Whatever your new business idea, there are lots of issues to consider, from stock management and finding premises to hiring staff and getting your venture up and running. Before you do any of these things, first you need to establish a brand.
In a nutshell, your brand is the identity of your company or product. It encompasses all the different values, ideas or characteristics of your business in a way that is easily identifiable. One of the most exciting aspects of setting up a new venture is choosing the name. This may be as straightforward as using your own name — perhaps with a reference to the goods or services you intend to supply. Alternatively, you might want to choose something more creative. Make sure that it is easy to spell so prospective clients can search for it online and that it will work well in local, national and global markets. You want something catchy and distinctive that ideally gives some clue about the nature of the business. Customers should be able to know what you stand for and what kind of service they can expect just by looking at your brand, so it's important to get it right and ensure you are creating the right impression.
Once you have the name you can think about a logo, which is the visual symbol of your business. The strongest logos are quite simple, using striking clear fonts and strong colours – you can incorporate a picture if you want but bear in mind that this may reduce the logo's impact. Think about where you will use your logo. It needs to work in a variety of formats and sizes, from small letterheads and compliments slips to larger promotional items such as wall posters or even exhibition banners. A text-based logo is relatively easy to design yourself, especially with the wealth of computer software available nowadays. Alternatively, you could commission a designer to create one for you.
Your brand should be at the forefront of all communications with prospective clients. This includes items such as business cards, flyers and other promotional items that are the basic essentials of your marketing strategy. But there are plenty of other openings for you to advertise your brand that you may not have thought of. Your website, sales emails, premises, staff uniforms and company vehicles are all further opportunities to raise your brand's profile.
Creating a strong brand is the first step in implementing an effective marketing strategy, helping you to build your business.