Brand recognition is important–for big and small businesses. It’s everything from the font you use on your website and store front–to the icon that’s on your stationary and business card. The key to branding is to stay consistent and use your brand “look” everywhere–so you become instantly recognizeable.
There are lots of tried and true methods to create brand recognition–and now thanks to the Internet, there are fresh ways to utilize all your hard work.
Tips for Creating Your Business Brand:
1. Pick a font and color for your company name and look–and stick with it.
Font matters. You don’t think it does, but your business card, web pages, blogs and posts should all have the same font. It’s a subtle identification of who you are.
Many companies don’t have a cute lizard selling their product–they simply state their name in a color that is clear and definable. IBM, Xerox, Subway, Barnes & Noble are great examples. I say these words and you can instantly see their name in your mind. IBM is blue. Subway is yellow and light green. Barnes & Noble is a darker green. You see them clearly–all the way to the ones whose letter slant and those that don’t. It’s as simple as color and font–and it’s used in everything they do.
You argue, you have a font and a color aready–great–but how much are you capitalizing on it?
2. Use your name (and the colors and font you’ve chosen) on all of your promotional materials.
Let’s go with our Subway example. Not only can you see Subway in your mind on the lighted sign outside the restaurant, you also see it on the paper they roll and tuck their sandwiches into–and their napkins–and the shirts their workers are wearing, and the door you opened to walk into the restaurant. Just as an experiment, the next time you walk into a fast food chain (and you know you will), count how many times you’re exposed to their name (or mascot) in the first five minutes. Brand recognition comes after the public is literally inundated with your product “look” everywhere they turn.
3. Use your brand name and color on the web.
From your website to your social media networking, to your blog posts, repeat your brand look everywhere you go. You don’t have to point out the fact that our colors are red and gold, simply make something on your website–gold–and something else red. Use this idea on every webpage, and if you have a product or a company log line (a phrase that you use–it usually goes under your name), make sure it follows you wherever you go.
4. Are “you” the brand? Is your name, face part of your business? For many local brick-and-mortar companies, this is true. You’re part of the community, and you need to carry you, the brand, with you into “internet land.” Put a picture of yourself on the webpage and as your avatar when you’re on various social media sites. Just like Colonel Sanders or the Mac and PC guy, you become synonymous with your product. When you become the brand, and then use it wisely. People trust in you–they want you to be consistent–and part of consistency is showing up on the web just like you do at the store.
Small businesses can learn from the corporate giants who have learned the importance of brand recognition. Brand recognition leads to brand preference, and brand preference leads to brand loyalty–and that’s a goal worth aspiring to.