You’re off the starting block. You’ve thought long and hard about what you want to tell the outside world about your business and how you would like your potential and existing customers to be able to identify you.
Now the fun begins.
From our extensive experience of working with business start-ups, there are five branded marketing essentials we think you need to help you launch your company towards its future success.
As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, your logo is the visual mark or representation of your business and has a lot of work to do. It’s important to ear mark some of your budget for the creation of a logo because you will want it on your website, stationery, brochures, social media pages and on any branded items throughout the lifetime of your business.
It’s always helpful to have a supply of professional-looking, high quality business cards, letterheads and compliment slips. Business cards are especially important as you never know when you might connect with somebody and want to give them your details (a friend of a friend makes children’s clothes and is often stopped by other parents in the park to ask where her children’s sun hats are from, so she’s taken to carrying business cards with her, even when she’s ‘off duty’). You’ll also need a healthy stock of business cards when you attend networking events.
You may not need to print a large amount of stationery to begin with. In an effort to reduce their carbon footprint and use less paper, most companies also have branded templates for letters, invoices, receipts, etc. and send them as PDFs rather than paying for print and postage.
You will need to send snail mail sometimes though, so we’d definitely recommend having some letterheads and compliment slips in your stationery cupboard (watch out for a forthcoming blog about paper).
In our recent blog, 10 reasons your business needs a website, we looked at the importance in today’s marketplace of having an online presence over which you have full control. Your website doesn’t have to be all whistles and bells; in fact, a simple, elegant website with a clear message and customer-friendly design is often enough to represent your business.
Social media pages
With more and more people using their smartphones and tablets during their daily commute or to occupy their evenings, it’s important to have a presence on social media. You don’t need to be on every platform because social media can easily suck a lot of your time, but it’s worth finding out where your customers hang out online and building a presence there.
We recommend branding your social media pages because it’s all about building a consistent identity. Then, when someone finds you on Facebook and clicks through to your website, they’ll already know what to expect from your branding.
If your social media pages look complete different to other brand touch points (e.g. your website, an ad in the local paper, your brochure, etc.), it can make customers feel as though you haven’t thought things through or you’re not clear on your business identity. Reflect your brand on social media and potential customers will feel that they’re in safe hands.
Depending on your products or services, you may want a company brochure that you can send out in the post or via email, or give out at exhibitions or networking events. Again, you may not want to do a massive print run but it’s a good idea to have some brochures or leaflets you can send out in response to enquiries. A professional design that reflects your brand will help reinforce the message that you know who you are and who you want to attract.
If you’d like to know more about how we can support your start-up business and brand your essential marketing tools, why not give us a call on 01733 308198.