Branding & Marketing for New Businesses
Content Corner guest article. Learn more here.
By Gwen Canfield, Creative Instinct
So, you're going to start a new business? Awesome! Many new business owners think, “If I build it, they will come.” However, more is needed to acquire the customers you’ll need to be successful. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to just open a business. Your business needs a professional identity and exposure to get noticed in the marketplace. This overview will help you take a few steps in branding and marketing for a successful launch.
1. Consider Your Differentiators What are your products/services, and what is your pricing structure? Who are your competitors, evaluate what makes your product or service different from theirs. If there are no differences try brainstorming how could our services be better? Consider who might buy from you, and why (instead of going elsewhere). Compile these answers into an organized document, and that's a great start to a business plan!
2. Decide on a Company Name Next come up with your company name. Make sure it makes sense in conjunction with what you do or sell. If not, fix that so people can understand who they'll be doing business with once they visit your website or storefront for the first time.
3. Design Your Logo Finding the perfect design for your business is key to coming up with an original brand that will stand out from competitors. Keep your logo's design simple to ensure it's legible in print, digital, and embroidery. To make sure you get it right, hire someone who specializes in graphic design. They can help you create the perfect unique logo, and also ensure the artwork is configured correctly for printing and digital formats.
4. Set Up Social Media Set up social media accounts for your business. I recommend Facebook and LinkedIn, and for some businesses, Instagram. Make sure all social media pages point back towards your business website where people can find out more about what you offer. Always include a link to your site in every post you make on social media. This drives traffic to your website! Which brings us to . . .
5. Design Your Website Whatever you do, do NOT stop after step 3! Social media is important to a new business, but a website is an absolute must. It is how you establish credibility, communicate with your customers and grow your customer base; all of these factors are pivotal to a company's success in today’s digital economy. There are many website builder platforms available online today, many of them are quite user-friendly. But regardless of what tool is used, creating a website still requires an eye for design and layout. It also can be very time consuming. Time is your most precious commodity! Consider hiring a professional designer to build your site. Not only will your site look it's very best, it will be search engine optimized to get found on Google. Then you can get back to your real job - building your business!
6. Make a Marketing Plan "If you build it, they will come." A nice idea, but not true when it comes to business. You must get the word out about your business. To do that, without wasting a lot of time and money, requires that you make a plan first. Marketing doesn't have to be expensive; in fact, there are many inexpensive marketing strategies that can quickly build up your brand recognition. When deciding what types of advertising to use for your business, you'll need to figure out which ones will be the most effective. Every business is different and has a unique personality, so it's important to know who your audience is before choosing specific tactics. Once identified, do some research on how they prefer to communicate with businesses like yours such as social media or newspaper ads? Then make a plan of what you'll do each month for the next year and budget the costs.
7. Advertise This is where your marketing plan is put into action. The success of your advertising can be made higher by putting time and effort into what you say and the design of your ads. For example: use catchy slogans that resonate with your audience; design eye-catching graphics and digital ads for social media, or advertise in local newspapers and publications to get more local exposure. From billboards to TV commercials, and social media to print advertisements, there are tons of different ways to get the word out. Spend some time researching how best to reach your target audience in ways that fit your budget. Then track your results. In time, this will reveal which methods are best for your business.
Need help branding and marketing your business?
Creative Instinct can help! Contact Gwen Canfield to arrange a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org.