There’s a lot that goes into growing a company, but what are those initial steps you can’t skip over when it comes to launching a brand? If you have a business idea, and are wondering about the process to get it out of your head and into reality, then this is the blog for you. In order to grow your business, then you need to grow your brand. Good branding helps bring in more customers and thus gives your company a chance to grow. There is a lot that goes into branding, and it is important to take it step by step to ensure you don’t miss anything important. However, once you cover all the branding bases, you are setting yourself up for a marketing grand slam.
NAME & REGISTRATION:
1. Research & Find a Good Name. [$0]
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would still get as many search results…” Or would it? Shakespeare was a writer, not a marketing expert in the digital age. A good brand starts with a strategic name, so don’t overlook the step of picking a stand-out name.
However, there’s more that goes into coming up with a name than just a catchy word. If you need some ideas, there are free name generator websites (such as businessnamegenerator.com) which can give you some ideas, but you can likely come up with a more creative name than any of these free websites will. When checking a name, make sure to find out if the domain name is available. You don’t want to go through the process of legally registering your business as one name, only to find out there’s nothing similar to your company name available.
2. Register the Name on your LLC [$1000+]
Once you have your name, it’s time to get the legal paperwork. Costs vary depending on what state you live in, so you’ll need to do some research to know how much to budget for this. Depending on what your plans are for your business, you may choose to skip this step, but registering as an LLC definitely has benefits. Once you have legally locked down the name, then it’s time for the next step.
3. Purchase a Domain Name and Email Address Suitable for Your Business. [$15+]
Websites like GoDaddy.com and Google Domains are going to be some of your best go-to’s here, but there are others you could try as well. If your website name is different from your company name, it could be confusing, which is why researching available domain names is crucial in choosing a name. Google recommends domain names that are short and simple. However, when it comes to TLD (.com, .org, .edu, etc.) there are now more options you can choose from, meaning more unclaimed names you can still use. Google domains also lists the benefits of purchasing multiple domains depending on your business name, style, or history.
4. Design a Logo [$150 - $1,500+].
The logo is the cornerstone of your marketing - it is the visual people get when they hear your company name. Once the name is locked in, get working on a strong logo. While you could go the cheap and easy route of a free logo generator website, the money you’ll pay a professional will be worth it (assuming you hire a good one); if you’re still not sure, then check out this article: Free Logo Generator vs. Graphic Designers. The price may seem like a lot to pay for a logo, but with how much you’ll be seeing it, you’ll be glad you got one you’re proud of.
5. Develop Your Style Guide. [$50-450+]
Now that you have a logo, you need to also compile a branding kit or style guide to ensure your media and marketing will be uniform and reinforce the image your company wants to establish. Along with color schemes and logo guidelines, also consider creating templates for emails, letters, pamphlets, infographics, etc. This will also help with scalability as your company grows, which is something you need to be considering.
6. Find Your Voice
Professional and informative? Sweet and simple? Sarcastic and clever? High-energy and fun? Down to earth? You’ll need to pick a tone and stay somewhat consistent throughout your website, advertising, and other media. This not only gives your company a personality, but it also lets customers know what to expect from you. You may want to consider hiring a writer, not only for this, but to also aid in other publications like your blog.
7. Tell Your Story
You know why your company exists, but you need to find a sincere but succinct way to explain it to your customers. What need was this company birthed from and what makes it unique? This is where you can relate to your customers and show them the benefits you have to offer.
7. Media [$2,000-$12,000]
Just because we are in the digital age doesn’t mean your business can hide behind some pretty graphics. It’s hard to prove you are personal and genuine if your website is impersonal and stale. People want to see your company in action. Get photos of your products, get videos of your employees in action, get the media you need to show the world what your business can do. Hire a photographer, bring in a videographer, do whatever you have to do to get sharp, quality media that reflects the quality of product or service you are selling.
8. Fill Out Your Website
You have the domain name, you have the design guide, you have the media, now you have to get to work filling out your website with content. Your website is your digital store, and you have to make sure you take care of your customers’ needs even online. Make sure you have everything they may look for: product photos and info, answers to FAQ’s, “about us,” a blog, and of course, a contact page or store where they can make those purchases. While each business may go about their website differently, there are definitely certain pages you don’t want to overlook. Digital.com has a checklist of the web pages small businesses should have on their website, which is useful for anyone at this stage.
9. Develop a Marketing Strategy that includes Assessments
Staying up to date on the latest marketing trends, social media strategies, and advertising techniques can make it feel like you are flying by the seat of your pants, but if you want to ensure you are doing your best, then you need to stay organized. Don’t get caught up in juggling a variety of marketing tactics that are only rumored to work, without staying grounded by assessing how well your different strategies are actually performing. Research what similar businesses do and have done, learn from their success and failures, figure out what you need to do, and then do it. Marketing is an investment, so don’t give up too early. At the same time, you don’t want to waste your resources on ineffective marketing techniques. By establishing a strategy and making assessments on the effectiveness of those strategies, it will keep you focusing your time and money in the right direction.
10. Adapt: Be Quick on Your Marketing Toes.
Website optimization, blog writing, social media posts, facebook ads, video content, email marketing, etc. The list goes on and on of various ways we can boost our brand, and even though you have established a marketing strategy, you have to be adjustable. Once you have gotten a plan, you then have to continue to monitor it as trends and strategies are constantly changing. Whether it’s updates to algorithms or changes to social media apps, marketers need to be in the know and ready to adjust. Always be ready to strike when an opportunity presents itself, because you never know what could make your brand go viral.
“But Is that it? Is there only 10 Steps?” Unfortunately, no. Rarely is anything ever as simple as a step-by-step process, especially as something as complex as growing a brand. Brand growth and marketing depend on societal trends, technology, and style, all of which are constantly changing and progressing. So while this isn’t everything, it’s a solid starting point for those who are still wrestling with the brand growth aspect of the business they are starting.
Sinclair, Lara. “4 Secrets of Scalable Brands.” 7 May 2021 (13 November 2022)
Matt. “13 Must-Have Small Business Website Pages: Do You Have Them All?” Digital. 29 October 2022 (visited 22 November 2022)