When businesses are in the planning stages, it’s important to consider the strategy of how to brand a small business. Branding a business starts with choosing the right name, creating a logo and, when ready, promoting the brand.
Let’s start from the beginning: how do you create an effective brand name for your small business?
A name needs to be clever, original, and memorable all at once. The sheer number of businesses that already exist makes this extra difficult, but certainly not impossible.
To arrive at the perfect business name, follow these steps:
Creating a business name can actually be fun, even for people that are not directly involved with the business. So, involve other people in the naming process, including employees, friends, and family members. For now, note down all the ideas — you can rule out any unsuitable ones later.
There are numerous name generator tools online to choose from. Although they are all slightly different, most work by creating business names according to one or more keywords.
Once you have a list of potential names, run searches to find out what’s already taken. Not only should you determine if a specific domain name is available for your brand, it’s very important to research registered business names to ensure the name isn’t already in existence. Having a unique business name is critical when you get to the meat of branding, which entails marketing and promoting.
Take the remaining names on your list and consider how much you like each one. You can also use this stage to tweak ideas to create even better names.
When you’re down to just a few possible business names, test them with a focus group. Ask people who make up your target audience what they think of the names.
Only when you have a business name can you start the process of creating a logo. Unless you have a graphic designer on your team, you’ll need to outsource the logo creation to a professional. To ensure the final result reflects your brand image, this will involve communicating the following:
• Who your ideal customers are.
• What you do and what makes you different from competitors.
• Your values and mission.
• Whether you want to use your business name as the main feature.
This can be useful for helping prospects become aware of your name from first glance. It also may reduce the amount you need to invest in promoting your brand.
Possibly the most important step on how to brand a small business is successfully marketing the brand name. Even with a fantastic business name and logo, your catchy business name and clever logo are lifeless without some brand promotion. Beyond paid advertising, you should be using your name and logo throughout your marketing materials.
Shave off a few seconds when sending an email by creating an email signature. These seconds add up, especially when you consider that you likely send thousands of emails every year. More importantly, an email signature will help all your contacts — old and new — become familiar with your brand. Use a specialized email signature tool to include your logo rather than just text with contact details.
Website and Blog
Your logo should appear at the top of each page on your website, including your blog. Many small businesses forget about their blogs, which means they miss out on branding to visitors who arrive directly to a blog post.
Use your business name (with no extra words) for all your social media accounts. Profile pictures are the perfect place for your logo.
Hopefully this article gave you a little insight on how to brand a small business, including choosing a name, creating a logo and promoting the brand.
The entire branding process from concept to completion does require some time and effort, but it’s much easier than you may have thought. And it can also be a fun and rewarding project.
If the only thing holding you back from launching your small business is the creation of a name and a logo, you no longer have an excuse.
We encourage you take the next step and, literally, get to work! Also check out our resources as well as many other online resources for further advice about promoting your name, logo, and small business as a whole.