Brand Building is telling the story of your company in as few words as possible and encapsulating the feeling of that story in a symbol or logo. In my opinion establishing brand identity is one of the most important things you can do if you don’t want the public to do it for you. People make judgments about everything based on first impressions. When you walk into an establishment you automatically have a feel for what type of products they sell, what the price range is, if you can afford or not and if they will most likely have anything that you want. Most of the time all these value judgment are made within the first ten steps of entering a store. You also make assumptions based on how well the store is maintained and if it looks clean or not. When you walk into Tiffany’s you know it’s high end. That’s not the case when you visit your local Dollar Store. The people that walk into Tiffany’s don’t want Dollar Store and the people that walk into Dollar Store don’t want Tiffany’s. It’s not that either one is better it’s boils down to who you are trying to attract.
That’s why I say that you have to tell your story. Tiffany’s didn’t start off in a huge professionally decorated space but it’s story contained the potential. Through good business practices and quality products it has become not only a name you trust but seek out if your looking for high end jewelry. Even if you never bought anything from the store you probably can pick out Tiffany Blue just based on an ad in a magazine or a display at the mall.
You don’t have to be huge brand to establish a reputation for great service and high value products or services. Most companies start with a logo that identifies their industry. Since the majority of start up businesses don’t have a big budget they just find a stock logo and slightly modify it. When you are just starting out that is fine, why spend $200 to $2,000 getting a logo designed, that money could be spent on printing cards and advertising? It’s just a starting point and as you business grows and your story gets better defined your logo and your marketing materials should grow with it. In fact when designing a logo for a business I always try to design it so that the image represents the foreseeable future of the company. It’s also important that the logo fits into the overall marketing campaign as you create your website, videos on Youtube and your social media channels.
I see an alarming number of businesses that engage in re-branding every few weeks. Every new idea has a new image associated with it. Okay, so you have a new idea you want to test out, that is not a good reason to abandon your branding and waste the opportunity to reinforce your imprint. No matter how small your business is, it can benefit from the additional recognition that consistency of imagery can provide. If 10 people recognize your brand logo in their twitter feed that’s progress. Ten down 100 million to go.