Why Is Business Branding Important for A Startup?

If you are a small business owner, you might be asking, “Why is business branding important?” The simple answer is that by focusing on branding can both increase your chances of success and your profit margin!

Branding is often one of the actions that people forget about or put off when starting a business. Even those new entrepreneurs that remember branding often only view it as only creating a logo. Personally, I have made this mistake. However, a logo is not enough and building your business brand takes a lot more effort; an effort that is essential if you want to gain the trust of your target audience.

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that if you choose to make a purchase through the links provided, I will earn commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you.

What is branding

The concept of branding is creating the message that influences what people will think of when they hear or see your company’s name, products, or marketing materials. It is forming the perception of what your business offers.

The goal is to create a strong brand image. A business brand is said to be strong when most people think the same thing when they hear about or see your company. While you cannot control what people think, you can influence it with every interaction your company has with current and potential customers.

Why is business branding important

Think about it this way. What do you think of when someone says, “He lacks a personality”? You probably think that he is boring and someone you do not want to give your time. Branding gives your business a personality.

Also, what do you think when someone acts differently in different situations? You probably believe that they are two-faced and cannot be trusted. Branding helps create a consistent message.

Branding is important because it sets the stage for what people think about your company. If you do not brand your business, the real value of your services and products is often not seen by those outside the enterprise. This is because they are receiving conflicting messages when it comes to your company.

Branding is also important for those inside the company. While developing a business’s brand, the owners and leaders must decide on many factors that impact the company’s voice. Without understanding a company’s voice, it is hard to develop and market products and services effectively. Elements become mismatched which in turn lower the external perception of the business.

It is important to make sure the personality you give your company is consistent and one that your target audience wants to be around.

Give your brand a personality through branding. Click To Tweet

What you need to brand

“Establishing a brand is not about the product, but about creating a universe where the product lives.” – Vanessa of Brand University

If you want to create that universe, the best place to start is understanding what elements are needed. The elements of branding that you need to consider and develop include:

  • Mission Statement
  • Vision Statement
  • Personality and Voice
  • Color Pallet
  • Font Pallet

Once the items in the above list have been created, you can need to use them throughout every written and visual message your company uses. Some of the items these elements will be essential in creating include:

  • Logo
  • Tagline and Unique Selling Position
  • Website
  • Business Cards
  • Marketing Materials
  • Letterhead

How to brand your business on a budget

Now that you understand a little more about branding and why it is important for your business, you might be unsure of where to start. The branding elements listed above can feel overwhelming for someone without a marketing background. It is perfectly ok to feel this way. Branding is not something that one can magically know how to do or complete on their own without proper guidance. This is why there are companies that specialize in branding.

While I would say that every business should hire someone to help with their branding, there is one thing that holds me back from making this recommendation. That one thing is the price.

Branding companies are expensive compared to the budgets of most small businesses. This brings us to the catch 22 of branding for small businesses: A business struggles to grow their revenue to the point they can afford a branding company while missing out on the additional revenue that could have been earned during that same period if they had a strong brand.

So, what do you do as a small business with a limited budget for branding? You do it yourself. However, if you want to do it right, invest in help. The help I suggest is a DIY branding course: Vine: A DIY Branding Course by Brand University.

Vine: A DIY Branding Course

When I came across Vine: A DIY Branding Course by Brand University, I immediately signed up. I knew my brand was weaker than I wanted but I did not understand where to start or how to fix it.

Vine A DIY Branding Course

As I went through the course, I was impressed. I gain the confidence I needed to brand my business on my own. It is easy to tell that the creators of the course, Ashley and Vanessa, did not hold anything back and wanted to make sure you had everything needed to understand branding. The course provides a full circle of knowledge including what branding is, why it is important, and how to do branding yourself.

The course starts with you creating the foundation for your brand. Just like with building a house, a solid foundation is essential. Next, they teach you how to build off that foundation and how to design your visual brand. Homework follows the sections to encourage you to apply the concepts. By completing the homework as you go through the course, you end with your business brand created and organized.

An extensive resource section is also provided. The section includes links to tools and many great templates. Best of all, seeing they designed the course for small businesses with low budgets, they recommend free applications for every action that is needed to create your business brand. They do also include recommendations for paid tools to allow you to make the best choices for your business. However, they do not just leave it at a list of tools. They demo how to use some of them.

Click here to learn more about Vine: A DIY Branding Course

My Branding mistakes

As I briefly mentioned early, I made branding mistakes. When I started JamieVC.com, I did not spend too much time thinking about branding. I focused on producing content and figured the branding would fall into place. Well, it did not.

To help you learn, I am going to share some of my errors. While I am going to fix my mistakes based on the knowledge I gained by taking Vine: A DIY Branding Course, I decided to launch this post before implementing any changes. This will allow you to look around and see my branding blunders.

Voice

I did not develop a mission or vision statement. Also, I did not give any real thought to my brand’s personality or voice. If I do not know the voice of my brand, how can I expect it to speak correctly to you?

I did not develop a mission or vision statement. Also, I did not give any real thought to my brand’s personality or voice. If I do not know the voice of my brand, how can I expect it to speak correctly to you?

How to correct – Write a mission and vision statement. The writing of these two items will be the first step in defining my voice. They will help me identify the purpose of my business. I can then use that purpose to clarify the site’s personality and influence the rest of the branding items.

Colors

One of the things I did do when I started my site was select a color pallet. However, there are many mistakes in the pallet that make it not right for my site.

JamieVC Colors

First, there are too many light colors. Second, some of the colors are too similar and hard to tell apart. Third, I have no neutral color or a color that pops unless it is against a dark background.

How to correct – I will create a new color pallet. I will keep one or two of the original colors and change the rest of the selections to colors that allow for a balanced pallet. This includes having a mix of light, dark, neutral, and pop colors. I will use the formula I learned in Vine: A DIY Branding Course to ensure I have the right balance.

Fonts

While I did select a font when I started my business, I made two mistakes. The first is that I do not consistently use the font. I am good at using the font throughout my website, but I did fail to carry the font to other materials. This allows for a disconnect between my company on and off my website.

Second, I only selected one font. I learned by taking the Vine: A DIY Branding Course that you need a font pair – two fonts that compliment each other and work together. Currently, whenever a graphic called for a second font, I choose whatever font stands out to me at that time. This lack of consistency hurt my brand’s image.

How to correct – To rectify this mistake, I am going to find a second font that works well with the font I have currently selected. I will then make sure these fonts are used throughout everything I do to continue to promote a consistent brand image.

Images

All my other mistakes lead right to this final error. My images are a mess! Seeing I did not know how to brand my voice, colors or fonts correctly, I lacked the knowledge to brand my images properly.

Let me embarrass myself and show you some examples. First, let’s look at the feature images I have created for my posts.

JamieVC Featured Images

Surprisingly, I did do some things right. First, they all use the same font whether it is bold, italic, bold-italic, or regular. Second, they are all consistent with a picture background and a square overlay for the text.

However, the images display a lack of consistent branding. First, with the layout differences, it is hard to tell that the images on the right and left belong to the same site. Second, the boxes are different with only the ones on the right having an outline.  Third, the colors are inconsistent. This includes the fact that the color of the box on the bottom right is not even in my color pallet and that the background images are not in the same color family or have the same tones. Finally, only one includes my logo.

Even more embarrassing let’s look at the images I use to promote my posts on Pinterest.

JamieVC Pinterest Images

My errors include the colors, layout, size, fonts, and more. There is no effective branding.

How to correct – I will remedy this mistake by creating a template for my feature images and a similar one for my Pinterest images. These templates will include the fonts, colors, and voice that I have decided upon when branding my business.

Define your brand

Vine: A DIY Branding Course helped me realize the mistakes I listed above. From all this, I learned that it is time to brand my website. Be on the lookout for new colors, images, fonts, and an all over consistent brand coming fall 2017. In the meantime, enjoy looking around my poorly branded site and learning from my mistakes.

If you have not created your business brand, now is the time to do so. I highly recommend you purchase Vine: A DIY Branding Course by Brand University if you plan to brand your company on your own. By following the course step-by-step, you can create the elements of a strong brand.

If your company can afford to hire a branding company but need recommendations, you can reach out to me. I have suggestions I can pass your way.

Click here to learn more about Vine: A DIY Branding Course

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