Why is branding important for new ventures? What does it entail? What is the link between branding, marketing and customer service? Well, these are some of the questions your columnist received since we started 5 weeks ago this series for new ventures.
The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.
This definition says it all. Branding is part of a marketing strategy of a company. Branding is what helps every company and especially new ventures to be known and differentiated. Branding sets the tone for the image the company wants to create in people’s minds. Branding is for all, small or big organization; public or private company.
Let’s face it. Every company is associated with certain specific images or impressions. When you hear Mercedes or BMW cars, for instance; what do you associate with? When you read “everywhere you go” you certainly think of one of the telecom companies here. This is all about branding; creating a reputation in the minds of consumers.
Branding is simply the essence of your company’s image. Here below are some of the important aspects of branding for new ventures.
Branding starts with the name of the company
Is the name of your company easy to remember or to pronounce? Is your name descriptive of your product or service? I have always been impressed by the name “coca cola”. No matter the village you go through in any part of the world, the name still remains the same. Everyone can pronounce it, no matter the language.
If you are about to set up a new venture; watch out for the name you chose as this will go a long way in creating the image of your company.
Branding is about your Corporate Identity
Apart from the name of your company, your corporate identity also goes with whatever graphic image you have chosen for your logo. Designing a logo is not a simple thing that can be done by anyone. At the beginning of your new venture, invest money in a good designer.
Even if your company has been in existence for years, you still have to update your logo and create a stronger and more powerful one. There is this bank in town and whenever I look at their logo, I just have the impression that it has been existing for more than hundred years.
The logo doesn’t fit the present. Simply by looking at such an old logo with very old graphics, you can already imagine how people work inside. It is funny but I even imagine they are still in the “telex” mode. And this is rather unfortunate, because in most cases, a simple color or graphics change is enough of an update.
Branding is all about creating the right impression
First impression is capital for every new business. Elements such as your business cards, the company’s letterhead, invoices; Web site, brochures and even company’s t-shirts or staff dress code, say a lot about your new venture. They are elements that can give value to the products and services you are selling. Do not neglect them.
“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well”, says Jeff Bezos the founder of Amazon.com. Gaining a good brand takes time, energy and lots of efforts.
In the next issue, we will continue on some other important aspects of branding that should not be overlooked…so watch out.