Image-Building from the Ground Up
If you’re building a business, you’re building a brand. And just as your company requires a solid foundation, your brand needs a consistent image across many media to communicate your message. Your image does a lot of heavy lifting. It conveys to people what your business is all about, it is simple and appealing enough to stand out in a world of information overload, and it leaves a positive, indelible impression of your company.
“A good brand imaging strategy lets people know what your company does at a quick glance,” says John Jantsch, marketing consultant, speaker, and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine, and The Referral Engine. “It should be easy to read and remember. The more your customers are reminded of your brand, the better they will remember it.”
Let’s start with the key elements of your brand image: name, logo, and tagline. “The first thing you need to do to ensure consistency is to make a list of every single asset that your brand owns or wants to own,” Jantsch says. “Use this list like a check-list as you make sure that each item is branded consistently.”
- Name. Arguably the most important component of your business’s image is its name. It should be simple, memorable and easy to pronounce. It should also contain keywords that indicate what you do and make it easy for people to find you with search engines.
- Logo. Having a professionally designed logo is worth the expense, Jantsch says. As the keystone of your brand image, your logo has to work across multiple media and physical configurations.
- Colors and typography. These elements are often derived from your logo, but they’re used even more broadly. You should establish a limited palate of colors and fonts as a visual cue for customers and a way to tie in the many disparate parts of your image.
- Tagline. Think of your tagline or slogan as an extension of your name: another opportunity to make your brand more memorable to customers. Keep it short, simple and catchy while communicating to customers why they should choose your brand.
- Tone and keywords. For longer written or verbal material such as print or radio advertising, you need to set a tone for your communication. Consider maintaining a list of keywords or descriptors that you use often, as well as words that a customer might use as a search term to find your business online.
Your next consideration should be where your image will be visible. “Each platform is seen differently, so you’ll need to ensure your brand images like a logo are sized correctly,” Jantsch cautions. “You might also need to add different elements to different platforms. For example, you might want a phone number on your vehicle wrap, but not on your Twitter account.”
Here’s a look at the basic components of your branding strategy:
- Website. Luckily, you don’t have to be technically inclined to set up a website, as there are numerous services online that let you build one with simple drag-and-drop interfaces. If you’re really all thumbs with computers, you might consider hiring a web developer to get you up and running.
- Email marketing. To maintain a professional image, set up email with your domain name (firstname.lastname@example.org) which many email services, such as Google, let you do for a small monthly fee. For bulk mailing, use a provider such as Constant Contact or MailChimp to avoid running afoul of spam rules.
- Print Collateral. Even with the rise of the Internet, you still need business cards, as well as letterhead, envelopes, postcards and signage. You should also make sure you’ve customized the forms, such as invoices, in your accounting software with your logo and colors.
Creating and maintaining a strong, professional image takes a little work, but it will pay off for years to come as customers—and potential customers—continue to keep your business top of mind.
Mercedes-Benz Metris: A Powerful Branding Partner
The new Mercedes-Benz Metris can help your business make a lasting impression. A sleek, mid-sized van with maximum cargo and payload capacity, the Metris can be wrapped in any number of ways to amplify your brand and your message. Upfit it with a range of custom options and packages specific to your needs, and the Metris works harder for your business and your brand. In addition to its ability to enhance your image, the Metris is simply a good business decision, with its best-in-class total cost of ownership, its car-like ride and handling, and an array of innovative safety features.
To learn more about the ways in which the Metris can fit your business, visit MBVans.com/metris.