If you have a business you know how important branding is. Branding is a way for consumers to identify your business and for you to create an identity to set your business apart from the competition. Marketing is just as important to get new customers, keep the ones you have, and to get the word out about the products and services you offer. You may think branding and marketing are stand-alone concepts, but they actually work hand in hand to help build your business.
Have a Clear Idea of What Your Business is About
Before you can formulate a brand or a marketing strategy you need to know exactly what your business is about. What do you offer? What does your business stand for? What is your mission statement? All of these questions need to be answered in order for you to develop a branding and marketing strategy. The base of your plan should be your company goals. Where do you want your business to be in one to five years? The next level includes your Mission Statement and Vision. A Mission Statement is the master plan for five to 20 years for your company. It should include the company values and how you are going to deliver them to your customers. A Vision Statement includes a shared picture of how your Mission Statement fits into your business plan for the future. The top level is your purpose. This purpose is a fixed value that is not expected to change. It is the reason your business exists in the first place.
Develop a Unique Brand
Your brand is more than just a logo. It is your symbol to the world which will identify your company. It should be catchy, unique, and represent your company. You may want to hire a graphic designer to create a professional brand, but many small businesses make up their own brand. Keep the colors to three or less, and try to make it easy to read if you include type. Think about major companies, most of them have simple brands that are easily identified. This is the look you want to go for.
Marrying Marketing and Branding
Now that you know why you're in business and have a clear concise brand identity, you're ready to marry the two. Your brand identity needs to be on each and every marketing effort. This includes written and email correspondences, advertisements, flyers, stationary, your website, and of course any packaging. A website is one of the most important tools for marketing a business can have. No longer is a website optional. If you don't have a website, you're missing out on thousands of potential customers each time they do a search for the products and services you offer. You may think your website is just a drop in the bucket of the World Wide Web, but it is better to have just a small web presence than none at all.
Marketing and branding really do go hand in hand. And like all goo d relationships it takes work for them to blend seamlessly. Don't take branding or marketing for granted, they are two of the stepping stones you need to make your business profitable and successful.
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