Launching a business
The stage when you are just getting your business off the ground can be a very exciting but also very vulnerable time. It can mean pumping a lot of financial support into a project that you are not initially going to gain much back from until you have established yourselves as a reputable business and brand.
Don’t let this put you off. With the right support and correct preparations this can be a really empowering time. At the launch of a business it is important that you consider who you are as a company and what you are trying to achieve in order to present a brand identity that is recognisably yours.
You need to see where you fit within the market and consult your web designer about the best ways to approach your brand. They will already have the knowledge and experience of nurturing an initial idea and giving it the context it needs in order to give your business a head start.
Building a brand
In order to build a brand, you must develop an effective brand strategy. Your brand is essentially what you are offering to your customers. It is a benchmark from which they can gauge what type of custom you offer and it is what can differentiate you from others in the same marketplace. Entrepreneur online explains that ‘Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.’ It has to be a perfect balance of all three statements.
Ten steps to establishing your brand
- Define your business and your brand
When launching a new business (and building a brand) it is vital that you consider what your business and company is all about before you start establishing your online presence. Do you sell products, offer services or have a certain app that you are developing? Whatever you do, be sure that you know your strengths and your limitations as a business.
- Figure out the identity of the brand
If you can personify your business and it begins to have its own identity, your brand will immediately start to take shape. How does your brand look? What’s your brand’s name? What does it say? Does the brand have a personality?
- Who are your audience and target market?
It is extremely important that you address the demographic that you are pitching your business to when you are developing your brand. This information can be the key to unlocking new ideas and future developments as you begin to realise that developing a brand is about more than just pleasing yourself.
- Address your customers with a consistent tone of voice to build long term relationships
For a business to engage with customers, their tone of voice has to be a true expression of the company’s values. It can be quite difficult for businesses to get this right as there are often pressures to conform to trends and certain styles of writing in order to entice custom. But at the end of the day it is about giving off an impression that is confident, honest and unique to you as a company.
- Ensure consistency with the brand but also let it grow and adapt with you as a company
Just because you have a logo, it doesn’t mean that this is the sole image that should represent your whole company. There are other ways to have a consistent voice. This can be captured in choice of colours, a certain font, a slogan or within the content that you share. Consistency doesn’t have to be boring either, it can be emulated not only in different aesthetics but across mediums including video, infographics and even sound bites.
- Don’t mimic other brands
It is very difficult to establish yourself as an individual company if you steal elements of your brand from another company or worse another company actually within the same market as you. A company that already exists will have their own values and their own personality – it is too difficult to try and be someone else. Find out what gives your company its own personality and show that within the brand.
- Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd
As a company starting out, all the power is in your hands. You have the flexibility to be who you want to be and as most markets are quite saturated these days, it is more important than ever to establish yourself as unique. What do you have that your competitors don’t have? What makes your business easier to engage with? It seems the secret here lies within being true to yourself as a business and being honest to your clients. It is quite refreshing coming across companies that actually do just deliver what it says on the tin.
- Consider how your brand will translate
In the next two years it is predicted that video will make up over 70% of the whole internet traffic. Video is an important factor when conduct marketing campaigns in order to strengthen your client base and build your brand further. Can your brand translate to screen? Do you have assets that could be optimised for video if required? It is also important to consider how potential clients might be viewing your brand. It is not only important to be responsive (with ever changing device sizes) but to also be aware of emerging technologies that might effect how people engage with your brand in the future.
- Make the brand sustainable
So when thinking about the future, it is important that you build a brand that can (or at least will try to) stand the test of time. This includes making sure each of your business assets including your website, logo and additional stationary are made up of images that are optimised to the highest quality and in the correct format. First impressions are extremely important so it is better for you to launch your website at a time when it is ready, so that you can offer what you are promising, rather than having to give excuses as to why you are not delivering. Keeping your word is the first step in building a sustainable brand that clients return to again and again.
- Build a respectable brand that customers will trust
Customers engage with brands that show reviews, recommendations and testimonials. It shows you have nothing to hide. For a person to trust in your brand they need to see that your works/products/services have been tried and tested. You should display the previous brands/companies you’ve worked for and highlight any specific triumphs you’ve had with projects. This will help show that you are a company with top staying power. When you are starting out, it can be really difficult to gauge what kind of things are relevant in this instance, so just be sure to sell yourself in the best possible light by sharing the achievements that are relevant. Customers are more likely to trust companies they can relate to.
Fundamental aspects of launching a business online:
Your logo is an import part of your branding. It is a defining emblem that offers a glimpse of who you are as a company. Usually the logo is made up of an image or typographic art work that either symbolises what your company does or shows your company name. A web designer or graphic designer will have the skills to display type beautifully and optimise a logo that will work across all mediums.
Website design is an essential part of your brand. It is home to all the digital components of your business and needs to be of a coherent style and tone of voice to represent your brand clearly. Think of colour schemes and layout structures that will house your content clearly. In order to comply with Google legislations your website needs to be responsive and mobile-friendly. It is also important to think of quality over quantity and never be afraid of minimalist design.
The choice of certain videos and photographs that you associate with your brand is really important. If an image you share on social media for example is offensive or unprofessional this can decrease your audience engagement massively. So aim to please your custom base with your choice of visual components on your website and social media.
Must like visual engagement, what content you post under your brand is extremely important in reflecting who you are as a company. If you share interesting informative content your client base will believe that you know what you are talking about and trust your brand even more. It also shows that you are active, not in danger of becoming stale and engaged with new ways of thinking.
- Social media integration
Social media is a great space from bringing together clients and companies. Some people are terrible on the phone and even worse at face-to-face interaction, so social media offers businesses an informal way for businesses to interact with their clients and to drive interest in their brand.
Making it on your own
Once your brand has been designed and cultivated by you and your web design, web development and graphic design team it will be time for you to go it alone. Jumping into the unknown after being fully supported can feel quite scary, however there is always other types of support to help ensure your website is working well. Google Analytics and Google search console are free online tools that allow you to monitor audience engagement, and therefore offer you diagnostics which help you to grow and evolve your brand.
5 tips to maintaining your brand after launch
- Maintain good PR relationships
- Dependent on your company, PR relationships may or may not be an extremely important factor to gaining exposure after launch. If you know a journalist or writer or anyone with good credentials who can give your service or product a great review, this could increase your brand reputation and trust factor massively.
- Take stock of SEO and manage customer engagement through Google Analytics
If search engines are to play a big part in your quest for business then you definitely cannot ignore Google Analytics. Using this free tool you can check that your content is optimised for all devices and you can monitor activity across the site. This is vital if you want to build audience engagement.
- Produce great content
As previously mention, people engage with websites that produce new and interesting content. This can be through blogging, through social media activity or even developing a youtube tutorial channel. Developing content for your brand helps potential clients feel connected to your company and the people who run it.
- Work hard and get reviews
Once you have gained work from your website, it is important that the hard work is noted through reviews and comments. Reviews as mentioned before are key in gaining future custom. They drive believability into your brand and offer customers thoughts about your work that is not just your biased opinion.
- Don’t forget where you came from
This point is key to sustaining effective relationships and building a customer base. Be true to where you came from. Remember why you embarked upon the project in the first place and don’t allow your company ethos get trampled by other ideas. Of course you have to grow and adapt to accomodate your client base but in order for a brand to have longevity you must also realise that you cannot please everyone.
Let RG build your brand
If you would like Reactive Graphics to work on the branding for your business then please do get in touch.We provide a fully bespoke branding service that includes but is not limited to:
- Web site design
- Web site banner design
- Application design
- Logo design
- Brochure Design
- Stationery design
- Flyer design
- Newsletter design
- Business card design
Whether you have a full digital business plan or if you are slightly artistically challenged we are happy to provide design and development skills to launch your business and build you brand.