In Part 1, “Why Branding Is Good For A Start-up Business”, we looked at why branding is important to new businesses and how you can determine your brand values and a brand personality. Now we’re going to look at how to develop a logo and strapline that fits your brand and business. A logo doesn’t have to cost a fortune and once you have designed it you need to use it consistently on your website, on brochures, catalogues, business cards, t-shirts, posters, banners, social media pages. You could use your logo more or less anywhere. And it should be!
If you know what you are doing you can do it yourself. There are two things to be aware of if you decide to create your own logo:
One you need a second opinion and, if possible, 50 opinions. It is hard to be objective about a logo you created, and canvassing honest opinions will reveal aspects about the logo which are easily missed.
The second is you need it to be of professional quality. This means that a few clip art pictures and Microsoft Paint won’t cut it. Your products and services are of a professional standard and your logo should be too.
I strongly advise you to get a professional graphic designer to design your logo, as it will save you time in the long run, and time in business is money. The better graphic designers will be able to visualise concepts and bring that to your logo, and this will give your business a professional touch. A graphic designer will also be able to design the logo in various shapes. Some social media accounts require rectangular shaped logos, while others require squares. Graphic designers can reshape a logo without losing the feel.
As I mentioned, there are a number of websites where you can hire a freelance graphic designer to produce a professional quality logo for your business. When you give the designer a brief, make sure you incorporate your brand values and personality.
Here are a few good ones:
Peopleperhour.com features ‘hourlies’ where good graphic designers can be found. The logo for our Facebook page was purchased here for just £20.
Fiverr.com is a vast collection of people offering services of one kind or another that start at $5. The services range is vast and imaginative, and some of the services feature graphic design. Worth a look.
Elance has a design section, and currently it is free to post a job ad.
Freelancer.com works in a similar fashion to Elance.
99designs.co.uk is an interesting proposition. If your budget is at the higher end, you can run a competition where you can cite a brief about your logo, and a high number of graphic designers will submit samples. The minimum price for a logo competition is £199. The site advises the higher the budget the higher the quality and the more entrants will compete for the prize.
Strapline (Or Tagline)
A strapline is another way of introducing branding. The idea of a strapline is it implants itself in a person’s mind, so that when they hear the words they think of your brand. Ideally, it should be connected with what you do and should be shaped using your brand values and personality. The words ‘just do it’ are synonymous with Nike, and are connected with exercise, and for a sporting clothing business it makes perfect sense. ‘Every little helps’ is probably making you think of Tesco. The strapline for this website is ’empowering profitable work from home’, which is in effect the aim of the site and the business.
Looking at these three examples, you can see straplines are short statements that say something about their respective businesses. Your strapline should do the same. Like the logo, play around with a few straplines and canvass opinion. In the end choosing a strapline will probably come down to a feeling. If we look at our examples above, Nike and Tesco have taken an indirect route to branding, as they do not directly mention the products they sell. Our site has laid it down in a simple fashion. All three examples get the point across.
How The Brand Supports Your Business
The branding element works in the background. It makes your business recognisable and unique, and hopefully as your business grows so will the strength of the brand. There is no point expecting brand loyalty, i.e. people coming to use your products and services because they love your brand, until you have successes under your belt.
Take Apple, for example. There are people who seem addicted to their products. This did not happen overnight, however, and it was only when it launched the iPod that the company became a global brand.
With this in mind, it is important you simply deliver a good service and product, and let the branding element play out by itself. At the end of the day the quality of what you can deliver is how you will be judged regardless of how wonderful your logo looks.
One of the strengths of branding is that it promotes trust in your business, but this only works if it is underpinned by how well your business performs.
Promoting Your Brand
To promote the brand, and to associate your business with your brand, it is important that the logo and strapline are visible at every point where a potential customer or client can interact with your business.
To that end:
Ensure the logo and strapline is on any documentation that goes to potential and existing customers and clients.
Ensure your business website and social media accounts also have your logo and strapline. You may want to read our article on Promoting Your Start-up Business By Using Social Media for guidance.
One of the beautiful things about branding is it supports all of your offline and online marketing efforts, and for the most part people do not realise it.
Standing Out From The Crowd
The chances are there are competitors in your industry and as a competitor in your market, your logo and strapline will help to establish your business in the heads of potential customers and clients. This is what branding was invented for, to put your business in the head of the next customer and client, and to help them trust your brand. So if a potential customer can remember you, there is more of a chance they will contact you.
Branding And Trust
Trust is one of the key points of branding, and providing your services and products of a high quality, over time your customer and client base will connect the dots so that your brand is one that can be relied on. If we take Apple as an example, it has a reputation for pretty technology that does an excellent job. When Apple releases a new product, people are already thinking the product will be pretty and it will do an excellent job.
Though your business may be worlds away from Apple, the idea that you are dependable, reliable and do a good job are what you want your customers and clients to take away after you have delivered a service or provided a product for them. It is worth noting, however, that should Apple release a few products that customers encounter problems with, the brand could easily pick up negative connotations that would greatly damage the company’s profit margins.
Branding is important at all levels of business, but it should not take priority over doing a good job. This will make or break your start-up, so once the basics are in place, forget about branding and concentrate on doing the job well.
If you are thinking about Starting Your Own Business, you will find excellent resources on our site. Please look around and share articles on your social media accounts. Sign up to our newsletter so you are always up to date with the best ideas, concepts, and best practices for running a business.
Visit HomeforBusiness [http://www.homeforbusiness.co.uk/] for more business advice and ideas.
Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother of three, PR Consultant and Entrepreneur
Like many women on most days I seem to have to juggle all my roles. On other days just three or four. This is why I founded Homeforbusiness. I recognise what it takes to be a working Mum and how to set up an online business from home with all ‘pulls’ of everyday family life and work.
I have always been entrepreneurial and set up by first corporate communications company, EMA Productions, in my 30s working with big corporate clients such as Texaco, Rank and Boots. Whilst it was challenging and hard work, it was quickly successful. I could focus solely on winning contracts and meeting the clients needs without family distractions and with the support of a fantastic team and office.
I feel very passionate about HomeforBusiness as I believe that lots of people want to create a better work/life balance and work from home, either setting up a new business or working as a freelancer. There are hundreds of genuine opportunities for people but often people do not know how to start. I want HomeforBusiness to empower anyone who wants to work from home profitably. With a panel of guest experts I will share share genuine business opportunities, business ideas, advice on running a business, online marketing, and health and wellbeing tips. I have also put together my favourite free online resources.