People label everything. Music, movies, books, and even businesses. If you don’t define your company’s brand and manage your reputation via business practices and social media outlets, someone else will do it for you. Don’t let critics, employees, or clients and customers define your brand before you do. Here are some tips on how you can lead the conversation when it comes to your business, and what it stands for.
From The Ground Up
Have a mission statement. Whether your business is new or established in the community, be clear about how your company can help people. Customers and clients are interested in your ethics, as well as your services and products. They want to know you’re an ethical business person, as well as human being. Steer the narrative in this way: make an inventory of your businesses skills. What does your business do that is unique? When a customer thinks of your business, they will think of this. What does your customer base need? From your unique skill set identify the needs of people within your community. Be better than the competition.
While your brand will ultimately define you, your reputation starts from the ground and grows with each project or customer interaction. If your work is better than the competition’s your brand will gain a reputation for high quality work.
Social media is a great place to manage your reputation, both online, but also in the real world. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook let you reach a large and interested population — a population that are all potential customers. However, you must promote more than your own business to garner interest from a larger demographic. Social media users want businesses that are connected with the community. Find synergy with other companies who offer similar, complimentary services or products. For example, LifeLock uses Facebook as an informational hub. With posts and links about identity theft, data breaches, and worldwide security risks, LifeLock offers valuable information for concerned parties of identity theft.
Whatever your business specializes in, connect related subjects and educate your client base about a variety of linked services.
Evaluate Your Image
Every brand needs a logo people recognize. Think of Volkswagen, Apple, and Microsoft Windows. All of these companies have logos people have grown to recognize at a glance. There are three kinds of logos: type based, literal, and abstract. Type-based logos are the name of your company and, perhaps, a short tagline — one that sticks in customers’ minds. A memorable font is often used. A literal logo shows customers exactly what your company does. For instance, a paint company might have a graphic of a paint bucked with the businesses named almost obscured by color. Then there is abstract logos, like the Nike swoosh. Though the Nike swoosh is one of the most recognized symbols of any brand in the world, it took time and money for Nike to establish it. The company invested large sums of their marketing budget communicating with the public about the underlying associations of the swoosh.
While an abstract logo like the Nike swoosh can be strong, it is a style of logo earned over time, once a company is established. Type-based logos and literal logos are more suited for small businesses who are eager to spread their brand.