This doesn’t mean you have to go out, redesign your website and re-brand yourself. What you do need to do is take a step back and look at your site and your brand objectively. Look at your current brand with a critical eye and see what your business says about you and determine whether it is making the statement you want it to make.
Remember, your brand isn’t just what your logo looks like or the words on your website. Your brand is communicated as a package – your logo, website, the way you answer your phone and respond to customer requests, as well as the way you dress when you represent your business in public places, meetings, etc. Even your message on hold (http://AAAPhoneOnHold.com) can convey your brand image to your customers and prospects.
Your brand is the promises that you have made to your clients and the way your website feels to them at the first glance. It is your professionalism and much more – the whole package.
Take an example from some of the biggies like Facebook (http://Facebook.com) and Linked In (http://linkedin.com). Most people recognize these social networking sites because they have built powerful brands in a relatively short time.
Here are five things every business owner needs to know to build a powerful brand:
1. Capture their attention. The key to branding is grabbing your target market from the get-go. In other words you need a strategic plan for creating the right impression, with the right audience (if you have a niche market, it is even easier to accomplish). Once you’ve captured their attention you need to keep your message consistent.
2. You don’t have to break the bank to come up with a killer brand. One of the most expensive mistakes entrepreneurs make is expecting that a designer will come up with their brand for them. You need to know what message you want to convey before you hire a designer – what colors, what font, what “first impression” do you want to convey.
3. Don’t bury the message. Your name says it all. What does the name, “ABC Consulting” convey? You really don’t know – unless there is a tagline attached, right? But, “The Renegade Marketer” gives you a clearer message of what you’re getting. Or, how about "AAA Phone On Hold?"
4. Pick the right font. Think about it. What kind of font best represents you and your business? If you aren’t certain, look at other businesses – not your direct competitors – but others that offer similar goods and services. If you’re selling a product aimed at children, then lean toward a Comic Sans font, if you’re a lawyer, lean toward a more conservative font.
5. Evoke a response. It’s a scientific fact that color evokes response. What type of emotion do you want to evoke in your clients? While it’s tempting to choose a business card and colors in your favorite hue, you need to pick colors that will appeal to your customers and potential clients.
Take a few minutes, look at your website and marketing materials and see if – at first, critical glance – it evokes the feeling you want to convey. Remember, first impressions count and effective branding is a critical component toward your business’s success.
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