When it comes to building a successful business, it all begins with your unique brand. It’s the cornerstone of your online marketing efforts, and not only helps people identify you but it also helps to solidify your place in your chosen market.
Developing an online brand begins by defining what your objectives are, as well as your long-term goals. For instance, if you are interested in becoming the new online directory for your local area, a place where the local business community can turn too for guidance, reference, reviews, directory listings, contact numbers for local authorities etc, then you would want to develop a unique brand that helps people instantly recognise you as a quality source for content.
Your brand defines who you are, as well as what you have to offer. It can be as simple as pinpointing your target audience, and focusing your time and energy on becoming an active participant within the industry, such as by contributing within community forums, building social media accounts around each market, and developing information products, websites and newsletters that continue to cater to your markets demand.
Your brand isn’t about a buzzword. It becomes a permanent part of your business. It’s a name, a term, a word or just a feeling that someone gets when they see your name or logo, read about you, or hear about you from their peers. Your brand offers your customers a promise, and then it’s your job to fulfill that brand promise by delivering on it.
Your brand essentially provides your customer base with a unique perspective about who you are, what your goals are, and where your business is headed. It helps to connect you to your audience and if done correctly, will leave an everlasting, positive impression, instantly.
One thing to keep in mind is that your brand, and USP aren’t always the same. A USP, which stands for ‘Unique Selling Proposition’ or ‘Unique Selling Point’ is typically used within marketing campaigns to highlight your offer, illustrate the differences in what you bring to the table versus the competition, and works towards drawing attention to your offer, or business, by giving you the competitive edge you need to stand out.
Without a USP, your product creeps into the shadows, barely able to compete in the marketplace. It simply doesn’t stand out nor does it leave an everlasting impression in the minds of your prospects.
Your brand should bring awareness to your USP (and vice versa). You want people to instantly associate you with both your brand and your unique selling proposition. One of the easiest ways to develop your own distinct brand is by evaluating the marketplace and identifying what is lacking, what people are looking for, and what gaps you can fill.
For example, BlueFlameDesign are experienced in supporting small businesses with their graphic design, branding and print marketing requirements. We noticed that many local start-up companies however were cutting corners by trying to design their new business logo themselves. This is certainly not going to give your business the professional looking start it needs! A little bit of research showed that most new businesses couldn’t afford the prices asked by some larger design firms to design their new company logo and that there was no immediate solution to having a small and affordable ‘run’ of new business cards or letterheads. BlueFlameDesign have since launched a series of ‘Small Business Design Packages‘ tailored to suit new start-ups and small businesses with designing or refreshing their current business brand and company logo. BlueFlameDesign are now recognised as the place to go for freindly service and affordable graphic design, branding and print marketing solutions for your new business.
Closely evaluating your market, and finding out where you fit in best, and what strengths, skills and experience you can offer your target audience that will directly help them in some way, will help you build a strong, identifiable and unique brand all your own.