Blog entry

Diamond in the Rough

Is your small business a diamond in the rough? When beginning a small business, it is easy to get caught up in the details of your business plan and trying to get your new business exposure. However, did you spend the right amount of time on the finishing touches to make your business shine? It may be time to consider your brand.

“A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another” – Seth Godin

Branding distinguishes your business from your competitors and helps people quickly identify your products or organization. The goal of any brand is to create a recognizable and familiar business identity that customers are drawn towards. Consistency is the key to the success of your brand. The average person will need to see your branding 5 to 7 times before they will remember your business. Branding can be achieved through visual aspects, advertising, products, and personal experiences. 

The visual aspects of branding include logo design, color scheme, website design, and document designs. To be recognizable you need to create your own logo. There are several websites online that can help you achieve a logo design that is unique and personal to your business. I would recommend taking a look at www.top10bestlogodesign.com to find an online logo design service that meets your requirements and price range. When building your logo, consider all aspects such as the color scheme, the font type, and if an image will be associated with your logo. Your logo design should represent your business in every way.

Secondarily to your business name and logo, companies often enhance their branding by forming a tagline or slogan that positively recognizes what the business stands for. A tagline should be memorable, relatable for all customers, positive, professional, and simple. The goal for your tagline is for it to be so recognizable that it is a visual or audible representation of your brand that leaves customers thinking about your business. Among the top taglines in the world are DeBeers “A diamond is forever”, and Nike’s “Just do it”.

Once you have created your logo, it is time to design the rest of your visual branding based on your chosen design. If your logo incorporates colour, use the same colours to build a colour scheme that can be used on your website and any documents you create. If your logo is black and white, choose the best colour scheme for your business. Colour is a very important aspect to creating a brand that people can relate to and understand. Different colours have different psychological properties, and the same colour may reflect different properties for different people. For example red is a physical colour that can promote strength and warmth but can also promote aggression. On the other hand, blue is an intellectual colour that can promote trust, and a sense of calm for some but can feel cold and unfriendly to others. Branding your company to incorporate the feelings you want to evoke in your customers is all about knowing the business culture you want your customers to experience.

With a well-defined colour scheme, your next step in branding is creating a website that matches the look of your logo and the feel of your business. This will help make your business’ brand more recognizable to customers. Further, creating document templates for you or your employees to use with your logo, chosen font types, and colour scheme will help promote a standard of quality within your business and for your customers. Templates may include; your business cards, documents containing a letterhead, invoices, fax cover letters, and email signatures. The matching documents will give a professional visual of your business and help reinforce your brand with your customers.

When all the foundational work is complete, the final step to successfully branding your business is integrating your brand into everything you do. Advertisements that are printed should include your logo and your tagline. Meanwhile, advertisements via radio should include your tagline in association with your business name. Try to associate your logo with your products or goods. Lastly, with some effort, branding your business should go above and beyond by incorporating your brand into your customer’s personal experiences. As said by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, “Branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” As the business owner, you can set the standard for how you and your employees dress, how you respond to requests or questions, and the overall experience you create for each customer. Consistency is the key to making your company shine in a world full of businesses.

Overall, to take your small business to the next level, some structured work towards branding your business can make all the difference. With a consistent image that positively portrays your business and allows for quick recognition, you are one step closer to creating an amazing brand. The polishing touch to make your diamond in the rough shine is the way you represent your brand in every experience with the customer. 

By Alexis Forseille

Community Futures Cariboo Chilcotin

Back to Top

About Community Futures

For over 25 years, we’ve been fostering entrepreneurship in rural BC. We offer small business loans, business counseling and specialized programs to help you start or grow a business, and to help communities become more resilient and dynamic.

266 Oliver Street
Williams Lake, BC
V2G 1M1

Phone: (250)392-3626
Toll free: (888)879-5399
Fax: (250)392-4813