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Is Your Brand Helping You Or Hindering You?
By Kimberly Reddington
Your brand is one of the most important elements of a successful marketing campaign regardless of the size of your business. Your brand is how potential customers will recognize you, and the quality of your brand will determine whether they remember you in a negative way or a negative way. Your brand is a customer's first impression of you, and if done properly, will be their lasting impression of your product or business. Since your brand is so important, you need to make sure it reflects your business in a positive way.
Coca-cola has a great brand. Their cans are all red, they always use the same fonts, and they have that little swishy thing running across their cans. (Can I be professional, if I use the phrase 'swishy thing'?) I rarely ever drink Coke, but whenever I see their brand my mouth literally starts to salivate. My mind associates that brand with the act of drinking a can of Coke.
Check out their website. Which color do you think is their primary color? The same color you see on their cans, red. What images do you see sprinkled throughout their website? The Coca-Cola logo is everywhere with their special fonts and the swishes. The swishes seem to be used to mimic the flow of Coke out of bottles. Even the bottles have the swish appearance to them.
As a small business owner, we can tap into all the research that the larger companies have paid thousands for. We can use them as our role models. There are 3 main rules that all larger companies seem to follow that give them the results they are looking for.
1. They know what they want to be remembered for.
What do you stand for? What do you want to be known for?
These are important questions to ask. The image or phrase you will be known for is the more important piece of your brand. Coca-Cola wants to be known for being able to quench your thirst with a drink that is "delicious and refreshing." Every image and commercial they create tries to portray that feeling to their customers.
2. They are consistent with using their logos and images on all their marketing materials.
What is your logo? Do other images on your site blend with your logo? You should consistently put your logo on all your materials?
Think about your logo. Does it reflect how you want to be remembered? Coca-Cola chose a font that is not only appealing, but it's shape resembles the flow of a drink. They mimic this flow in earlier and current logos that they use. They also use the shape when designing their bottles.
3. They choose only 2 or 3 main colors for their website and materials, as well as limiting the amount of fonts they use.
What are the primary colors and fonts on all your materials? Are you consistent with the exact colors? Do you always use the same fonts?
All your materials from your logo to your website to your business card to your brochures to your newsletters should all use the same styles. You should narrow your designs down to no more than 3 colors. More than that and the eye starts to see clutter. You should consistently use only 1 or 2 fonts throughout your materials. Choose a font that works well for your audience. Young adults prefer Arial. The elderly prefer Times New Roman. Artists may prefer a fancier font. I used a kid-friendly font to design a website for a preschool.
When thinking about your brand, you want to think about something catchy. You will be known for the image that comes to people's minds when they think of your business, so make sure it's a positive image. You could be known for a phrase, such as Coca-Cola's phrase "delicious and refreshing". You could be known for one word. Adidas uses the word Performance. When people think of the word Performance, Adidas wants them to think of Adidas. What will you be known for?
Kimberly Reddington, founder of CereusWomen.com, teaches moms how to turn their skills and talents into a successful home-based service business and to find a balance between their business and their family. Discover Kim's popular special report by visiting http://www.CereusWomen.com
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