So what is branding? Some old school people may think of branding and applying to cows and cowboys :) A hot iron of the fire and burning an emblem on your steer to identify them from other ranchers cattle. Branding for your company is somewhat similar, only you won't be taking a hot iron and burning emblems on your computer or other places.
Branding is a must no matter how large or small your business is.
Creating Your Brand
The first thing in creating a brand for your company is your logo. In my opinion, your logo is probably the most important starting point for creating your brand. When you see logo's like the 2 red circles or bullseye for Target, or an apple with a bite out of it for Apple, you know right away who you are dealing with.
At Entrepreneur.com, they wrote a great article about things to take into account for creating your logo:
Ideally, your company logo enhances potential customers and partners' crucial first impression of your business. A good logo can build loyalty between your business and your customers, establish a brand identity, and provide the professional look of an established enterprise.
Consider Allstate's "good hands" logo. It immediately generates a warm feeling for the company, symbolizing care and trust. With a little thought and creativity, your logo can quickly and graphically express many positive attributes of your business, too. Continue reading "How To Create A Logo"
Really good article that goes on to explain more about how to create your logo including logo types and what colors to use and to avoid.
One piece of advice that they recommend, as do we, is that if your aren't very artistic go ahead and higher a graphic designer. Once you start using your logo to establish your brand the last thing you want to do is change it.
Creating Emotion To Go With Your Brand
Also notice how in Entrepreneurs article they state how Allstate's logo creates a warm feeling. This is another major part of your branding. The emotion of your brand. You can create your brand to be warm and inviting like Allstates, or fun and simple like Apple's.
One other thing to take into consideration is the size of your audience and who your audience is. You will notice in our branding that we have a logo, but on a lot of our different profiles I use a nice profile picture. The reason for this is because we don't ever intend to get as big as a McDonalds or Nike. If your company is smaller and just in one general location this may be a better option for you. The reason being is people in general prefer connecting with a person over a company.
Branding Your Website
This should seem like a no brainer, but you would be surprised at how many companies don't ad their logo in a prominent space on their website and everywhere on their site. You want your logo on every page and post of your site.
As I explained above, I also use a nice profile picture as well. It's always the same profile picture. This profile picture is also on our homepage and every page of our site, with posts the exception. You could probably ad your profile picture to your posts if you wanted to, as many authors do. I'm just sure people get enough of seeing my ugly mug:)
Beyond Your Site To Social Media
Now put your logo all across the web everywhere you can. Your Yelp listing, YP page, Kudzu and every other place you put a citation or listing for your business. (More on what citations are and how to build them here)
Then of course ALL of your social media pages. A few of the top social platforms we like and use are Google+, Company FaceBook page, Twitter and Tumblr. This actually helps 2 fold.
- It helps reinforce your brand with your consumers and makes you recognizable across all the web.
- Search Engines love this type of branding. It REALLY helps with your SEO. (Learn more about how social media can help your SEO here)
When it comes to branding for SEO, just look at big companies like Home Depot and Walmart. It's a fact that Google loves branding. By building a large brand you are telling the search engines that you are a legitimate business by being everywhere on the web with multiple sites.
Add Your Brand Logo Everywhere You Can
There are a few other great places that you can ad your logo.
The first place that a lot of people neglect is their Email signature. Everyone of your professional correspondences should have your logo on it in the signature line, as should everyone that works in your company.
Next, packaging. If your company delivers a physical product with packaging, put your logo there as well.
Lastly, your business cards. In addition to your logo being on your card, also consider using your branded profile picture as well. This is a great trick to get people to remember who you are. Months later they may look at your business card and wonder who you are. If you have a profile picture on your card, it's makes it a lot easier to remember.
Summing It All Up
To get started building your brand, start with a great logo. Then create the feeling and emotion that you want to go with your brand which can be tied in with your logo. Then put your logo everywhere you can possibly think of to reinforce your brand to your audience. Then by using branding as part of your SEO strategy, you will help your website with better rankings in the search engines.