Your business branding budget is an important factor in how and what you choose to spend your marketing dollar on. Especially for start-ups or smaller businesses there are so many options out there all with benefits to your business. So which areas should you pursue to make your branding budget go further? Here are our top 5 tips for branding your business on a budget.
1. Create a standout logo
Find a designer you are comfortable with to help you create your business logo. As the very basic fundamental amount of branding that a business has to have, your logo is crucial.
In general it’s best to have a rough idea of what you’d like to see, and what you don’t. Also researching your market and your competition to see what’s already out there can help navigate you through the early stages, so you know what what is already being used.
A good logo should be functional, visually appealing and original to your business. Ensure your logo is relatable and appropriate to the type of business you have, for example what type of imagery comes to mind if you think of building trades?, a jumbo jet, a coffee mug or tools of the trade? While being too literal in your choice of image, say a clip art looking hammer, isn’t recommended either your designer can work within your market space to create a well communicated timeless logo.
Take any ideas or sketches with you to discuss with your logo designer, it all helps in gaining a better picture of what your logo will mean to your target audience.
2. Come up with a tagline
The taglines purpose is to emphasize a phrase that you wish your business to be remembered by. Your tagline comes under your branding umbrella and needs to be inline with a consistent message.
Your tagline needs to be short, sweet and memorable, something you can say in a single breath, some examples are:
- 'The burgers are better at Hungry Jack’s’ - Hungry Jack’s
- ‘We’re for dogs’ - Pedigree.
- ‘What to bring when you’re told not to bring a thing’ - Cadbury Favourites.
- 'Melts in your mouth not in your hand' - M&Ms
These iconic taglines are very well thought out and relate to the brand to help customers remember them.
If someone reads your tagline on your business card for example, would they know what you do and the value you offer without further explanation?
3. Use the back of your business card
You already have one side printed, so explore the possible benefits of also adding information on the back. Usually prices are reasonable to still keep this option open if you're on a budget. Points to keep in mind, will someone be able to write on your card? ie watch glossy finishes and dark colours. Consider including timeless information so you aren’t reprinting new business cards because a date has ran out or an offer no longer exists, leaving you with wasted cards. Keep your print runs small and choose as good a quality card stock as you can afford. The thickness and tactile feel of a card creates a lasting effect when you hand your card over to a prospective client or at a networking event. You want a professional feeling card with substance as this is speaking volumes about your business and is indicative of your overall branding message.
Ideas you could include on the back are: your logo, tagline, or offer something of value that brings people directly to your website, maybe add a QR code that links to a testimonial or introductory video.
4. Set up a business profile on social media
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest etc are 'the' online places to be so get busy connecting and engaging. These free social networking tools are mandatory for your business to connect with your audience. Regular and quality content posting on these platforms creates a community around you to broadcast your message. Automation of your posts can save you time and energy and reach a wide sector. Being free there is no hit to your budget, just make sure your images are of a high quality and reflect your consistent branding strategy.
5. Purchase the url (domain) for your business
After you have secured your space on the internet, create a one page website showcasing your business to the world. These are cost effective alternatives to use as a foundation platform on the web.
These are just a few fundamental tips to help you brand your business on a budget, our final article in our Business Branding series will look at Ten tips on how to successfully implement branding for your business.