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Small Business Development Center
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Branding ties your ad efforts together

November 05, 2012

Do your advertising and marketing efforts lack a cohesive look and feel? Here are three low cost steps you can take today to help brand your business and help your marketing efforts work together.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — A lot of people understand advertising.

They understand that when you put a billboard up or an ad in the newspaper or a post on Facebook, it is an ad promoting their business or product and trying to sell what they have to offer. But many people fail to understand the importance of all of those messages working together under one larger message.

I’ve always been fascinated with branding and how it makes impressions on us that we often don’t even realize. We assume that an email from Target features the color red, their bull’s-eye logo, and a family friendly message or images. And if it doesn’t have all of those things, you might not even realize it was a Target advertisement after all. But when all of those ingredients are there, even if I only glance at the ad for two seconds, my mind already has realized it’s a message from Target. And that two-second realization can make or break a sale.

It is growing ever more important to develop your business’s brand. Today, business requires numerous interactions with a customer before a purchase is made.

Interactions include a website, Facebook page, Twitter, news article and email messages that all have to be consistent with each other. And don’t forget the follow-up as well. Thank you emails or letters, direct-mail marketing, and customer service can affect overall customer satisfaction. It is up to the business owner and manager to be vigilant that all of these avenues of communication share a common thread and work together.

 

Without a big investment, there are three important decisions and steps you can take now that can help your business develop a strong brand:

1) Where is your logo? Now put it everywhere. Your logo should serve as a constant symbol that identifies your products or services with a glance. Order stickers, stationery or a stencil to help you brand as many items as you can. Save your logo file in an easy-to-access location so you can insert it into emails, fliers, receipts, social networks or anywhere else you have an opportunity to put it. And of course, make sure your logo fits in with the image you want your business to portray.

2) What is your mission? Be able to briefly describe your business’s mission clearly and succinctly any time you have the opportunity. Don’t miss valuable opportunities to promote your business by getting lost in the details. This also can help tailor email messages, social media interactions and promotional pieces in the future.

3) Pick a favorite font and color. Now use them everywhere. Similar to your logo, keeping a consistent look and feel across multiple mediums helps your advertising efforts to work together. People begin to build memories with the various types of messages from your company so you are not starting from scratch with each advertisement. Repetition is key!

Lots of information is out there on branding, but hopefully this is a place to start. Once decisions have been made such as your logo, colors, fonts and key messages, it should become easier to develop your marketing materials.

Soon you will start to recognize a cohesive look and feel throughout your business.

From a magazine ad, to your website, to your business’s front door, your business’s branding should be obvious and should help convert a lead into a customer every time.

“Business Tips” was written by Jessica Lambert, business development training coordinator and certified training coordinator of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. Contact her at Jessica.Lambert@angelo.edu.

 

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    Jessica Lambert

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