How to Brand Your Company with Economical Considerations in Mind
Building a brand can be an extremely daunting and challenging process, but contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t always have to break the bank. With the help of technology, social media and a little sweat equity, there are lots of creative ways to brand your business without a ton of cash. And although it can require a large investment of time, the results won’t go unnoticed.
To help get you started, we’ve created a quick and simple guide for how to brand your business on a budget:
Perform Upfront Research
First and foremost, when figuring out how to brand your business, start with research. Upfront research can help the branding process go smoothly and efficiently. Whether you’re launching a new brand or updating an industry mainstay, understanding the current competitor landscape is vital to your success. Perform an in-depth competitor analysis to gain important insight on the market and ways to gain an advantage over your peers. Plus, once you’ve done a thorough competitor analysis, you’ll be able to avoid costly copyright or trademark violations as well.
Pinterest can also be a huge asset in the research phase of building your brand. Create a board dedicated to your brand and spend time pulling inspiration. Knowing what you like and dislike will help immensely once you take the next step into the visual creation phase! You’ll know exactly what you’re looking for and can communicate that to your designer, saving you time and multiple rounds of revisions later.
Invest in a Professional Logo
When it comes to creating a look for your brand, skip the DIY logo maker and invest in a professional image. It may seem more cost-effective upfront, but you’ll pay for it in the long-run if you don’t work with a professional from the gate. Typically, when establishing a brand foundation, you get what you pay for. An experienced designer will ensure your logo is flexible enough to use on various marketing materials such as landscape, portrait, black and white, color, thumbnails, etc. A professional logo can also help you avoid logo heartbreak and additional expenses.
It’s also important to plan for the future. Involve your designer in your future business, marketing and sales plans, so they can understand how your brand may need to grow or evolve overtime. Understanding this upfront can save you from needing to update, refine or overhaul your brand down the road. A professional designer can take your future brand needs into account now, developing a brand that can flex with demands of the future. And with a solid brand foundation in place, you’ll be able to much more cost-effectively create additional brand elements in the future, such as letterhead and business cards, brochures, sell sheets and leave behinds, tradeshow booths and more. And of course it goes without saying, but the more elements a designer can work on all at once, the easier and more efficient the process becomes, thus saving you time and money as well.
Create a Message that Matters
When it’s time to craft a brand message, follow the well-known KISS principle and keep it simple, stupid. You want your brand to be easily understood and recognizable, which is difficult to do if your message is clouded and confusing. Make sure to choose a message that supports your mission and underscores your values. Find your message by focusing on what matters, the products and services your customers love. Focusing your brand message on the basics of your business will save you the time and money of having to reposition yourself and remold your message years down the road. Need help crafting your key messaging? Start with your core values.
Visibility is Vital
Once you have a solid message and an eye-catching visual identity in place, make sure people see them. This doesn’t have to include spending tons of advertising dollars or cash on sponsored content, but the simple efforts of including your logo design and tagline in your email signatures, on top of your invoices, letterhead and lists of products and services will go a long way. Save money by adding your logo and contact information to any marketing materials that are easily seen and frequently used, making it effortless for potential customers to contact you.
Additionally, make sure any social media accounts you use are updated with the brand look and message to keep it consistent across the board.
Keep it Consistent
Speaking of consistency…whether you are designing a new sell sheet for your next tradeshow, or a stunning sign to accompany your storefront, keep the look and messaging consistent to begin building brand recognition. Sticking to the same visual and verbal cues will help set you up for success to be easily remembered by existing and potential customers.
One way to ensure consistency across the board is to invest in a brand standards guideline. A brand standards guide is a set of rules that direct how your various brand assets should be used, both internally and externally. From font families and color palettes to proper logo placement and photography treatments, brand standards are designed to protect your company’s presence by controlling its image. Building a detailed brand standards guide allows future designers to pick up the process down the road and having consistency across the board underscores stability and imparts confidence in the eye of the consumer, making them more inclined to transact with you!
What our clients are saying
“Westwerk won McCrea’s over with their thorough treatment of our list of requirements when seeking a quote for our re-branding/re-packaging project. From that first interaction they were forthcoming, provided detailed explanations of process, and took the time required to get the job done and done well. We felt we had a partner in our re-brand that understood our challenges and goals. One year after launching our new branding and packaging we have almost tripled sales. Our positioning in the marketplace is spot on as proven by the quality of buyers approaching us. Re-orders have skyrocketed as our packaging more effectively sells off the shelf. We’ve always known that we make the best caramel out there, now we have the branding and packaging to reflect that quality.”