When starting and operating an LLC or any other business structure, it's important to remember that building a profitable company also means building a brand. It's easy to think of a brand as simply a logo and tagline, but there are several other factors that you should consider as well. This feature is designed to help you construct a powerful brand and message that resonates with your market.
Decide on a Business Name
If you want to make things extra hard on yourself from the beginning, don't worry about creating a business name that resonates with your audience, product or service. Rather have it easier? Choosing a business name that's descriptive, meaningful and simply understood is one of the best ways to start creating a strong brand.
For instance, if a business was named “Copy All-Stars,” what would you think they sold or did? Are they a copy service where you can go in and get things copied and printed? Or are they a business that deals with copywriting? If this business wanted to truly let their customers know what they do, a better name would be “All-Star Copywriting.” Now it’s clear that the business deals with copywriting...and they’re apparently all-stars!
The first step in building a brand is to ensure anyone reading the name of your business understands immediately what you do. Failure in this respect can leave your potential customers confused and cause them to pass over your business even if you are best suited to fit their needs.
Design a Logo
Another fairly common mistake business owners make is creating a logo that has nothing to do with their business. When building a brand, you want powerful imagery surrounding your business — and that starts with a logo. If you are an auto body shop, a logo with a car would be helpful. Or if you are a cleaning service, including a vacuum or duster would help people associate the logo with what the business does.
When creating a logo, you must also consider colors, images and font choices. Colors such as red and black can be associated with a harsh feeling, while something like a blue is easier on the eye and more comforting. Don’t rush your logo — it’s something everyone will associate with your brand, and you should take your time perfecting it.
For example, look at McDonald’s, Target and Nike: you don’t even need to see a name to associate those logos with their respective brands. When building a brand, ensure your logo is something that will be recognized and resonate with your market and business name.
Create a Tagline
Paired with a logo, a descriptive tagline can definitely help with brand recognition. For instance, Nike is known for “Just Do It.” You know exactly what brand this tagline represents, even without seeing the Nike swoosh or the brand name. Having something that's catchy yet speaks to your customers is extremely powerful when building a brand.
Regardless of the type of product or service you are selling, sit down and draft a few taglines that speak to your market. Once you have them on paper, narrow them down to your final choice. It would be beneficial to speak with friends and family to get their input here. If you’re willing, you can even go up to a stranger and ask them what they think of when they hear your tagline. Are they in the ballpark with your specific market and what you do? If not, it may be time to rethink.
Build a Website
A website is where you can win or lose BIG in business today. When I say big, I mean a good website can help you make thousands (or even millions) of dollars. And when I say lose, I mean people enter and exit your website in five seconds or less without even looking at what you’re selling.
If you have a website that is colorful, easy to navigate, full of engaging images and creative, people are more likely to do some searching around your site to see what it’s all about. On the other hand, if your website looks very basic, appears spammy with lots of ads and doesn’t have a lot of color or images, your visitors will leave your site as quickly as they came.
Focus Your Marketing
You have around eight seconds to engage a customer before they move on to something else — that’s how long a normal human's attention span is. When you think about it, that’s not very long at all! When you're putting together marketing materials, this statistic means you want to make sure your marketing messages are concise and to the point.
If your customer must turn pages or scroll, it’s too long. You want to engage your potential customers from the beginning, not send them running because it takes too much effort to understand your products or services. If you can’t grab them in eight seconds, head back to the drawing board and start over.
The same principle is true for online marketing like social media. Posts that encourage people to “read more” are going to get lost in all the other clutter in their feed. Try something engaging and precise, like “24-HOUR SALE @ WEIKFITNESS.COM!” You could also use something short that incorporates a tagline, like “Transform Your Body and Business With Weik Fitness!” Anything that catches your reader's eye with a good call-to-action (CTA) is ideal.
In order to be a powerful brand, you need to market as if you are the biggest player in the industry. By that I mean: speak to your audience as if you should be the only brand they work with or buy from. This does NOT mean spending money on marketing as if you were one of the largest brands out there — going that route could have you closing the doors to your business! Instead, it means focusing your efforts on meaningful messages that will help you close deals.
Manage Employee Interactions
Whether you are the only employee or you have people working with and for you, their interactions with customers can make or break your brand. When building a brand that has longevity, you need repeat customers and positive word-of-mouth. That means fixing problems immediately and always making your customers feel appreciated. When answering the phones, your staff should be polite and courteous 100 percent of the time. They should help answer questions; if they don’t know the answer, they should ask someone who might. If customers know they can count on you, they’ll be more willing to trust you, continue doing business with you and refer you to others.
On the flip side, if your staff isn’t helpful, don’t expect customers to hang around for long or come back again. Building a brand is all about solving the problems of your customers and making them feel good about doing business with you. If your brand is known for being rude (regardless of how good your product is), that news will spread and you’ll find fewer people buying from you. As often as we use this phrase, the golden rule still rings true: “Treat others how you would want to be treated.” Don't forget that with social media, one bad post or review can be seen by thousands of people and shared by thousands more. Don’t let it happen to you!
If you're feeling overwhelmed and would like some help managing your business, Incfile has many different services that can help you focus on larger tasks like building your brand. Reach out today if you'd like some help managing the tedious parts of running a business while you develop some of these pieces that add up to a powerful brand. If you found this piece helpful, check out our many others over in the blog!
Matt Weik is the Founder/Owner of Weik Fitness, LLC and is a well-respected fitness expert/author with a global following. He’s a certified strength and conditioning specialist, personal trainer, and sports nutritionist. His work has been featured in over 85 fitness magazines and over 1,500 websites. You can contact Matt via www.weikfitness.com or on his social channels found on his website.