If I look back on what made our company become successful, a lot of it has to be attributed to one thing-branding.
So what is branding? BusinessDictionary.com states, “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.”
Let me translate, think of the most iconic brands in the world and think about how just by seeing a symbol, it invokes thoughts of that brand. For example, the apple on a Mac computer or the “swoosh” on a Nike shoe. That’s just a small part of branding, but you get the picture.
When you are ready to take your business to the next level, do your research. Find a company (I prefer using someone local) that has a good portfolio and whose work matches the look you are going for. Once you find them, interview them and make sure you like the people at the company, and most importantly, find out how much it is going to cost. Prices range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Next, let them do their thing. They will come back to you with several looks and hopefully they are very close and you just have to steer them a little bit in one direction.
Once you have your brand in place, then you MUST make sure that you are consistent across the board. This means that your website must match your business card which must match your Twitter page, which must match your brochure that must match your printed ad, etc. etc.
After you get the look you want and start spreading it amongst your peers, competitors and clients, you will be surprised at how many people notice it and make comments to you like “I love your new site”, “Who did your logo?”, or even “I hate you because your stuff looks so good that you are going to run me out of business”.
Best of luck with your branding! If you have any questions, I’m open to chat at firstname.lastname@example.org.