How To Start Your Business With A Great Brand

The world is mired in a recession, but opportunity is everywhere. All around me, I’m meeting people who are starting a business.

They refuse to let the economy deter them – as a matter of fact, frequently it is the result of the poor economy that has presented opportunity to them. Where doom and gloomers see defeat, entrepreneurs rise to the challenge.

It is these very bold attitudes that are the basis for powerful brand values. It is these values that will be the foundation of your new brand and upon them; a new successful business will flourish.

Basing everything on these values, an entrepreneur must dream up a great name for their new venture. The name should inspire your intended audience. It should be memorable. Your name is important as it identifies the brand.

Having decided on a catchy name, next comes the logo. Since the logo is the visual component of your brand name, it must accurately reflect the brand name. It too, must inspire. If you use an icon in your logo (ie: Apple’s apple and the Nike swoosh) try to keep it simple. In deciding a palette it is best to keep the image to two or three colors. This makes it easier on the eye. A full range of color, just over complicates. The logo should work as effectively in black and white and gray tones. It must be legible at any size. Color is a very powerful icon that can also represent a brand (ie: UPS’s brown). Color should convey the personality of the brand.

Once the logo is complete, how it looks and feels sets the tone for everything else you do. From your website to your marketing materials, everything follows the corporate color pallette. Consistency is paramount here. Deterring from your palette dilutes your brand and confuses your intended audience. Imagery used is determined from the brand personality. Even the way you tell your story should be consistent with your brand efforts to date. If you have a very traditional, old world image, how you speak in your marketing should reflect this attitude. The tone is as important as the intent. At this stage of your brand development, you are the absolute master of your destiny. Be sure that it jives with your brand values. To do otherwise wouldn’t make sense in the marketplace.

To get the message out, the modern entrepreneur must embrace on and off-line strategies to develop their personal and professional brands. Off-line they must develop personal, and business networks to extend their reach. Joining professional organizations will go a long way in establishing that all important local presence you will need. Give back to your community through actively participating in influential not-for-profits. Many of these organizations have people of influence on their boards. If your audience is predominantly female, then you would want to market to professional women’s groups, and the places they congregate. If you are a woman yourself, membership is key.

Don’t forget print marketing, speaking engagements, radio, television shows and special events are also effective ways to market your brand.

Online is a fantastic place to grow your personal brand by feeding your expert profile. There is no better way than blogging. Also, social media such as Twitter and Facebook gives an entrepreneur a perfect platform to display their expertise. Your website MUST be more than a brochure site. It should provide your audience with tools that help them grow. It has to prove that your brand is more than the competing brand. Show your expertise. A blog allows you that platform to put your opinion out there. Writing white papers and ebooks is another great tool in drawing in an audience. What is exciting is most of your competition do NOT have these tools on their radar. Google them and see that many websites are simply brochure sites.

Using ebooks, white papers, audio and video as lures for email harvesters, you can build your own niche audience of targeted individuals and companies. The opt-in email list is dynamite because it is exactly whom you want to talk to. Breaking your list down even further only makes your marketing efforts more powerful. Email marketing should definitely be one of your premium avenues for promoting your brand. Affiliate sales, on-line networking (ie: Linkedin.com) are incredible ways to get your brand known around the world.

Actively pursue alliances to jointly promote events to an online audience doubles your effectiveness. Personally I have several partnering efforts in motion with companies in different parts of the world. Our efforts not only increase our potential markets to earn new business, but it also expands our range of influence.

For more information on Branding Yourself Online, I have a free 33 minute video on this very topic, over at my website. It gives you to the point how to’s in developing your online brand. Some of which we touched on here. Your brand is a terrible thing to waste. Be sure that everything is consistent including your tone and message. This will make it cheaper and more powerful to promote. Look for assistance online for every aspect of your business plan. The resources at your fingertips are reasonable in cost and immensely beneficial. If you are looking to build a team for your new business, look not further than an associate of mine, who just launched her new blog: mybreakthroughbusiness.com Providing this link to a friend’s blog, is another form of cross-promotion. EVERY effort has long term benefit.

I hope that you enjoy your business as much as I. Building your brand properly can be very rewarding.

Ed Roach

For more than 30 years, I have worked with hundreds of successful small businesses by helping them develop unique brand positioning strategies that differentiates them from their competition. I appreciate working with companies who see the value of going beyond mere slogans and have a desire to sell from compelling positions. I consult predominantly with businesses facilitating my proprietary branding process. This branding process effectively focuses a company's brand delivering a positioning strategy that can be taken to their marketplace.

I have international speaking experience and am the author of "101 Branding Tips," Practical advice for your brand that you can use today. I'm also a "expert panellist" with Bob Proctor (from The Secret)'s Matrixx Events in Toronto.

I have been interviewed in all media and I also blog extensively and uses the digital realm on the web to connect and promote my services world-wide.

I have international speaking experience including a recent event in Prague, in the Czech Republic and is the author of "101 Branding Tips," Practical advice for your brand that you can use today, the book is available on Amazon.com and the Amazon Kindle store.

My clients are from Canada, The United States, Ukraine, India, United Arab Emirates and Tanzania.

I recently facilitated a workshop in San Diego aimed at teaching Graphic Design companies how to build brands for their customers.

Comments

  1. Evan Freed says:

    Helpful Article.

    I am working at a start up right now and we are currently trying to develop a strong brand image. I keep trying to explain to him the importance of the blogging community to get the companies name out there. The head of the company however does not want to jump into that part of the internet.

    I am going to show him your article so he see’s the reasonings behind my suggestion. Thanks for the help.

  2. Blogging is a pretty alien concept to a lot of people. Depending on your industry, giving out free advice to get business, goes against traditional thinking. I hope the article helps them understand that they are ignoring a tool that can benefit them quite a bit.

    Keep us updated. By the way – thanks for commenting.

  3. Edt,
    thanks for the good post – the current state of the economic (often refered to as “crisis” or “recession”) hold a lot of opportunities.
    Not only the person takng the risk to start a business can prosper, but also businesses you mentioned in your post can do: logo designers, brand consultants 🙂 , advertising media (print, radio, tv and agencies representing them).

    And thanks for pointing me to your website which I will go and check out in detail.
    Btw, changing your homepage tilte from “TBE webiste” to something more meaningfull like “The Branding Expertss” could give your pages a boost in searchengine rankings.
    Have a good week.

  4. Thanks for commenting Sprachreisen. I took your advice and changed my title. Let’s see if I add a hit or two 🙂

  5. Evan Freed says:

    I found your article very interesting so i wrote a review about it on my site.

    Hope you take a look at it.

  6. Eva, I couldn’t find it on your site Can you direct me to it?

  7. Hi Ed,
    Great topic overview. And thanks for the link to my new blog!

    Marcia