Running your own business is hard work. There’s so much to think about and often, when you’re starting out, you’re a one-man or woman band! We all have our strengths and weaknesses – you might have the best product or service ever or be amazing at sales or have a sound business plan, but your branding could be letting you down.
Think of your brand as your business’s personality. If your business were a person, how would it dress? How would it talk? What values would it have? How far would it go to help others? So if you’re worried your brand isn’t particularly strong, have a read of these three branding tips that will help you improve your business.
Bad branding can make your business look all over the place
Be consistent (brand and tone-of-voice guidelines)
Have you noticed that Darling Lovely Life posts never refer to relationships in gender-specific terms? Or that we try to sprinkle a little metaphorical glitter on everything we do? What about the fact that we never, ever write about how to lose weight or please your man? Our brand guidelines mean that we are as consistent as we can be when it comes to the way we talk (pretty informal, huh?) the type of images we share, the things we stand for and so on.
Sit down and have a think about the biggest messages you’d like to put out there and then write some branding and tone-of-voice guidelines to apply to everything you do, from face-to-face customer service to your website and social media. Are you formal and corporate? Bubbly and friendly? Unique and quirky? Decide and stick to it!
Stand up and stand out!
Someone else might have the best logo and style in the world but they’ve already done that. Find out what makes YOUR business special and work with that instead. It’s scary to tread where no business person has trodden etc. but in an overcrowded market, you need your brand to be 100% yours and 100% original. Work out what it is that makes you stand out (also known as your unique selling point or USP) and focus on making that your biggest strength.
This also means you have to accept that not everyone on the planet is going to like what you do. Lush is one of my favourite shops but I have a friend who finds the very smell of the place repulsive. I’m the last person in the world who would ever eat a Big Mac but McDonald’s is one of the most popular brand names on the planet. Stop trying to please everyone and find the courage to create an individual brand.
You don’t have to save the planet, but do
Don’t just mail out your products in brown boxes, invest in gorgeous branded packaging. Got an unhappy customer? Go above and beyond to help them. Be inspirational in every aspect of your business, from how you relate to people to how you present your business and product.
Good branding isn’t just about getting a nice logo and slapping it on your website, it’s about showing everyone how amazing you are on every channel you use – and following through with an incredible product or service.
If you have any marketing, copywriting or branding questions, pop them in the comment box or email firstname.lastname@example.org and I can write a piece for ya!