The brand is the identity of your business and it is how people will view you, judge you, and make a decision about you. As the world of business continues to evolve, so has the world of branding. There are certain components that are mandatory for brand building in 2013 that weren’t even a discussion a decade ago. Although the basic formula still applies, there is so much more you need to consider when building your company identity today (whether you are a newly minted startup or an MNC). Always make sure to include these components and don’t overlook the importance of any of them, they are all crucial when it comes to launching a successful business.

brand building
Image from Funk & Beans (by Bill Waterson)

What’s In a Name?

Like naming a child, giving your business an appropriate name is critical. Your company is your baby and should be named with the same consideration and thought that you would use to name a person. Life and business are about winning the first-impressions battle and your company name is just that; their first opportunity to judge you. With something of this much importance, where should you begin? Keep it brief, make sure it sounds good coming off the tongue, and try to make it interesting.

The goal is to find a name that promotes intrigue, consistency and perfectly suits your brand. For starters, grab a pen and paper. Write down keywords that you like and make sure they are words that aren’t overused. Browse the web and search for competitors in your industry; you are sure to find a pattern in the naming game. Avoid following this pattern and cross out any names on your list that are overplayed. Once you have created the perfect word or combination of words, take a step back and make sure you like how it looks.

Create the Perfect Mascot

Your logo is the face of your company, your mascot, your cheerleader. It is a symbol that if done correctly shouts your brand message without having to use any words at all. Think of your business as a living, breathing thing that needs the perfect symbol to be taken seriously and to thrive in the modern world. By creating the ideal logo for your brand, you are improving brand recognition which in turn creates customer loyalty. We are creatures of habit, we want to purchase from a proven winner, someone who has held true to their promise in the past. If you don’t have a recognizable logo that is easy for people to recall, you are going to have a hard to retaining customers.

Your logo design should not be elaborate or complex; it should be simple, clean, and attention-grabbing. The trick to doing this is sticking with one or two colors and never using more than 3. Although you may find several brands it has worked for, the NBC peacock comes to mind, that is the exception. It is helpful to design your logo in black and white before you add the color. Once you are satisfied with your colorless image, move along to adding your desired hues. Colors can evoke strong emotional responses from people, which is why it is important to research color ahead of time to ensure you are evoking the intended emotions in your customers.

Make Yourself Searchable

Being accessible online today not only means having a legitimate website, it also goes a step beyond that. Social media has taken over the business world and you need to be on it in order to spread your brand message and promote yourself as the expert in your industry. Consumers today have a shorter attention span than ever before, if you aren’t searchable, you most likely are not getting their business no matter how hard you try.

When it comes to website design, a clean layout that matches your logo and brand is everything. Avoid filling the page with oversized imagery or paragraph upon paragraph of text. You want to keep an ample amount of negative space to allow the readers eyes to effortlessly navigate what you are trying to convey. When it comes to color, the same rules apply as when you were creating your logo. Three colors maximum will keep your pages from being overwhelming and will help to ensure that your design compliments your logo and brand.

To take your visibility one step further, the time has come to create a Facebook, LinkedIn, and possibly a Twitter page. This not only helps your Google ranking it also gives consumers another way to learn about your business, offerings, and updates. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you have to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to your website and social media efforts. In today’s business world you want to BE EVERYWHERE, literally.