March 14, 2015
Small business branding and the importance of the logo
Large companies world-wide know how important branding is, it has been long recognised that having a solid brand brings plenty of value. But to many small business owners, the time taken to implement a quality visual identity seems like it would drain too many financial resources and take away valuable time too.
But even with a limited budget, small and medium businesses can benefit from the impact of a well-honed image, because at the very base of the issue, a brand image can allow an SME to stand apart from the competitors.
Typically, branding may be very expensive, but there are various options available to entrepreneurs to decrease the cost, including outsourcing your design work to a trusted freelancer. We’ve also got the following tips to help you build a powerful brand image, without breaking the bank.
1. Keep it simple
“A good way to think about simplicity is how many moving pieces there are in the logo,” says Jonah Berger, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On.
Not only does keeping your logo simple make it easier for customers to look at and remember, but keeping it minimalistic may also take the price of design down too.
2. Get social
Every business needs to have a social media presence these days, but there’s a difference between just having a profile and really utilising it for marketing purposes. You really want to be consistently engaging with your followers to push your brand identity.
3. Brand consistency
Your logo tells your customers so much about your brand, so you want to make sure that it’s design fits your company’s overall message. Take, for example, the Apple logo. As one of the world’s most futuristic corporations, it makes sense that their logo is sleek, and clean.
4. Think of your brand as a person
As a person, you’re made up of beliefs, values and purposes which drive your everyday life. When building your brand, it’s vital that you think of this in the same way. Our personality determines how we react to situations, this is what your brand identity will do too.
5. Aim for remarkability
What is remarkability? This is when the design is ‘worthy of remark’ and cuts through everything else to reach your customer. You want a logo which is relevant, eye-catching but mostly memorable.
6. Don’t try to mimic big brands
Carving your own distinctive identity doesn’t only make you look more professional and unique, but it has longevity. Imagine in a few years time you hit the big time, having a brand which is very similar to an already-established company could force you into rebranding, therefore destroying all of your hard work.
7. Test your market
Trusting your gut isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when it’s an important issue like branding, market research is the way to truly find out whether you are heading in the right direction. Get some independent feedback from a wide variety of people about whether your logo is saying
8. Marketing your brand in new ways
In the past, stamping your logo on everything was good enough to get the word out there, but nowadays this just won’t cut it. Respect your customer’s intelligence and think of new and innovative ways to get your brand identity recognised.
Think flash mobs, social media and viral videos, amongst others. This will generate some intrigue and inspire them to look further into what you have to offer.
Trying to develop your business branding on your own may seem like the ideal way to avoid expensive work. Rather than going to a design firm, you could consider smaller, independent designers who charge much less.
According to Stan Evenson, founder of Evenson Design Group, “Entrepreneurs on a tight budget should shop around for a designer, but don’t hire someone because of their bargain price. Find a designer who’s familiar with your field and your competition. If the cost still seems exorbitant, remember that a good logo should last at least ten years. If you look at the amortization of that cost over a ten-year period, it doesn’t seem so bad.”
You may know what you want, and that’s a brilliant start, by consulting with a professional designer could help you hone your vision as well as giving you practical advice such as whether the logo would transfer well into print.
Your logo is the basis of your brand, as well as the foundation for all your promotional material, so it’s one area where spending a little money now can pay off in the long run!
For more help on starting a business, call DAA Consulting today on 01707 527725 or contact us here.