Tips that will help you make sure your brand does your business justice

In an increasingly crowded market place a business’s brand identity has become as critical as the goods or services it offers.

With most businesses grappling for the same customers, projecting the appropriate image through brand identity is crucial to success, particularly for start-ups. Big brands have always had a strong personality and while they serve similar customers, you would not confuse Apple with Microsoft, or British Airways with Monarch. But striving to have a successful brand should not be confined to the global conglomerates.

A brand identity should reflect an organisation’s values and aspirations and ensure it works within its target marketplace. Creating a brand essence, values and mission statement helps focus a business and provides clarity of purpose, all communications should then reflect this.

A good example of this is the corporate identity we recently created from the ground-up for a now successful gourmet burger start-up called Mi-burger. The founders Jean-Pierre and Flavia Kalebic wanted to create a fast-food outlet that was dedicated to high-quality products and ingredients that were cooked fresh and provided value for money.

It was important we got the brand identity right from the beginning to provide a good first impression for customers that instilled confidence and a desire to buy. We began by pin-pointing what Mi-burger’s core values were, what they believed in, what they offered and who their target market was. We then designed an eye-catching inverted burger logo design together with strong colours and simple typography. This was then rolled out to signage, point of sale material, the website and other marketing materials. The brand identity has been well received and helped ensure Mi-burger is understood in the market-place.

Here are MicroGraphix’s top five brand building tips for start-up businesses:

  1. Name
  2. Why
  3. Audience
  4. Values
  5. Simplicity

Your business name is the first thing your customers will see or hear. A powerful first impression is important and help them want to know more about you. Make sure your name is relevant, simple and memorable.

Pinpoint the DNA of a brand. Why should people believe in it? Get this right and you can elevate a company from a series of products or services into a brand.

Who will your customers be? Knowing this and then focusing on them is crucial. Do an audit of the marketplace to understand who your customers could be and examine what your competitors are doing well and not so well.

Avoid the temptation to focus on a product or service. Most people give something 20 seconds of their attention online, so your brand needs to sparkle. Create brand guidelines and stick to them. Knowing your company’s beliefs will point you in a clear direction and create an emotional connection with your customers.

A ‘less is more’ approach is key to creating a successful brand. Cut out the noise and communicate clearly and effectively.

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