Your business may offer a groundbreaking product or service, but it won’t realize its full potential without a well-crafted identity. Every move you make says more than you might think.
Branding begins with the name of your business. The name you choose is extremely important to its identity. That’s why companies are willing to spend millions to change their name. You’ve probably never heard of United Telecom, which officially became Sprint in 1992.
Some businesses are limited by their name, and that’s what we call a branding nightmare.
Let’s say there is a business called The Baseball Experience. The owner chose the name because he wanted to specialize in baseball equipment.
After several years, it became clear that the majority of sales would be made in the spring. After a down spring, the owner decided to diversify into a full line of sporting goods. Unfortunately, despite advertising, the name of his business didn’t draw in those looking for non-baseball products.
He decided to add “& Other Sports” to the name, but The Baseball Experience & Other Sports still suggests anything other than baseball gear is an afterthought.
At this point, the owner would have to rebrand or find a way to be profitable as a baseball only store.
Your identity should be built around a long-term vision. It can be difficult to predict where your business might need to go, but you have to spend time projecting all potential avenues and setting goals for the future.
The name you choose should stand out. And, it’s beneficial to choose a name that translates to an easy-to-remember, easy-to-spell domain name.
United Telecom made a good decision adopting the name Sprint, which fits the identity of a global company that is always racing to connect its customers through the latest technology.
United Telecom sounds like a telephone company. Sprint sounds like a company that can continually adapt without ever changing its name again.
In order to build your brand, you’ll also need a smart logo. Like the name of your business, it should be distinguishable. There’s no mistaking the Nike swoosh.
A great logo will attract the type of customer you want.
The typeface, colors and design of your logo should be strategic choices. Certain fonts, colors and designs have connotations that can be detrimental to your brand. If you’re not a gifted artist, it is worthwhile to hire a graphic designer to help you with your logo.
The presentation of your business through any media should line up with its identity. If you have a skateboard shop, your visual and written content should speak to people who buy skateboards, not luxury cars. Businesses often fail to find the right tone with their branding.
Bottom line, building a strong brand is an investment that adds value to your business.
If you’re an entrepreneur looking to sell a startup or a family business looking to sell because your children chose another career path, you’ll be glad you spent the time and money crafting an identity.