Creating a small business entails many different steps for success, and creating a strong brand your customers can easily identify is one of the key areas you need to attend to. Avoid these 5 common pitfalls in order to keep your brand and your business strong well into the future.
1. What’s In a Name?
Choosing the right name is one of the most important parts of branding your company. It’s also one of the most difficult. You have to choose a name that is unique, meaningful, and relatively easy to remember. If you choose something too similar to another company, you can run the risk of getting complaints and potentially feeling the heat from the Better Business Bureau. If you choose something that sounds too strange, or bears too little relationship to the product or service you’re selling, it won’t accomplish your goal of helping to brand your company. Remember Qwikster, Netflix’s spinoff project? Yeah, nobody does, in part because the name said nothing about the company’s service of on-demand home media.
2. Deadbeat Design
Starting a business is certainly costly, but skimping on design can lead to major branding regrets down the road. Invest the time and money into hiring a professional or giving yourself the know-how to produce a clean, clear visual symbol of your business. If you’re going for an abstract, modern design, emphasize the colors and tone you’d like customers to associate with your business. If you choose a concrete image of your product, make sure it is undoubtedly recognizable. In other words: no one wants to go to a donut shop if the logo looks more like a droopy car tire.
3. Inconsistent Voice
Social media has been touted as the secret weapon of the small business owner, but an inconsistent voice in your marketing campaigns can actually sabotage your branding plans. Be sure to engage in social media only if you have the resources to devote a dedicated staffer or trusted volunteer to manage your communications in a consistent, positive, on-message voice. This advice also applies to product descriptions, monthly newsletters, and company blog posts.
4. Lack of Passion
The Gallup Business Journal identifies passion as one of the key drivers of a business’ success. True passion can help you attract and retain quality employees and boost customer loyalty, which will create a strong, identifiable brand. If you lack the passion for your products or services, your brand will come across as sloppy and unexciting.
5. No Clear Vision
Having a great name, a killer design, and a burning passion for your work are all right steps toward making a super solid brand, but this work will be for nothing if you lack a clear vision for your business. Bob Parsons, founder of GoDaddy.com, credits his success to always moving forward and keeping a clear focus on his company and his goals as opposed to his competitors. Instead of worrying about the grass being greener, businessman Parsons suggests to have a clear idea of what your business needs and to keep moving forward towards your goal, especially at the times when you most want to give up, according to Lifehack.org.
Ugli brand fruit cover photo from Flickr user IZATRINI.com / izatrini_com.