You already know you need to establish a brand that is all your own, yet few people tell you exactly how to get started. This blog post is going to give you the details on the 10 main assets you need. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Colors and fonts
Colors and fonts are where you basically get started on developing your brand. You need a unique look and feel and the colours and fonts you use will develop that for you. This is the foundation of your brand so it is important to put some thought into choosing the colours you will use.
A unique logo with a great design is a must for any business looking to stand out among many competitors. It tells people the name of the company and it creates a visual symbol that represents your business. A recent study from the MIT Sloan Management Review found that effective logos positively affect customer loyalty and can improve a business’ performance.
Custom domain name/email
A custom domain is a domain or URL that belongs to you and only you; like your own personal space on the internet. It’s a unique web address/URL of your choice. A typical example is my website URL: www.digitallotus.co.za. And because I have my own personal domain, I can create personalised email addresses like email@example.com.
Most businesses or bloggers start out with gmail email addresses and websites that are hosted on a wordpress domain or blogspot. These might be functional but for a business that wants to project a professional image and be taken seriously by potential clients and partners, they are bad news. Whereas there are multiple benefits to having your own domain, such as helping you to create a professional image, it is easier to remember, it increases your google search rankings and it allows you to monetize and advertise your website.
Nowadays electronic communications reflect the tone of an organization just as much as any other marketing collateral you have. Emails are the most used form of communication you have. Your email signature appears at the end of the end of each email communicating the following:
- Who you are (Name)
- What brand you represent (Company Name & Logo)
- What your role is within the company (Job Title)
- How to contact you directly (Phone, Email, Postal Address)
- Where they can learn more about you and your services (website URL)
- What sets you apart from your competitors (Tagline)
This is why you need email signatures to be the best that they can be. The better your signature is, the more value it adds to your brand. Why risk your professional image by not taking advantage of this often overlooked but very handy brand asset.
Every business needs a mission statement. This is a short statement that states fundamental matters such as the organization’s philosophy, it’s competitive advantages, and what it desires to achieve. More than a description of the organization, the mission statement is an expression of its leaders’ desires and intentions for the organization.
High-performance organizations are linked to being mission-driven companies. Mission statements must show how the business is committed to higher social good for the community they serve. And more importantly, mission statements are a way to direct a business in the right direction, and they play a part in helping a business make good decisions which can be beneficial to the revenue stream.
Your photographic style is your invisible signature that is seen in all your visual material. It’s when an image appears on the instagram timeline and a user immediately knows it’s from your business before seeing your business’ name. A photographic style can include sticking to certain subjects or colour palettes. This is one of the trickiest assets to develop, but when your style starts to emerge and grow stronger, you will create a valuable asset that is unique and difficult to copy.
One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is not having a target audience. A target audience is a specific group of people with shared characteristics who are most likely to be interested in your products or services. Without defining who these people are. you will find yourself shouting into a void that is the internet and not getting any engagement in return. Target audiences help businesses advertise more efficiently as you know who your target audience is and how to reach them.
A business niche is a specialized or focused area of a broader market that businesses can serve to differentiate themselves from the competition. Many small businesses start out trying to be the best at everything, which is close to impossible. The key to small business success is finding and choosing a niche. The more laser-focused you are on a niche, the easier it is to succeed.
An email list is a special list of names and email addresses of people who gave you permission to send them updates and promotions from your business. You can use your email list to send out new blog posts, business announcements, and to sell your products or services. Once you have defined a target audience and a niche, it becomes a lot easier to build an email list. The power of email lists is in the numbers. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing sees a 4200% average return on investment (ROI) for businesses. Other marketing agencies have found that email lists gets 10 times higher conversions than social media campaigns. Numbers don’t lie, so make sure you develop this powerful revenue increasing asset.
Now, you can work hard at developing all the assets mentioned above, but if you don’t have a solid content strategy that allows you to use the other nine assets effectively, then you will get absolutely nothing out of them.
Your content strategy “helps you provide the right content, to the right people, at the right times, for the right reasons.” It allows you to plan your work and ensure that all marketing effort is goal driven. With a documented content strategy, you can ensure that every bit of effort you put in translates into tangible results.
After having a look at the list above, how clear and confident are you in each one for your brand?
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