Branding means many things to many people. And YES, you should also brand your service AFTER your have your business branded (since both should closely resemble and imitate the other).
You see branding all over the place with large companies especially, but even with individuals. Take golf – you see almost all of the top echelon of players with their trademark attire (usually company sponsored). Everyone that watches golf know that on the final day Tiger Woods always wear a red shirt – that is branding.
Companies go to great lengths to establish and market their brand. In fact, their brand may soon become a valuable commodity in of itself. When a merger between companies is initiated, the brand is a major component of the negotiations and, sometimes, is more important than the actual services or products that the companies are selling.
Ensure that you spend enough time in this section to develop a semblance of a brand. It will serve you well for the immediate future and can evolve over time.
You business name should represent EITHER your service(s) or you name or both. If you have multiple services, then naming can represent the industry that you are in, but should continue to be specific geared towards the services that you are providing.
Yes, you can definitely create a “fun” name or a name that makes you think, but if you have noticed many of the great companies in the world have kept it simple:
IBM = International Business Machines
3M = Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing
Google (misspelled from the mathematical term GOOGOL)
Intel = Integrated Electronics
Remember that your business name is very important and will represent you on all materials so make sure you represent yourself well for years to come!
Website Address (URL)
It is important that the Uniform Resource Locator (URL), better know as your website, is available as soon as possible.
In general, you want to create the website name the same as the business name so that it is easily associated and remember by your clients. However, this is not as critical as it may seem since many times we are “clicking” our way to the website and book marking it.
You must immediately buy your website name. I am not too concerned about buying up all the “similar” names or other .extensions, but having the .COM extension should be purchased as soon as possible. You can use any domain host to make that purchase. I suggest using www.HostMonster.com – they have great support and awesome tools to help build your website.
How do to want clients to contact you? Phone, email, mail? You need to decide on the following:
P.O. Box – OR – physical address
Once decided you need to put the information on ALL your materials, including your website. This is critical information and it needs to be prominently displayed so the clients can quickly and easily get in contact with you.
Colors are probably the most critical portion of developing your brand. Choose them carefully.
When building a house, you have two primary colors: outside and inside. The outside color is what the user sees immediately when they get to your website and stays through out the website experience. The inside color usually compliments the outside color.
Accent colors are used to frame information that you are presenting to the readers. They compliment & contrast the outside and inside colors so the reader has a smooth transition from general to specific reading.
Do not be too concerned about creating a logo immediately – it can (and probably will) change in the future so spending too much time on it now may not be the best use of your time and money.
Creating a logo these days is pretty cheap and quick, but YOU do have to have idea as to what it is. If you can come up with a general idea you can submit it off to a software company that can return it pretty quickly and have something ready to publish within a few weeks.
If you cannot decide on an initial logo (or decide not to have one), it is perfectly okay to use the IMPACT font or some other font. I would suggest making sure the font is a stark difference from fonts used in your online or printed materials. Your business name must be prominent and stand out on all media.
This section is included here so that you are aware of the profiles and emails that need to be created when accessing other websites.
For profiles, it is getting more common to use your email address as the log in profile. If you can use your own name (or initials) or something that may represent your service – this could get someone to to click on your name and seek further information.
When creating emails, use standards found in your industry and that are recognizable to people.
You will need the minimum of the following:
- Firstname.Lastname@mywebsite.com (for each personal email)
- Receivables@mywebsite.com (if sending invoices)
- email@example.com (for Facebook, if tracking by individual social media site)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (for all social media sites)
Using your personal email is perfectly acceptable and should not be shied away from if you do not mind receiving unsolicited email.