How do you know when you need to spruce up your brand? Well take a look at everything in your office: letterheads, business cards, website, brochure and even your clothes. Does it all look professional and cohesive, if you looked at each piece individually can you tell it is part of your company and does it represent you in the best possible way? If the answer is no to any of these questions then it is time to make a change.
There are several areas where your brand should be represented clearly. First take a look at your logo and tag line. You may not have a tag line but you do have a logo, even if you don’t think you do. It can be something as simple as your business name in Times New Roman or as abstract as a figure dancing to form the first letter of your businesses name. Whatever you have or choose to have this must be a constant throughout your brand, so choose wisely. Whatever it is, make sure you want it to represent your brand. You probably don’t want a dancing figure if you’re trying to sell pizzas, although I do dance a little happy dance when I’m eating pizza!
The same will go for your business cards, stationary and even emails. You should have your logo and or tag line represented on each of these products. Your business card should be clear and concise, no extra images that can clutter the card; the point of the business card is to state who you are, your contact information and the company that you are working for. If your budget permits, utilize both sides of your business card for extra space to put your mission statement or the staple products that you provide. Stationary, like letterheads and envelopes should just have your logo, company name and possibly the address to make it more professional looking. Your email signature is often overlooked, even though for some businesses it is the main form of contact between yourself and a customer. You should use the same colors and fonts that have been previously approved to represent your brand. Also list all forms of contact beneath your name so the customer knows exactly where you are from and they don’t have to dig out your business card for a phone number.
Take a look at your website; if you do not have a website, you need to get one now! I cannot stress how important it is to have a professional online representation of your business nowadays. Your website should clearly state what your mission and purpose is in the business world, and of course it should follow the brand you have outlined. The same goes for whatever social media outlets you are using, you can get away with not having your business on social media, but you must have a website. You shouldn’t depend on just using social media as your online presence, you will be missing out on a whole demographic that way.
Lastly, take a look at what your employees and coworkers are wearing. Do their outfits represent your business and your brand? If you are a professional business providing a professional service they shouldn’t be wearing jeans and polos, even if they are in the office all day long, they still need to represent your business through dress. Now on the other hand, if you are a mechanic or a professional painter, messy overalls are almost expected. Be aware of what your customers see when they come to your business. That goes for vehicles as well, do your sales people drive around in old beat up cars? That may not be sending the best message if your potential customer sees your sales person getting out of that vehicle. If the budget permits, having corporate vehicles on hand may not be the worst idea, or even offering small incentives to keep their vehicle in top condition.
When changing your brand or even making sure your brand is cohesively representing your business, all of these examples are a great ways to start. It also wouldn’t hurt if you took an hour or so every couple of months just to make sure everything is still being represented the way it should. Customers appreciate organization and professionalism when they are buying a product, whether you are selling pizzas, car care, or printing products. So what does your brand say about your business?
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