First, a dеfіnіtіоn оf Branding (ѕоurсе: buѕіnеѕѕdіrесtоrу.соm)
“Entіrе process іnvоlvеd іn сrеаtіng a unіԛuе name аnd іmаgе fоr a рrоduсt (good оr service) іn thе соnѕumеrѕ’ mіnd, thrоugh advertising саmраіgnѕ wіth a соnѕіѕtеnt thеmе. Brаndіng aims tо establish a ѕіgnіfісаnt аnd dіffеrеntіаtеd рrеѕеnсе іn the mаrkеt thаt аttrасtѕ and retains lоуаl сuѕtоmеrѕ”
Take a mоmеnt tо соnѕіdеr thіѕ definition carefully – it соntаіnѕ thе еѕѕеnсе оf whу and how tо brаnd уоurѕеlf. But whаt mаkеѕ brаndіng so сrіtісаl?
You muѕt knоw hоw tо brand уоurѕеlf as a lеаdеr, аѕ ѕоmеоnе who саn оffеr ѕоmеthіng unіԛuе tо уоur рrоѕресtѕ and сuѕtоmеrѕ.
Simplify the process by asking yourself these questions before creating brand identity.
How important is my brand to my business?
Sometimes we tend to give more importance to design and branding, thanks to all the marketing and branding hogwash we are fed over the years. Preserve your sanity by not getting caught up too much in branding, as it is a mind-numbing, exhausting and never-ending process.
The US Small Business Administration lists ten steps to starting a business, but note, worrying about your brand identity isn’t one of them.
To help small business owners ensure their consumers’ financial information is protected from cyberattacks, creditcards.com have created a guide outlining the process of obtaining cyber insurance. They break down things to consider when choosing a policy – such as which policy aligns best with each type of business and possible legal ramifications. You can check out their guide here.
What does my research say about my audience?
If you’ve researched your target market over social media or using traditional methods, you hopefully have buyer behaviour profiles for different customer segments. Use this information to create three or four personas that represent your most valuable customers. What is the average age of your audience? What are their interests? When are they most receptive to a sales pitch?
Answers to these questions will help decide the tone of brand messages that you send to each persona.
Can I describe my business in five words?
Before you create your marketing and sales collateral or even think about launching a website, make sure you spell out a clear mission statement for your business.
When you have an unambiguous statement of what your business is about, you’ll have clarity in the brief you give your designers and developers when the time comes to create your logo, website and brochures. Write down five adjectives to describe your business and its synonyms to ensure you don’t end up with something like the London Olympics logo.
Speaking of logos…
Can I create a logo myself? Should I even do it?
Yes, you can, but not with Microsoft Paint or PowerPoint. There are quite a few photo editing tools online (including free ones) that help you do the job professionally.Shopify has a free tool with drag-and-drop functionality that allows you to create a high-quality logo with professional finesse — this is ideal if your site is built on a ready-made ecommerce platform.
If you don’t feel like taking up the brush yourself, your best bet is to take advantage of an online marketplace like 99designs, where once you share your brief, multiple designers who compete to design your logo. You choose the one you like out of all their submissions and pay for it, along with copyright.
How much am I willing to pay for it?
Yes, this is a real and important question. You will find thousands of designers on Fiverr who can design a logo for five bucks. You will also find people who charge thousands of dollars for a small job. The former will pick a stock vector from a free resource library, get your business name below it, and ta-da — it’s done.
You need to decide beforehand what you are willing to spend and how it will impact your bottom line in the short term and reputation in the long term, in order to avoid nasty surprises later.
What is the message I want to convey through my branding?
Your website, brochures and everything in your press identity kit should convey a consistent message. Many times, we see the logo is corporate-ish but the tag line is playful or vice versa:
What will be the tone of my branding?
Once you know your audience’s tastes, you can decide the tone of your branding. For instance, if your audience is between 17 and 25, a fun, young and enthusiastic tone with vibrant colours might work well for you. Also keep your product/service in mind when deciding the tone. If your audience is young but you’re selling a serious product (such as a medication), it is better to have a caring and sensitive tone.
Does my brand have to tell a story?
A lot of brands choose storytelling to establish themselves. It is one of the proven ways to get in people’s minds. From whitepapers to webinars to trade events, you have tons of ways to tell stories through your brand.
Do I want to deviate from the industry norm?
A lot of companies blindly follow the industry standards, getting lost in the crowd in the process. We’ve simply lost the ability to recall companies that just use the letter their company name begins with as a logo. If you want to stand out and cut through the noise, you need to go off the beaten track.
In the same vein, you also need a certain amount of restraint so as not to go too over the top. Just make sure you don’t end up in a Worst Brand Failures listicle on the internet.
How are my favorite brands doing it?
Make a note of ten (or 50) brands – they don’t necessarily need to be ones you like; you can be inspired by competitors too! Find out what you like about them and decide which points you would like to incorporate in your brand image, messaging and relationship with your customers.
Do you want your logo to be a typographical one like Coca Cola or minimalistic and symbolic like Nike? Do you want your social media presence to be fun and conversational like Denny’s or data-driven and informative like IBM?
Will my current identity survive business diversification or future expansion?
With time and experience, your vision of the business may change. You will need to diversify, pivot or expand and you might feel your logo doesn’t do justice to the evolved nature of your product line or service. While it is impossible to know what is going to happen in the future, if you are in a volatile business, it’s best to play it safe by basing your branding on typography as compared to images.
A caveat: frequently changing the voice, logo or colours your business uses can pose a huge problem in brand recall. Contemplate a change in your brand identity only if your business has pivoted or grown to another level and your existing representation doesn’t do justice to your products and services.
Creating a brand that you love is the single most important step to becoming a successful entrepreneur and/or small business owner.
In this video, Jonathan Hinshaw covers the 3 keys to success that every small business owner needs to understand in order to drive revenue and build a loyal following of amazing customers.
Creating Your Brand Cult | Turning Fandom Into Profits
Business licenses are authorizations issued by various government agencies which allow people or businesses to conduct business within their territorial jurisdiction. It’s the formal authorization to set up a business from your place of residence or workplace to the local governmental authority. Business license differs from other types of license because it has special requirements, which should be met in order to obtain the same. Licenses are usually issued on the basis of certain things like location, purpose of business, number of employees and the number of employees’ family members. It can also vary from state to state.
Businesses may have many different types of licenses depending on their location and purpose. Businesses are required to register with the relevant government agency in case of their first registration. They may get such permission if they want to establish their business as an individual or if they are not yet registered with the government as a business. Businesses may also get a business license if they wish to conduct business on a full-time basis. Licenses are granted after a detailed investigation of each applicant by the relevant government agency. Businesses may also apply for special licenses for the purpose of establishing branches or franchising.
There are different types of businesses, such as manufacturing, financial, distribution, retail, hospitality and legal. In order to obtain a business license, businesses must submit documents or proofs about their business, the number of employees involved, as well as their previous records of registration, payment and completion. There are a lot of businesses who get the approval for their business applications by submitting false documents or even a fraudulent business plan. As a result, the business gets turned down and they have to deal with the consequences of that failure.
Do You Need A Business License To Sell Online?
To be able to start your own online business, and to succeed in the world of ecommerce you will require certain pieces of information, and one of them is a good set of business license. In this article I’m going to discuss exactly what you need to get you a business license when selling on the Internet and how you can obtain one.
Firstly, you are not required to get a business license to run a home-based business on the Internet, but you should consider the benefits and disadvantages of doing so. Some people choose to operate their home-based business from a rented office, while others like the freedom of being able to open up shop wherever they want. If you are thinking of operating an online business from a rented office, then it’s important to be aware that many of the regulations that govern business and property law are much different in the UK than in other countries.
You will need to obtain a business license before you start your online business, which means you will need to find out if your local authority is likely to allow you to do this. If you don’t think that you would have sufficient security to do so, then maybe you would be better advised to just rent your business premises.
There are many aspects to business licensing that you must consider when you are considering starting your online business. It really comes down to whether you want to operate an online business from your own home or from an office. If you don’t have the time or the resources to start an online business from your home, then it might be worthwhile renting out an office for your time and money needs, but if you are comfortable enough working online from an office then you may as well just go ahead and start your business from there.
In order to run your home-based business from home you will need to get a business permit from your local council, but you are likely to be required to pay a fee for this. The fee will usually cover the costs of having to give proof that your business meets all the regulations and requirements of the local council and that you have been able to pay all the other necessary registrations, including tax, that’s required when you operate an online business from home.
If you are looking at running your business from an office then you won’t need to worry about anything else except the registration of your business name and the appropriate number of working days for your business, but you will still need to obtain your business license. and make sure you have the correct tax registration for the office that you have chosen to run from.
If you’re based in the USA and want to find out how to get a business license in different states – Click here for a helpful guide on how to get a business license in 4 steps