Branding is one of those words that comes up every single day in the business world.
And yet, branding is also a term a lot of business owners associate with the more advanced stages of a business.
Or, in other words, a lot of entrepreneurs think that branding is “something” expensive and time-consuming they shouldn’t engage in at an early stage of development in their business.
Sure, branding can cost a lot of money – but the absolute truth is that, well, it doesn’t have to.
In fact, some of the world’s most renowned companies started their branding efforts with…spare change.
The famous Twitter logocost no more than $15. Coca Cola’s logo was done for free, by the accountant of the firm in 1886. And Google’s logo was created in 1998 using a freephoto editing software
What are the secrets to successful branding, if not spending a lot of money?
We have gathered them right below – so read on if you want to find out more.
The 5 Pillars of Branding
Every brand should be built on five main principles:
- Brand purpose– why you are doing this? For instance, is it a gap in the market, a need your target audience has, but cannot fully fulfill at the moment – such as a basic accounting software?
- Brand positioning– whoare you, as a business, in relation to your competition and to your target audience? For example, you might offer a better and less expensive alternative to famous accounting software applications.
- Brand promise – whatis your promise and what value are bringing to the market? For instance, your accounting software might promise ease of use for a low price.
- Brand personality and values– whatdoes your brand “believe” in? For instance, will your brand support fresh businesses?
- Brand expression– howdoes your brand project itself into the world? For example, what logo will you use, and what colors will you use to represent you?
Of course, these are the very basics of branding. There are entire libraries written on the topic – but as long as your brand is built with these five dimensions in mind, it will be a success.
Simplicity Goes a Long Way
Studies show that a signature color can make your brand up to 80% more visible. A well-rounded brand built on a unique color scheme, a special message, and a good logo can do so much more!
Please note that a good logo doesn’t have to be complicated.
In fact, it should be as uncomplicated as possible. It should be easy to remember. It should be something people can get easily familiar with – like an apple, a window, or two hands “connecting” through a touch.
Less is more in fashion – and the rule stays just as true in branding as well.
Logos aren’t the only branding element that should be simple. Everything about your image should be memorable (and not in the sense of “spectacular”, but in the sense of “easy to memorize”.). The color scheme you use for your brand should be simple. The motto or tagline should stick to one’s memory. The messages your brand sends out should be clear and concise.
Simplicity is the absolute foundation of a good branding strategy – and this is precisely why you don’t have to spend a fortune on your brand. You can easily create a logo using an online tool, for example. Or you can very easily do a bit of research on what colors should be associated with your brand’s main purpose. If you are willing to put a bit of work into this, you can actually create a cohesive and successful brand.
Be Open Minded
Forty years ago, the main channels through which brands represented themselves were TV, printed media, street ads, and actual stores.
Today, all of the above is still practiced (and definitely still useful, depending on who your target audience is). In addition to that, though, online channels of communication have gained more and more ground – and those who stayed ahead of the curve and kept an open mind to adopt these channels early on were true winners.
The first brands to appear on Facebook, the first companies to engage in chats with their customers on Twitter, the first brands to collaborate with influencers – they all picked up the trend fast and took action on it.
Be like them! Be open-minded and always stay informed to see what the latest trends in branding and marketing are.
For instance, at the moment video marketing is dubbed as the next big thing. While many entrepreneurs live under the impression that creating their own videos is an expensive process that will not yield the expected results, the truth is 100% opposite. Creating your own videos can be completely easy and inexpensive(e.g. if you use an online video maker), and it will definitely yield amazing results.
You don’t have to take our word for granted on this.Research shows that 55% of the internet users watch at least one video every day. But even more importantly, 92% of those who watch videos on their smartphones are likely to share them with their peers.
Can you imagine what an amazing strength and success this would generate for your own business?
Quality Over All
Don’t settle for something cheap just because it’s cheap.
Settle for branding elements that bring you real value – a really good price-to-quality ratio.
A pixelated video might attract some odd sights and comments – but a video that was created using the latest tech and looks flawless is bound to act like a magnet for your business.
Don’t rush into creating your brand. Take your time. Analyze. Settle the details. And once all of this is done, start building your brand based on quality “ingredients”, and then sprinkle everything with a
Your business truly deserves the very best – and branding can get you “there”. It can make you not only noticeable, but also memorable. It can give you a voice, a distinguishable appeal, and, eventually, it can even build you a fanbase!