We’ve all heard how important it is to “brand” your business. But what does that even mean? And how important is it really? I like to think of it like this: We as individuals “brand” ourselves and we’re naturally drawn to others that do it well. These people tend to have a strong sense of self. You know what I’m talking about–that guy you see on the street with the handlebar mustache and the funky bow-tie. Immediately, I think he’s one cool dude. Why? It’s not the actual mustache (how does he eat with that thing anyway?). It’s his strong sense of self that I’m drawn to. It’s the “I’d-sit-down-and-have-a-beer-with-that-person” factor.
That’s what you want for your business. You want people to be drawn to your brand so they do business with you. Sounds pretty great, right? Follow these five tips and your business will be just as awesome as Mr. Handlebar Mustache Guy.
1. Define Your Business. If you don’t, no one else will.
What is your mission? What makes your products/services different? What do your customers already think of your company? What do you want them to think about you? What do your customers want from you? When you feel you’ve explored this enough, move on to #2.
2. Get a Killer Logo. Love it. Live it. Get a tattoo of it (Just kidding, that last part is optional).
If Mr. Handlebar Mustache Guy didn’t have the handlebar I probably would have walked right by without noticing him. The same goes for a company without a great logo–they can go unnoticed. Find a great designer and share #1 with them. It will be the best thing you can do to ignite your own passion and your employees’ passion for your business. A visual representation of who you are and what you stand for is powerful.
This step is where some businesses fall off. Self-discovery and creative processes are engaging and interesting. Implementation, on the other hand, can be tedious but is equally important. Every aspect of your business should reflect your brand. Every piece of communication should accurately show your brand. Does your auto-signature reflect your brand? Is your logo sized properly on all mobile devices? How are your phones being answered? What are your salespeople wearing to client meetings?
4. Be consistent.
Make the implementation of your brand a habit. Communicate your expectations with your employees. Get them on board. If your logo should be a certain size and in the upper right hand corner of all proposals, make sure to set that expectation and follow through with it. It’s helpful to create a “spec sheet” and templates for everyone within your organization to use.
5. Be true.
It’s easier than you would think to “muddy” your brand. You are busy. Details can get missed. New influences come in to play. Stay true. Communicate and follow through with who you are and what you stand for.
These five steps will put you on the right path to a strong brand. And next time you see Mr. Handlebar Mustache Guy buy him a microbrew of his choice.