It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re in you can’t overlook the importance of branding. All the big businesses you can list of the top of your head, like Starbucks, Walmart and Apple were once small businesses just like yours. They all had aspirations for a bigger and better future and they used branding to make it happen. Hopefully you share those same traits and you want to see your business become something much bigger. Branding starts with things like logos and web site design, although it goes way beyond that.
Most people are creatures of habit and they shop where they are familiar. Familiarity with your business is just branding in action, customers understand who you are and the products or services you offer. Even if they don’t need your services right now, they know your name and when they do need your products you’re on the top of their mind.
The right branding strategy is essential and it needs to be able to grow with your business and be something that you can stand by. It needs to be professional while highlighting your products and services. This includes things like your logo, slogan and many other things involving your business. Don’t rush to decide the direction you’re going take your time and figure out what you want, how you want your logo and website to look.
Branding needs to be consistent across all marketing channels, your customers need to be able to recognize you and what your business is all about. Branding will always be a work in progress as technology changes. However your underlying value will be the same. You need to make sure that across all channels your brand stays the same. Here is a video explaining why consistency is so important.
Every customer wants to feel valued and do business with a company that gives them that feeling. Service needs to be ingrained into your business culture and you need to stand by your products or services. Don’t take shortcuts or do things that will damage your reputation. Guard your reputation zealously as it helps build brand loyalty.
Apple is actually a pretty good example of this, their customer service has always been excellent and it has become synonymous with their brand. Not only that, it has given them an insanely loyal fan base. Their products are in most cases more expensive than a competitor but people line up for days every time a new product is release.
Web design and branding go hand in hand and before you sit down with a designer to map out your website you need to have figured out how you want to brand your business. A good web design team can help you with it but ultimately it will be up to you.