When you open a business, any business, creating a branding strategy should be among the very first items on your to-do list. Contacting website designers, a graphic design company, or better yet one company that can do it all, is a good place to start. But to really give branding the attention it deserves, you've got to understand the power that a brand can have over a business - good branding sets the stage for long-term business success and bad branding sinks ships faster than Burger King when that creepy plastic-faced king started appearing in their advertisements.
Now, lots of people will try to claim that they are in no way affected by branding. Ah, right, as you stand there holding your Starbucks coffee in one hand and iPhone in the other, wearing your Nike sneakers! Despite our best efforts to resist, everything from our preferences in clothing, cars and food to the shows we watch and even our behaviour is influenced by branding.
That's right, the brands you're exposed to every day, either explicitly or without you even knowing it, are influencing what you do and how. In a study performed by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the University of Waterloo, participants who were unknowingly exposed to the Apple logo demonstrated higher levels of creativity in an activity they were asked to complete afterwards than those who were unknowingly shown the IBM logo. I guess all the time and energy Apple has spent building a brand that's synonymous with innovation has paid off, right?
Just think of major brands like Coke and Pepsi that have been around for decades and converted individuals and families around the world into cola-drinking diehards who would rather forgo fluids all together than have to drink a can of the competition. It may sound extreme, but the success of these mega brands should be what motivates every business owner to take a long and serious look at their own branding efforts.
What this Means for Your Business
To build a brand that's as effective as Apple, Coke or Pepsi, you've got to know where to start. Using the study mentioned above and others as proof, investing your advertising dollars into visual forms of marketing - like a well-designed and strategically positioned logo and an awesome website - will reach a wider range of people on a deeper level than, say, a radio advertisement.
Get your company's brand off to the best possible start by contacting a reputable graphic design team and have them create a quality logo for your company. You can then use this logo in a wide variety of places and for many different purposes, from signs and company letterhead to business cards, mugs and t-shirts. Before you start thinking that t-shirts with your business logo would make great Christmas gifts and would take care of some company branding in the process, effective brands aren't created nor popularized in such a piecemeal way.
The companies that do it right have branding consistency, meaning their websites, logos, online and offline advertisements - everything - portray the look and feel of the business in exactly the same way. Instead of hiring website designers to build your company's site and an entirely separate graphic design company in Grande Prairie to do your logo, seek out a team that can help you define what it is that makes your company a brand and design everything you'll need to make it a highly recognized and never forgotten household name.
Saltmedia is a website and graphic design company in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Get in touch with us to learn how we can help you build the brand you need for business success: (780) 539-SALT.