If your online business offers terrific products and superb service, why does it seem to struggle in growing a base of repeat customers? Maybe you need to try something new—a brand.
How do you build a brand? By presenting a name, look and style that your shoppers will associate with high-quality goods and excellent customer care. Don’t leave it up to chance whether customers will find, or even bother to seek you out in the crowded online marketplace. Instead, develop and deliver an exciting new brand that heralds your online business and establishes permanent residence in the forefront of your customers’ minds.
Develop a name that sells
Creating a new brand begins with developing an effective business name, one that quickly communicates what your business is all about. Some businesses strive to use real words to name their business (such as Book World or CD Outlet) while others believe abstract naming is more compelling (like Amazon.com or Digitunes). Developing a business name is no simple task, just ask the firms that spend millions of dollars on these efforts. As such, it dictates you first take your time to carefully determine “who” and “what” your business is all about.Start by developing a business name that quickly communicates what your business is all about
At this point in branding, don’t think about clever logos or designs but, rather, focus on a name that:
- Expresses the product or service your business provides
- Appeals to your target customers on a direct or emotional level, dependent upon what your target customers will likely respond to
- Is easy to read, easy to pronounce and easy to remember
- Differentiates your business from your competitors
Of course, the online realm requires a few extra considerations be taken into account when developing a cyber-moniker. First, keep the name as short as possible but ensure it is mentally and verbally “pronounceable.” Try to eliminate use of special characters such as hyphens and ampersands as well as numbers. These are the sorts of characters customers tend to easily forget.
A great logo gains you quick recognition
Once you have a great business name, then comes the time to create a recognizable business logo. Be it an evocative artistic representation of the name, an identifiable color scheme or some sort of clever character, logos can be as important to your business as the name itself. When you develop a logo design, be sure to make it plainly visible (but not obnoxiously so) whenever and wherever you have items for sale.
Here are a few key considerations for your business logo design:
- Be sure it has a clean and uncluttered presentation. Too many “fancy trimmings” or difficult-to-read fonts can have negative effect.
- Be sure the graphic presentation is aligned to your business name, products and services. Here, the logo works to communicate more about your business through design, rather than with more words.
- Be sure it looks good and reads well in black and white as well as in color. Some call this the “letterhead” or “fax” test.
Tag—and you’re it
Next, consider developing a tagline for your business logo and correspondence. Taglines are those short phrases that use a few carefully chosen words to really drive home the benefit that your business provides to customers.
Consisting of usually three to seven words, taglines are sort of like advertising jingles—informative, evocative and hard to get out of your head. Consider how McDonald’s restaurants have used effective tag lines like “I’m lovin’ it” and “You deserve a break today” over the years. Lowe’s hardware stores communicate confidence through collaboration with do-it-yourselfers with “Let’s build something together.” Staples office supply stores indicate your to-do list is as good as done with “That was easy.”
It’s how you stand behind the value proposition of your brand that will ultimately launch you to the next level of success
So although you might have felt confined with a short business name and concisely designed logo, the tagline lets you express a connection to your customers. Incorporate the tagline into your logo and the sentiment will be seen everywhere your logo appears.
Deliver on your brand’s promise
It’s one thing to have a name that easily rolls off customers’ tongues, a logo that’s recognized at first glance and a tagline that ties it all together effortlessly, but none of this actually ensures your brand clearly delivers everything it promises. The elements of your strong brand start the conversation with prospective customers, but it’s how you stand behind the value proposition of your brand, and its implied commitment, that will ultimately launch you to the next level of success. When you do this, you will ultimately establish a favorable opinion in your customers’ minds.
To reinforce this “preferred status” among your customers, be sure your brand is working for you at all times by including it in all of your customer correspondence. If possible, overlay your business name in the corner of every item image you post. Many photo editors allow the addition of a semitransparent watermark. Include invoices or thank you notes that bear your brand in all of your shipments.
Tend to the final touches
Beyond the development and delivery of your brand and its proposition, recognize that your style of business will also make or break your brand. Keep your online selling destinations tidy, well organized and informative. Establish operating policies that meet your customers’ needs. Keep your inventory current and compelling, and always strive to learn more about what your customers are seeking.
Having done all this, your business brand will likely become sought out by your customers such that they’ll be eager to return time and time again—and they’ll tell their friends the good news, too.
Every time customers specifically seek out your business (whether online or elsewhere), your business’ brand will become further ingrained into their consciousness. All of this adds up to a successful brand that will boost your business.