Your business is important to you and your business identity should be too. But this does not mean that from time to time providing some charity work would do you any harm. And possibly on this site, just possibly you might have a good chance of getting a year around support and resources in case you are looking for people in your philanthropic prospects. After all, it is the image you present to everyone. It is the image you carry out consistently across all your marketing materials. Developing a business identity involves careful choices and knowledge of your industry. Things to consider are your target market, competition, your position in the market relative to your competition, and the visual elements.
You should choose a name that is easy to remember and pronounce. It should be related to your business if you can and shouldn’t be easily confused with any of your competitors. You should also verify that you are legally able to use the name by checking with your Secretary of States office.
You should think of a word or tagline that will be associated with your business name and that will help customers distinguish you from the competition. We’re all familiar with well-known taglines. Your tagline should set you apart from the competition and be a phrase you’re willing to use for a long time in order to establish your brand.
- Coca-Cola – “Have a Coke and a smile.”
- Capital One – “What’s in your wallet?”
- Butterfinger – “Nobody better lay a finger on my butterfinger.”
- Ford – “Built Ford tough.”
Purchase a domain (we recommend GoDaddy.com) name. It’s important to do this early to ensure you get the name you want and also so you can start publishing it and generating backlinks. Backlinks are an important part of search engine optimization (SEO) Try to match your business name or tagline. If need be, shorten it from the full name but only if it’s easily remembered and easy to type. There’s nothing worse than having to type a long url or one that uses dashes or cryptic initials.
A logo goes a long way toward establishing your business identity. Hire a graphic designer for this one. Your logo should be relevant to your business , eye-catching and easy to recognize. Color is important here so think of a color scheme not only for your logo but your overall brand. These colors should be used consistently throughout your business.
Business cards are still relevant. Make them and use them. Your card is a means of introduction to new clients and will create a positive first impression. If at all possible, don’t use “do it yourself” or “template” business cards. Have cards designed that have all the information about you including: your name, business name, tagline, address, contact numbers, email and website. If necessary, you can also make a “corporate card” that is more generic, has no personal information on it and can be used in situations like trade shows when you want to get your business name out there but your personal information isn’t so important. These corporate cards can also serve as coupons or special offers when designed correctly. Again, color is important here.
Coordinate your letterhead design in conjunction with your business card. Many of the same rules apply to letterhead design as to business cards so hire a designer, add color, etc. Also, get matching envelopes at the same time.
The next items to consider are: brochures/flyers, postcards, calendars, promotional items, apparel, car graphics and more. Consistency is the key to a business identity that works.
Put It To Work
To make your brand recognizable to the masses you need to put all the pieces together and make it work for you. Use your business cards, write letters on your letterhead, even if (maybe better) they’re hand written, and wear the apparel. Keep consistent and keep at it, it takes time.
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By helping businesses interact with their customers, we’re able to engage the consumer and track results on a level never imagined before.
If you have questions or need help with your business identity, contact us anytime.