When you start a business, most people think of two things: independence and money. While both are true, there are an infinite number of routes to arrive at Point B.
More and more frequently, however, the businesses that succeed are the ones that do a few simple things right from the get-go. Here are four things you need to make the perfect niche for your brand and get a strong start:
Have a Great Logo
Logos should always strive to be recognizable without any accompanying text — especially within your own industry.
Take The Rolling Stones for example. Their logo is easily one of the most recognizable ones in rock ’n’ roll history. By pouring time, effort and passion into their logo, they expertly branded themselves without using any words.
There are a million different things that go into making a logo, and it’s something you really shouldn’t do on your own. Having a catchy logo that clearly expresses your company’s image is a perfect segue into the really hard stuff: consistency.
A huge step for every business is finding its specific tone and consistently using it throughout every communications effort — from its website to its social media channels. Your brand should perpetuate itself in all its endeavors.
Take Apple, for example. Its branding prides itself on poignant, short statements that stress simplicity. BuzzFeed on the other hand, is known for its affinity to make articles into lists, while Cracked is known for producing content that’s perpetually dripping with sarcasm.
Find the tone that matches your business, and stick to it.
Try New Things
My dad used to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon all the time, so I considered it an “old man” beer — something that he drank in the garage while poking around with his car. Now I see people drinking it all the time at parties, dive bars and clubs.
How did the company do an about-face to become relevant with a different generation? It rebranded.
After you come up with your logo and consistent image, don’t be afraid to make a big change. Big, bold gambles with your company can pay off enormously.
Have a Backup Plan
I can’t stress enough how important planning is. Plot out every course of action your company might take, avoid impulsive decisions, and have a contingency plan. That goes double for when you decide to try new things.
Don’t make any changes without research to support them. A haphazard branding overhaul could easily alienate loyal customers and scare off potential customers. If worse comes to worst, keep your old business concept on the back burner. It might not be too late to salvage it.
Creating a foundation for your brand identity is either something you spend a lot of time (and money) on or something that comes easily and naturally falls into place. Getting it right depends on the company itself, but when it comes together, there shouldn’t be any doubt about it. So, remember these four key tips, and don’t be afraid to take chances.
BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.