How to create a brand - checklist

Small business team creating a brand

A strong brand can help your business to stand out from your competitors, boost sales and encourage customer loyalty. But creating a great brand for your business involves a lot more than simply redesigning your logo.

  • Identify what qualities, values and experiences customers associate with your business. In order to build a credible brand, you will need to establish what these are. Remember, a brand is more than just a name and logo.
  • Don't ignore customer perceptions in order to project a desirable, but untruthful, image. If the claims you make about your business and its offer don't tally with customer experience, they will go elsewhere. But if your business delivers what your branding promises, you will gain trust and retain custom.
  • Think about every part of your business - if your customers' associations with your brand are negative or very different from the image you project, you may need to change your offer, your customer service strategy or even the way you run your business.
  • Involve your employees - they will have their own idea of what your business stands for and whether it is delivering on its promises. Besides, you will need their co-operation to ensure their approach to customer services tallies with your brand values.
  • Create a set of consistent brand messages that focus on the qualities, values and experiences that customers associate with your business, its products and services. These messages need to highlight what’s special about your business – your Unique Selling Points (USPs). Keep these simple and easy to communicate.
  • Develop a distinctive visual brand. This must reflect your overall identity. If you don't have the necessary skills, employ a designer to help you.
  • Create a clear brand voice for your business based on your brand values. Think about your brand as a personality – for example warm, helpful and enthusiastic – and ensure that the content and messaging on your website, in emails, on social media sites and in person conveys that brand personality.
  • Apply your branding , including your visual identity, brand messages and voice, to all of your materials - from packaging and signage to stationery, your website, emails, social media posts and marketing materials.
  • Get legal protection for your visual branding and any distinctive phrases you use to describe your business or your offer.
  • Remember that everything your business does is linked to your brand in the eyes of the customer. This includes the way you and your employees dress and behave.
  • Communicate your brand to your employees and explain why and how you arrived at the brand you are promoting. You will need their support for your branding to be effective.
  • Promote your new or revised branding through a marketing campaign that includes press releases, PR and advertising, special offers and promotions to customers. You could also consider using branded merchandise to support your brand.

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