When you start a new business, there are many things to prepare for. Some of these preparations will be emotional and some will be physical, but none of them should ever be taken for granted.
But if your goal is to make the most out of this opportunity in every way possible, then it’s important that you take care of all aspects of your preparation. This article offers an overview of 17 essential items and questions that need to be prepared and answered before launching a new business brand.
1. Business Name
Is the name free of any trademark? Are there any websites using a similar name that might confuse customers?
Does it have good SEO value? (Search Engine Optimization) Can you rank number 1 for your business/brand keywords on Google and Yahoo using this name?
Will it be easy to remember, pronounce, spell, and brand in images online?
Does the name convey what your company is about or at least give an idea of the industry/niche it's in without needing to explain too much?
Have you created a logo with text as well as an image version for social media avatars and sharing sites like Facebook and Twitter just yet?
What colors are being used? Are they your personal favorites or are you using colors that represent your business industry or niche?
Do the fonts work well together? Does it look too busy or too plain?
Can you read the text easily from a fair distance away and can one color be used without looking mismatched with the rest of its background?
3. Email Addresses
How are you planning to brand yourself in an email address such as [email protected], [email protected], etc.. What about for social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.?
How will those platforms recall who you are when they see your username?
4. Phone Number
Your phone number is just as important because people may want to call you for customer service, to ask a question about the product/service, or even just to inquire more info. They may have made an impulse buy and want help deciding how to use it.
This is your personal face on the internet where potential customers can easily see you in one quick glance. It must be professional yet easy for visitors to navigate and remember what they saw from visiting your site unless that wasn't their intent of course! The colors used on your website will play a big role in branding yourself not only online but offline as well.
Are there banners or buttons that match your logo? Or are they inconsistent with other text such as email addresses, phone numbers, business names,s, etc... Is there enough white space?
Does it appear professionally made or can they tell it was a quick DIY project with free templates and stock photos?
What search terms are used in the article titles, image titles, tags, and descriptions that appear on the search engine results page?
Is there room for improvement?
6. Business Cards
These items are exchanged between business owners to keep a person's contact info for future needs. It could be for things such as future services you may need, giving out your information to vendors/suppliers/clients when you meet them at events, etc...
Are you handing out cards that look professional but still show your personality? Or does it feel generic/boring? Can they remember who you are by having just one card to jog their memory later?
7. Logo Usage
How will you use your logo? What color should it be used in when placed on business cards, car magnets, one-page flyers, print advertisements, etc... Is the logo large enough to stand out or can they tell it's clickbait or an ad simply by looking at it?
8. Logo Placement
Marketing Your Business Online: Where will you place your logo online and offline to help people remember you? Do the colors match what other vendors/suppliers/clients already are using in their branding? Is there a standard color that represents your industry/niche and how will colors picked for logos, storefronts and websites affect each other in terms of brand recognition? Or is it being left up solely to chance?
9. Company Tone
In order to build a brand, you must first have a tone of voice! What does your company sound like?
Is it formal? Casual? Humorous?
Does it aid in building trust between a business owner and their client or potential customer? Because if they don't feel comfortable with how you speak to them, then they definitely won't be using your services/buying from your store!
Considering that the message is what will set you apart from the other business owners out there who may offer the same good/service, should yours be simple yet memorable such as Apple's 1984 Macintosh commercial, or do you want something catchy like Flo-Rida's "Low"?
Will you have one? Its short statement is memorable that helps people quickly recall who you are again after seeing your logo.
Remember Samsung's slogan "Innovation By Design"? It did well because of its simplicity and how easily it relatable with just two words! Or when Chris Tucker said 'Whoop That Trick'? You immediately knew which movie he starred in even if all you saw was his name.
Is your slogan memorable? Does it fit with the color scheme of your logo or company name, and does it stand out in a positive way? Or does it blend in with the rest and has no effect on marketers/customers to remember you later on down the road?
Your business identity is more than just a name and logo, but also an attitude! If you have an upcoming event such as a grand opening, holiday party, ribbon-cutting ceremony, etc.. will you be inviting people not only by sending them mailers but personally calling them over the phone to invite them personally? Will this aid in building relationships while maintaining a good image that others may see online or face-to-face at networking events where they meet new customers?
What about your voice!?!
Considering that this is what your potential clients will most likely hear when you're on the phone with them, or they meet you in person for the first time either online or offline; how do you sound to others? Especially when delivering a phone message over an answering service, are there any strong regional slang words being used that may be offensive to other local residents/customers?
Is there foul language being used or does it feel professional and up-to-date?
Does it portray who you are as a person and reflect your diversity through words spoken?
Lastly.. if someone saw how you were dressed during an event wouldn't they immediately know what company you represent without seeing a name tag, or did you just roll out of bed without thinking about what people think of you?
What's your favorite color and why?
Do the colors that represent your company/business reflect who YOU are as a person, because if not then it's time to change them immediately!
I'm sure this could spark an interesting conversation about how much meaning there is inside one single color!
16. K.I.S(Keep It Simple)
Remembering that simplicity is always king when it comes to creating a strong foundation with your brand/company so keep things simple and always remember the rule of K.I.S.
Do you have a brand that already resonates with your customers? Or are you struggling to find the right branding for your new business? This checklist will ensure you have all of the necessary components in place, so read on and see if these questions can help guide you through this process. Don't forget that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to what works best for a particular company or product; take into account what's unique about yours before making any changes.
If none of these aspects appeal to what you're looking for, we would love to chat more and come up with some ideas together! Our team specializes in customizing your branding plans based on individual needs - just let me know how we can help!