Don’t make the mistake of naming your company based on feelings! Naming is the key ingredient to building your brand, and it needs to be done with precision. A few key rules to remember are…
Mistake Number 1| Your Name
- Keep it under two syllables i.e. Sky Zone | DeSoto LLC | Culver's | Safe Way | apple. Long names get shortened based on mere human thinking; Federal Express, United Parcel Service, The United States Postal service to name a few.
Don’t be bland!
- Be Creative and Unique! Many business owners want to express what they do in their name. NOPE. You want your name take on the meaning of your unique position! (Positioning is a marketing concept that outlines what a business should do to market its product or service to its customers. In positioning, the marketing department creates an image for the product based on its intended audience)
Try to pick a double entendre, a name that means something like your business but different. Reinforce what you do naturally, maybe something in another language that means the core of what you are offering
“Mistake Number 2 | Your Position
Pay attention. When you opt to start a new business, you are in fact opting to create a new brand. These go hand in hand. To position your new brand in the minds of consumers, you need to explicitly opt for creating a new pond as opposed to being another small fish in an existing one.
Narrow your focus!
Narrow your focus and deepen your offering. Then simply tell the world what that means. Typical thinking is to market what we do; there is a fear of becoming specialized, yet when you take a hard look around, the most successful businesses are. Think about a key unique feature that you are preparing to offer, look at your industry and see how many specialist there are in that area. A little competition is good however keep in mind…
Be the first!
The first to market is the best. Well not always but when it comes to perception which is often reality, this is the case. Narrow your offering so tight that you become the leading rocket in building your niche. Then scream out loud when you get a competitor because your position can always be the leading expert in, the first in.., etc.
Opening a business costs money, there's no question and yes, even if you don’t buy the best cards and have a professional design your image, you will still possibly get business. It is of vital importance that you cater to your brand as if it was your child, every portion seen, felt and perceived by the world is an impression that you can’t take back. Don’t skimp on…
Mistake Number 3 | Your Identity
A corporate identity is the overall image of a corporation, firm or business in the minds of diverse publics, such as customers, investors, and employees. Don’t skimp on your image!
You are probably skilled, at least we hope in the business you are about to launch, but if that is not a graphic designer. Stop. Do not hop in word and make your logo. A professional designer can take the above… Your name, your position, your identity and make it clean and powerful. Be honest with yourself, if you are not design or visually oriented find someone you trust and respect to do this for you so you can focus on what your good at, while the world can see that clearly.
Don’t overcomplicate your message. More often than not you will find small businesses with a myriad of words, logos, text and blah blah blah on their printed materials.
Keep it simple, easy to read with a clear, precise and direct message.
Good stock with round corners.
Ok, rounded corners are not a must but. Whatever you have printed with your name on it, do it on the premium stock. Trust me on this one; the impact is far greater than a cheap Office Max prints out. The cost associated with simple identity pieces is a powerfully modest investment in your brand's future.
Mistake Number 4 | Your web space
If your website looks professional, your potential clients will think you’re a professional who has enough customers and enough income to have a site built for you. If potential customers visit your website, and it looks half-assed and home-built, that’s how they’ll perceive you.
Know your limits
There are several website services available for small business owners to present themselves semi-professionally. BUT.. and I say with this conviction, there is more to it that just the look.
The right message, the right words, the right images and the right call to action are necessary. Make sure you do your research and get affordable help to get you off to a good start. In today's world, a good starter site should be affordable and powerful in proportion to your budget. Just like a logo, don’t go trying to do all of this yourself especially if it’s not your forte.
Here is a list of a few do it yourself options:
If you are going to attack this yourself. Start here.
Building your brand is like growing your child. The ideology behind this amazing interaction of clients brains, the offering and choices made by to invest in the company is, oh so often overlooked, actually missed by several small businesses and even though they do garnish business and may appear successful.
The truth is and always will be this. If a great brand was at the core, the business would be a whole lot more.
<--- yes that's a Sergio quote.