile image on your brand
  • Use your profile picture to help people connect
  • Make use of a slogan so that people will easily be reminded about why they’re there and what you can do for them.
  • Use calls to action to encourage people to actually connect with you, subscribe, etc.
  • Make full use of the previews to your albums – make them all connected to your brand and consistent with your brand (layout, patterns, colors, etc)

Periodical publications

  • Stay consistent in layout, color scheme, and voice between your publication type and your website/other materials.
  • Use a program to help you send your publication
  • Avoid words like ‘newsletter’ or ‘subscription’ (they turn people off). Name your subscription service off of its benefits. “Get tips here, special tricks of the trade, etc”
  • Resources: Click here

Photos

  • Your photos of yourself should be high quality, professional, and up to date to give the best impression.
  • Only use high quality photos, purchase them if necessary to ensure you are consistently demonstrating a commitment to quality
  • Learn to edit photos where you may need to
  • Note that the term ‘photo’ applies not just to photographs of you but also any images you choose to use in your materials.
  • Resources:
    Photo editors – PicMonkey
    Picmonkey is a free online photo/picture editing website. It’s easy to use and great for small businesses!
    I highly recommend giving PicMonkey a try because you don’t have to sign up for an account so you have nothing to lose.
  • iPiccy
    iPiccy makes your photo awesome with many easy to use photo tools. Edit pictures, apply beautiful photo effects, add text and even paint! Enjoy free photo editing online and show your creativity with iPiccy editor!

Pricing

  • Stay consistent with your brand! Color schemes, logo presentation, consistent commitment to a certain level of quality
  • Pay attention to your packaging, shipping speeds, any details that communicate with your customer.
  • Only use promotions for products you actually are willing to consistently promote
  • Price in a way that shows that you value both your customer and your product. Pricing communicates this to people, pay attention to what you’re doing and keep it consistent with your brand.

Notes on Social media in general

  • Have a plan, a social media campaign, before jumping onto social media (and if you’ve already jumped – make a plan!)
  • Make sure that you understand the power of keeping your voice consistent between your website and your social media campaigns. This applies to Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and anywhere else you’re active.
  • Use social media to connect, not to sell

Twitter

  • Note that with Twitter you have the option of using either a personal or business related username (and you can change it later). Go with your gut on this, and be prepared to change your approach if things aren’t working.
  • Use a photograph of yourself or your business logo
  • Use the about me section! Include benefits, incentives, the problems that you solve. Target your target audience!
  • Be active on Twitter!

Websites

  • Note that this once again is a catch all term for not just your product homepage but also your blog, your store front, your social media, etc
  • Have a quality ‘About us’ section on your pages to invite people to get to know you and your brand a bit better and more personally.
  • Consistently use the same backgrounds, banners, and about me information
  • Always have a call to action that is consistent with your brand and your business goals
  • On the internet, the term above the fold refers to the preview of your article before a reader can click ‘read more’ or not. Make full use of the ‘above the fold’ space on your website by filling it with a captivating hook.
  • Use your blog as a specific place to help connect readers with your brand (instead of with sales). Add stories, pictures, information, anything of real value to your readers.

Written materials

  • Be professional at all times. Have high quality printing done, never have typos, always focus on making the best impression possible.
  • Try to be different from other people within your market, get creative.
  • Watch your language. What type of vocabulary are you using? Are you allowing slang to slip into your material? What tone do you tend to write in – a friendly neighbour or a formal salesman?
  • The point with written material is the voice that you are sending. Make sure that your voice is consistent. You can be yourself, you can create a business persona, but no matter what you do you must stay consistent.
  • If you’re struggling? Consider hiring in a copywriter who will point out inconsistencies in your work.

Final caution on brand consistency

When trying to present as extremely professional or high quality, it is important to have elements of your brand line up with this. This could lead to the possibility of you needing to hire out for some of these products (like your photographs, your graphic design, etc).

Fiverr

What you get with Fiverr…
Fiverr

What doesn’t Fiverr offer for your business? That really is the question with this great business resource. Whatever you need for your business, you’ll probably find it on Fiverr – take a look for yourself and get ready to be impressed!

Welcome-to-Fiverr

So don’t be afraid to hire out, and if you do, then be specific about what you’re doing.

Pre-launch checklist

By now I’m sure you’re getting quite excited about how close to launch you are. I advise you keep this checklist to make sure you’re keeping up with brand consistency (it’s a summary of the previous chapter).

  • Registered your business?
  • Have your websites ready? (consistent appearance, voice, your own domain, and so on?)
  • Print materials ready?
  • Email (business one with signature)?
  • Facebook (up to date and brand consistent)?
  • Twitter (up to date and brand consistent)?
  • Photographs (high quality, consistent, ready)?
  • Prices set?
  • Publication (signed up for a service? Calls to action set up?)
  • Launch materials ready?

Step 7) Launching your brand

The goal with any launch is to attract as much attention as possible to your business, and the best way to do this is to play on peoples’ curiosity. Give them teaser content, let them know when your launch date is, get some anticipation going.

So how should you do that?

Methods of generating anticipation for your launch

  • Take down all materials that are no longer up to date or in line with your brand in preparation for the launch
  • Use social media to let your fans know you’re getting things ready for them. If you’re not yet known, consider placing ads in areas your market has access to.
  • Set up ‘coming soon’ announcements to help generate some excitement
  • Release some free teaser content to get people really curious.
  • Target your target audience – put word out where they might get a hold of it about your product launch
  • Network and call back those people who have encouraged you so far, they may be among the most interested at the moment.
  • Set up a timer to show how long until the launch (but don’t be late)
  • Launch at the same time with as much material as you can – This gives the clear view of just how prepared you have been.
  • Be exclusive about who you tell about the launch
  • Reassure existing clientele that this launch is to make things better, not worse or even difficult on them.
  • Offer special discounts, promotions, and other excitement to celebrate your launch

Don’t feel like you have to do all of these, just pick the ones that appeal to you (and that are consistent with your brand).

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Conclusions

You’re ready! You have a brand you know is awesome, it’s consistently set up throughout your material, and you’ve even been planning for your launch.

A serious and joyous congratulations to you!

If you’re like me you’ve probably already figured out that the work doesn’t stop now, but then again, neither does the fun.

Branding is something you will always have to pay attention to if you want to remain consistent (and you do). Keep your notes from this article and adapt them as necessary.

Re-read if you need to, remind yourself of the importance of consistency of branding and how you can apply this consistency to various marketing tools.

Final tips

  • Don’t leave behind the brand ideas that are so important to you now. It pays off to keep a clear focus on who you are and what you’re about.
  • Always focus on how you’re being consistent or not with your brand. This includes interactions of all sorts!
  • Do self check ins (or check ins with a buddy) and make adjustments as necessary on how well you’re doing at staying consistent.
  • Feel free to change things up as you see fit, just don’t change too quickly or too much or people won’t know what to expect with your business any more.

Don’t beat yourself up if you lose track of things every now and then, I think we all do. The point is to have points of reference to call yourself back, and to adjust your plans as necessary to prevent it from happening again.

Enjoy!