Don’t think branding. Think brand power

As a small business entrepreneur, you are savvy enough to know that
branding isn’t just for large multinational corporations. However, when it comes
to branding there is still too much attention given to colors and designs and
not enough given to achieving brand power. Visibility and repetition are the
keys to success and can even overcome average designs.

When you are imagining what your logo should look like, don’t stop
there–imagine where it will go. Imagine the knowledgeable and helpful staff
behind it. Now you are thinking brand power.

The Logo

Ideally you want your logo to represent the reason why you are in business in
the first place. Read your mission statement and how you intend to win in
business, then look at your logo. Ask yourself, "does this design represent our
company’s beliefs and the services we will provide?"

Invest, but don’t over spend on the logo. One could argue that visibility is
more important than looks if you had to choose. Let’s examine Google’s logo. It
has a simple, almost amateurish look. This is probably planned, but it’s not
going to find its way into too many coffee table design books. And it does not
matter, not one little bit. The success of Google’s logo is visibility. The logo
is everywhere. It’s achieved global familiarity and with it trust, if not awe.

This is why you should include your logo on every piece of communication. Put
it on every web page of your site, business cards, letterhead, envelopes,
invoices, yellow page ads, building signage, newsletters, web buttons,
promotional collateral, even small ads. If you’ve got a solid business and you
give that logo visibility, you’ll find yourself with some brand power. Then
perhaps if your logo is next to a competitor’s, they’ll click your hyperlink.
Familiarity will lead to increased sales.

Web Presence

Since you haven’t overspent on your logo, you can put a little extra into
your web presence. It’s not good enough to have just any website, it must have a
clean design, easy navigation, and quality content. All these things are
ingredients of Internet brand power.

One of the most common misconceptions is that you are "done" once the site is
uploaded to the web. Nothing could be further from reality. It is only the
beginning. Now you must achieve high search engine rankings. And this takes time
and sustained effort. This is the web visibility game and if you don’t know how
to play it, you would be well advised to get quality help. Your website is your
store no matter what you are selling and you need to get visitors in the door
and convert them into customers.

Tip: Launches are newsworthy. Once your website is live and you’ve had
a chance to polish it just a little bit, you should issue online press releases
about your new company. It’s an affordable and effective way to get instant
interest.

Print Collateral

Depending on your business, you may need a marketing folder with sales sheets
inside or perhaps a tri-fold brochure. You can also prepare a one-page corporate
overview and have an online printer turn it into a marketing slick for a few
cents per print. A one-pager can be a vital catalyst for conversation or a leave
behind when you meet a prospect.

Make sure you write short sentences in short paragraphs and bold your
headings – prospects will skim first and then read deeper if you have them
hooked. Your one-page overview should begin with your USP (unique selling
proposition) and then lead into the target audience benefits. List a
comprehensive set of services. Don’t forget your physical address, phone number
and web address.

There are two trains of thought when it comes to the call to action on a
marketing piece. Since you have a great new website, you certainly want to
encourage people to visit. However, some companies are now moving back to
emphasizing the phone number over the web address. Phone interaction gives you
an immediate "live" opportunity to convert the visitor into a consumer and also
get some feedback.

The Modern Marketing Mix

You’ve got your logo, letterhead, all your print collateral, and website. You
are now ready to present your business to your audience through marketing. It’s
best to have a multi-faceted approach to your marketing plan. You can launch a
direct mail campaign or sponsor an event. The traditional methods of print,
television, and radio advertising as well as trade shows are also effective if
they well executed and in your budget. A quick tip: running a promotion or
offering a free service are both good launch practices.

If you can write in an engaging manner, then you have tremendous affordable
marketing power at your fingertips. Blogs bring web traffic. Submitting articles
to trade magazines or Ezines create interest and also bring traffic. RSS feeds
may very well become such an integral part of business success that they’ll make
the meta tag craze look silly.

Choose a few options you can afford and then go for it. As time goes on make
a wish list for marketing options down the road.

The Brand New You

You are set now with an intelligent launch. You haven’t overspent on your
logo, you’ve got a professional website, you are achieving great web visibility
and you have a sustained marketing campaign to get yourself in front of your
target audience. Just don’t forget that some of the best brand power will come
from you and your employees. Passion and knowledge go a long way to building
your brand and launch success.

Matt Chansky is a successful advertising entrepreneur, who
leads the highly regarded Momentum 18 agency. Matt provides design and creative
direction for clients throughout the United States. Learn how his busineass
philosophy has enabled Momentum 18’s clients to succeed at

Momentum 18 Graphic Design.