The Company Name: For sole traders and solo professionals, your own name often carries more weight than an abstract name as your prospects will identify with you – the brand. Another great idea is to have the company name reflect the location and business you in. e.g. The Stafford Coach Company. We chose family names to reflect the heritage and linkage of our families and because there was already a consulting company using my surname and there is also another local oil company bearing a similar name.
Selecting a Branding Agency: Branding is a marketing project and never purely a graphic design or technical one. Therefore select a full service brand agency that had a strong marketing focus and that view any marketing material, including the website as being just that, marketing collateral.
The Branding Brief: Your brief to the branding agency must clearly articulate, what you sell, the solutions you provide and who you client base is. If you are unable to articulate this concisely, then how will you company be able to express this?
Market Test: Like any marketing project, testing the market is critical to your success. speak to friends, business colleagues and conduct surveys to find out what people perception of your brand is.
The Brand: There is an endless debate about whether to use a graphical logo or a word mark to represent your brand. Whichever you chose, it must show the ethos of your business and the service that you offer and you may go through may iterations before arriving at a final design.
The Strap Line: It isn’t critical to have a slogan strap line, however it may make your brand more memorable.
Stationery: Having spent time, effort and money on the project, make sure that the brand you have chosen is reflected across all marketing materials and stationery.
Over the last 6 years I have learned a number of lessons through our re brand and have concluded that:
- Selecting the right branding agency is critical and make sure that they can fully understand the nature of your business.
- If you can’t explain your business, then the brand design agency wont understand it either which may result in a brand that is unsuitable for your company.
- Obsession with a graphical logo is pointless; quite often and less striking word mark may have greater impact.
- Ensure that you live your brand and uphold the quality artwork you have paid for.
- Saving money on cheap printed materials may damage your brand
- Leave brand marketing to the big boys – its expensive and has a long payback time