Marketing your business gets more complicated every day. Or so it might seem! To help out, we’ve put together some simple things you can do to make it a little easier.
Get your brand identity in order
One of the first challenges many business owners face when marketing their business is a lack of brand assets. Especially a brand identity. And we don’t just mean a logo!
Having a solid brand identity makes it easier to plan your marketing. You’ll be more aware of the specifics of your business, such as your target market, competitors, and surrounding business environment.
Below is a simple exercise to help you get started with creating a brand identity. Open a new tab and a blank Google Docs page. Work through these 7 steps, filling in your answers as best you can. This might be unfamiliar territory, so we’ve put some examples to prompt you.
You know your business better than anyone, so it shouldn’t take long!
- My company stands for:
Being part of the community – We’re an authority on ______ – We’re socially responsible – Our business is environmentally conscious – We’re very well connected – We’re prestigious.
- My target customers are:
Think about defining features. For example, Location – Gender – Age – Interests – Ethnicity – Income – Special Requirements.
- My main competitors are:
Direct (For example, any other business that reminds you of your own company) – Indirect (sort of like your business)- Perceived/replacement (not like us, but people might go there by mistake) – Search Engine Results Page Top 10 (who comes up when you Google search for your business type?).
- Our niche is:
Narrowly define a group of high potential customers or clients. For example, for Maintenance Plumbers: Homeowners/Property Managers are a niche. Ski/Snowboarding Hire: Visiting Tourists in Winter.
- What makes my company different is:
Higher quality ingredients – Faster service – Quality of work – Locations – Any point of difference.
- The company’s core values are:
Dependability – Reliability – Loyalty – Commitment – Open-mindedness – Consistency – Honesty – Efficiency.
- The personality of your brand is:
Sincere – Exciting – Competent – Sophisticated – Rugged – Relaxed – Familiar.
How does this make marketing your business easier?
Whether you’re selling products via an online store, or getting ready to tell the world about your services, having a defined brand identity makes marketing your business much easier. Take these examples:
- Make your products or services appeal to your target customer by keeping point 2 in mind.
- Start using social media to tell people about your brand, using points 1, 4, 5, 6. Write the copy using point 7, which should help with your brand “voice”. The same point will be useful when choosing an image.
- If you’ve got a budget for Social Media or Search Engine advertising, use 2 and 4 to help interest targeting on Facebook. This can also help with researching keywords for Google Ads.
- Briefing a videographer or even an agency will be more efficient.
Remember, if you’re stuck or just want to save some time, contact us for help.
Brand assets for marketing
Sketching up a logo and coming up with a slogan might be one of the first things you do for your business. However, if you don’t have a functioning brand identity, it can mean a real hassle later on. Here is a quick list, with some examples, of things you’ll need.
Your logo suite is the visual representation of your brand, in different formats.
For example, you should have:
- The logo including the wordmark, and without the wordmark.
- A circular badge for use on social media or other specific placements.
- Full colour, along with black and white versions, of all the above, plus reverse colour versions.
- Various formats to suite online marketing, along with print, and possibly embroidery or screen-printing.
If you engage a graphic designer to create your brand assets, you’ll want to make sure they supply different formats to suit a variety of business marketing activities. Online advertising, print advertising and signwriting are a few examples. You will also need colour variations.
As a minimum, look for these formats.
- PNG: One of the most-used formats. Portable Network Graphic files are used to store graphics for web images. They use lossless compression and a bitmap index of colours. Look for large and small variants in your logo suite. There should also be full colour, black-and-white, and inverted colour versions. You will use these a lot!
- EPS: A graphics file format used in vector-based images. An EPS file can contain text as well as graphics. EPS stands for Encapsulated PostScript. This one is popular with print and
- PSD: Photoshop Document. Adobe Photoshop is one of the most popular ways to edit photos and images. PSD files store layered images, meaning you can edit images after they are saved.
- AI: Adobe Illustrator is the platform of choice for the majority of graphic designers. Some designers will supply a copy of these files. Others wil simply keep them, and charge fees when further imagery is required, or to transfer them to a different designer.
Brand Colour Palette
Establishing a set of colours as part of your brand personality is essential for marketing. It’s a good idea to take psychology into account when picking brand colours. However, cultural nuances can be overlooked.
For example, in Western culture bright red can symbolise energy, war, danger, strength, power, or determination. It can also evoke passion, desire, and love. But in places like Singapore, red is also recognised as a strong business colour. Gold can be prestigious… or tacky. Green can mean money or peace.
So, you’ll probably want to do a little research. You might want to nail down your brand identity first because it will help here.
Tip: Here is a link to Canva’s colour palette generator. Find an image that inspires you, upload it, and you’ll have the makings of a palette. Screenshot the palette to your graphic designer as a guide. You will have cut down on the time, and therefore the cost, of this crucial part of brand building.
You might also like to do this a few times, which will give you some options to choose from.
You should have at least three fonts.
- Primary (Often the same as your logo font)
- Secondary (Subheading) font. This needs to be highly functional as subheadings in blogs, and you’ll probably use it for your tagline or slogans.
- Body (Copy/Text) font. This needs to be very simple to read.
You can leave this completely up to your graphic designer. However, choosing your own primary font can help the process along. We like the way Creative Market offers fonts (and graphics, photos, themes, etc). You’ll probably find a favourite font there, and be able to pass that on to a designer. You can ask them to recommend other fonts that will compliment it.
Of course, you should also be open to your designer’s suggestions.
More business marketing information
Brand marketing is a huge topic, and if we set out to cover it all you’d run out of time to read it. So, this blog has hopefully given you some simple ways to make a start, and to make it easier. However, if you’d like more information or help, drop us a message. And if you know someone who could benefit from reading this blog, please share it to them. Thanks in advance!