When you first started your business, you probably had a pretty lengthy to-do list. You needed a workspace, a support team, funding – and you needed a brand. Branding encompasses many things, like your business name, your logo, your tagline, even your website. If you are not creatively- or marketing-inclined, it can be easy to let your brand take the backburner, but that may end up being a huge mistake.
The Three Golden Rules of Branding
A lot of careful thought and effort should go in to creating and developing your brand. Here are our three golden rules every time we begin the branding process.
1. Define yourself before others define you.
The competition out there is plentiful and fierce. Not only are you up against the advisor next door, you’re also facing off against industry giants like Morgan Stanley and Edward Jones. Some of these businesses will have hundreds of thousands of dollars with which to power their marketing efforts – it may seem overwhelming at times. But the first step to fighting back is a strong, professional brand that helps you stand out.
If you sit back and allow your competition to dictate your place in your community, they’ll steal your prospects right out from under you.
2. Make the best first impression possible.
We’ve all heard that first impressions are everything, and you only get once chance to do it right.
When you give prospects a bad first impression – or don’t leave one at all – it can sour them toward your practice for years to come. Think about it; how many times has a single negative experience turned you off from a brand long-term? Your branding should give prospects a good idea of your practice and personality from the moment they first encounter it, either online or in person.
3. Attract quality with quality.
They say you only get out what you put in. This is often true for branding. If you want to attract quality prospects, you need a quality brand. It’s important to know your target audience well before you begin the branding process.
Think about your ideal client. What are they interested in? What attracts them?
Why does branding matter?
In today’s world, the first interaction people have with an unfamiliar or new business is often online or through an advertisement. When someone hears your brand name on the radio, likely the first thing they will do is look for you online. You want to make sure they find you (not your competition) and that your first impression is a positive one.
Your branding is what sets you apart from your competition. It’s how you relay your mission and purpose to clients and prospects before ever sitting down with them in person. A strong brand is a vital part of building a strong, successful business.
Think of all the advertisements you see in a given day. (Some studies suggest it’s as many as 5,000.) Now think about how many really stand out – how many make an impression.
What’s the difference?
Consumers are more likely to remember an ad (or a social post, or a radio show) from a brand they recognize.
How to Create a Stand-Out Brand
Aside from following our golden rules, you may be wondering how you can develop a stellar brand. One key step to the branding process is the right team. You may choose to hire a designer for your logo, a writer for your brand name and content needs, a developer for your website, and a marketing strategist to help you bring it all together.
With all that you have on your plate as a small business owner, there is nothing wrong with leaning on others for support. At Impact, we’ve got the branding process down to a science. Learn how you can get started on your own custom brand today.