How to grow your business

- Branding and raising awareness -

In this eight part step-by-step guide you will master the basics of brand building. After finishing this guide you will have defined what your brand will stand for and have a vision of your logo and branding materials. You will know how to produce a style guide and will be well versed in trademark and copyright law. You will also be able to promote your brand by leveraging social media and your relationships with staff and customers.

A brand is a valuable asset

B randing is not new. It’s been around for more than a century. Brands like Coca Cola were the pioneers and are now worth more than $71 billion.

Coca-Cola Company

A strong brand can win clients and help beat the competition because a brand is a valuable asset.

But branding can seem expensive and time-consuming particularly for small business owners who may be apprehensive about the time and effort required to build a brand.

Results icon Recent studies show only 26 per cent of SMEs surveyed in 2015 had dedicated ‘most of their time’ to branding and more than half of established SMEs wished they had spent more time on branding in the early stage of their business.

Don’t repeat the mistakes of your peers - prioritise branding this year. With social media - ‘the great equaliser’ in the mix, it’s easier than ever to build a strong brand.

Social media is a cost effective way to maximise brand exposure and increase awareness. Small businesses can also use social media to test out branding initiatives and get real-time feedback.

Following your company What a great incentive to get active on social!
Did you know 71 per cent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand they follow on social media?

If you’re ready to prioritise branding but aren’t sure where to start, this guide is for you.

PRODUCT vs BRAND

60 Minute Brand Strategist Idris Mootee

Product vs Brand

Branding basics - a step-by-step guide

Defined your brand? YES NO
Does your brand have a value system, a purpose and a personality? Find out why you need all threeDefine your brand
Got a great logo and collateral? YES NO
Find out what to do before you even begin to think about logo design.Define your brand
Have a style guide? YES NO
In this post Canva Design School explains what a visual style guide is and how to create one.Go to the post
Considered trademarking and copyrighting? YES NO
Trademark and copyright law may be a bore but you need to be on top of it to protect your business. The Australian Government Department of Communications and the Arts explains why and how. Read the post
Are staff and customers on board? YES NO
Want advocates? Read this section for simple and easy tips to turn your staff and customers into brand advocates.Communicate your brand
Have you leveraged social media? YES NO
How social is your business on social? Read this post by Business Victoria to find out what you can accomplish with social media.Read post
Have you leveraged influencers? YES NO
Heard of an influencer or considered working with one? An influencer can extend the reach of your marketing campaign and give you credibility, Social Media Today explains how to work with them.Read Post
Can you identify influencers? YES NO
Now that you know what an influencer is and how to approach them you’ll need to seek them ou. EConsultancy explains how in this post.Read post
Congratulations!
You’re on the path to building a powerful brand

DEFINE YOUR BRAND

“Customers must recognise that you stand for something”

Howard Schultz, Starbucks

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your favourite company? Is it the logo? Although the logo comes to mind first it isn’t the first thing you should do when building a brand. Without a clear picture of what you want the brand to stand for, a logo can never truly embody what the brand is all about.

With that in mind, let’s tackle the Big Idea:

The Big Idea is the concept or theme that will underpin every decision you make as a business owner. To identify the Big Idea, try answering these questions:

  • What will stand out in this market?
  • Why are we different?
  • What do your customers want/need?
  • What will we do differently?

These answers will form your brand promise, which tells customers what to expect from the brand, products and services. Whatever you promise be sure to deliver because customers will hold you accountable.

The Big Idea in action:

Ikea Logo
Ikea example

Ikea is all about ‘democratising design’ and making it accessible.

Ikea’s emphasis on sleek lines and elegant simplicity have made it a popular symbol of equality.


Next let’s consider the Brand Values:

Even if you don’t explicitly talk about it, you need to know what the business stands for. These values don’t need to be plastered on your website but they should be identifiable in your actions.

The Brand Values in action:

Pret a Manger Logo
Pret a Manger Example

At Pret A Manger all food is prepared the morning of sale and anything unsold is donated to a homeless shelter. The company values fresh food and minimal waste and those values are visible in policies and procedures.

Next let’s consider the Brand Personality:

Is the brand formal, friendly, fun-loving, reliable or a joker? Once you have determined the personality of the brand you can start testing it on social and in store.

TIP: The brand personality doesn’t need to reflect your own personality but it does need to be appropriate to the product or service.

The Brand Personality in action:

Frank_bod Instagram

Frank Body Scrub built a community and customer base on Instagram. How did they do it? The brand identified its target audience (young, fun-loving females) and created a persona that would appeal to them. The Frank persona has pushed boundaries on social media - it is flirtatious and even provocative but it works. The brand now has a cult following and a number of celebrity endorsements.

DESIGN YOUR BRAND

Design Your Brand

Yes, the logo is the single most recognisable thing about a business. And yes, consumers form an emotional attachment to a logo but it can’t work in isolation.

A brand is made up of a number of elements like the logo, brand colours, the tagline, fonts, personality, imagery and spokespeople. So don’t get tunnel vision and dedicate all of your time to the logo.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you choose your logo and branding materials:

  • Be true to the brand identity

    By now, you’ve put pen to paper and defined your brand in terms of what it stands for, what values it holds true and its personality. These defining elements will inform the logo selection process so be sure to keep them top of mind.
  • Research competitors

    Research is key in this process. Have a look around at what competitors are doing and keep track of every logo you like. Once you’ve collated a number of examples consider what it is about them that evokes an emotion response from you. Is it the colour, the style or the concept itself?

    Inspiration is everywhere and there is no shame in drawing on existing examples to help you create something remarkable and unique. The key is not to copy, but to apply the concept to your own work in an individual way.
    TIP: Don’t copy just apply the concept to your own work in an individual way.
  • Choose a logo type

    There are generally three different types of logos:
    Sony Logo

    Typographic Logos

    are text based - think IBM, Microsoft or Sony.

    Kfc Logo

    Illustrative logos

    quite literally highlight what a company does or sells - think KFC.

    Nike Logo

    Abstract logos

    symbolise something important about the business - think the Nike swoosh.

    All three can be effective just decide what will work best for you and your brand.

  • Consider what colours mean

    People are physically, psychologically and socially influenced by colour so be aware of the symbolic meanings before choosing a colour palette.
    TIP: Colours have different cultural meanings so consider the intended audience.
    • Blue - is associated with trust, loyalty, wisdom, stability and strength which is why it is such a popular colour for corporate logos.

    • Red - is the colour of fire and is emotionally intense or aggressive. It's often associated with desire, passion, love, danger and power.

    • Yellow - the colour of the sun is associated with joy, happiness, optimism, motivation and of course warmth.

    • Green - the colour of nature is connected with serenity and can also imply good health. Deeper greens can also symbolise wealth or prestige.

    • Purple - combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. It is often considered the colour of royalty, symbolising luxury, sophistication and sometimes even mystery.

    • Orange - is associated with joy, energy, friendliness and confidence.

    • Pink - is the symbol of femininity, youth and romance.

    • Brown - is the colour of the Earth, associated with dependability, simplicity and strength.

    TIP: When exploring colour options consider costs. The more colours you use, the more it costs to print. Stick to three colours.
  • Finalising the design

    Brainstorm with co-workers, friends and family to come up with preliminary concepts and play around with colours and ideas. Even if you have a good eye for colour and design it is worth consulting a professional. You can skimp on some things but a logo isn’t one of them.
    TIP: You can source a freelance designer who won’t charge you an arm and a leg. Sites such as Upwork have a number of users offering cheap designs with even cheaper revisions. Sort by reviews to find a freelancer you like and top-notch designs are at your fingertips.

COMUNICATE YOUR BRAND

comunicate

Do you know that 90 per cent of buyers trust a reference that comes from their personal or professional network?

Get your staff on board

Plenty of businesses large and small, actively encourage staff to engage with the business on social media. This is a great way to give your brand a human face whilst simultaneously building credibility and trust.

Intuit QuickBooks Online staff are some of the most engaged in the country - they frequently post images and updates using the hashtag #IntuitlifeAU. Check it out to see what you and your staff can do.

Your employees can be great brand ambassadors too. You just need to put a system in place to encourage them. The key is keeping them engaged, informed and empowered.

Turn customers into ambassadors

You have great customers who keep coming back so why not turn them into advocates?

Encourage your customers to engage with your brand on social media and reward them with perks and special treatment when they do.

An endorsement from a consumer is more powerful than advertising and is crucial in the age of social media.

TIP: You can incentivise staff engagement and reward them for their support.