6 Steps to Building a Winning Brand on Virtually Any Budget
When you're launching a business, it's important to build your brand. But what does that really mean?
Your brand is your business—it should convey your USP—unique selling proposition. It's what makes your business unique, recognizable and accepted in the marketplace.
And despite what many think, building a brand doesn't take a lot of money. If you're a small business and have little to no budget, there are some creatively strategic ways to set yourself apart from the pack and establish your brand, as well as increase visibility, bonding and sales.
Here's some food for thought …
1. Name and Image. Make sure your name clearly reflects what you do. Especially with the Internet, business names are incorporated into your domain (or URL), so a name that is synergistic to what your business actually does and is keyword rich will help with search engine marketing. Your name should also be easy to understand—not using obscure words, lay jargon or nomenclatures. There's nothing worse than a business name that is not search engine or user friendly. If you chose to pick a "creatively challenging" name, make sure from a search and human reader perspective that your tag line, opening home page copy and meta data all reflect clearly what you do and your related keywords. Lastly, your name should have a long shelf life. This just means it shouldn't be tied to a specific point in time that will "date" it or make it seem obsolete.
Your image or logo should also clearly portray who you are in a symbol or graphic. It should be eye-catching and be on most every marketing you have—website, email auto signature, letterhead, PowerPoint slides, business cards, etc.
Branding tip! When it comes to banner advertising, aside from your primary mission of the campaign, which may be for leads or sales, it's a good idea to have your name and logo somewhere on the banner ad itself (perhaps the lower right corner) for a secondary goal of branding. Your banner is going to be rotating on many websites and in networks, getting perhaps hundreds of thousands of eyeballs … that exposure shouldn't be wasted.
Often referred to as the "marketing maven" by industry peers, Wendy Montes de Oca, MBA has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, media, and publishing with expertise in multichannel, direct response, and Web marketing. Wendy has generated more than $150 million in total revenues for Fortune 500 companies, top publishers, consulting clients, and her own firm, Precision Marketing and Media, LLC. She is the creator of the groundbreaking SONAR Content Distribution Model and author of the best-selling book Content Is Cash: Leveraging Great Content and the Web for Increased Traffic, Sales, Leads and Buzz [Que Publishing, Paperback].