Sunil…congratulations on being a small business owner. Your site is beautiful. If you can successfully carry that look and feel throughout your organization, you’re going to be way ahead of your competition. I am worried, however, about one comment: you wrote “its tough to do everything AND sell your product at the same time.” Doing everything is what sells your product. (Don’t confuse that with being all things to all people:)) That’s what often keeps businesses from being successful…they seperate sales and brand, as if they aren’t related. 13 Tips On Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Branding By Daymond John | Advice For Small Businesses
Amen, Nick. To all of the above. In particular, though, my mantra (and at this point i should have it tattoed on my forehead) “perception is reality.” that’s both the good news and the bad news. the good news is that we are all in control of how we are perceived, and that’s where individual branding plays such a critical role. nothing is arbitrary/leave nothing to chance!
The design of your logo really doesn’t matter. Would you choose MSN as your search engine over Google because of their logo? No, having a nice professional logo is great, but it very rarely increases sales. I’m all for a professional logo, but don’t think you need to spend a fortune on it. It’s more important to include your logo on every piece of communication. Put it on business cards, letterhead, envelopes, invoices, yellow page ads, building signage, newsletters, etc…
I know it’s an older post Nick, but it’s extremely relevant still today. We realized that the most important driving force out there is .. people.. as you outlined in your last tip. I was working with a company, and we went so far as to change our motto to “People First.” just because of that aspect. Great post. I’d say you should update it, but there isn’t much to add besides social media aspects.
Supercharge your brand’s design with this fresh, fun and clean template. This design manages to capture the idea of vitality and energy by simply using a vibrant colour, clean blocks and super simple type. This template is flexible and adaptable to suit your need, perfect for any brand that wants to project some positivity and vibrancy through their designs.
Even small businesses need to consider their branding as a whole and that includes your logo. Companies like logoworks.com create illustrations, not really logo’s. It’s vitally important that your designer/s concider how your visual identity is implemented. So consitant use of colour palettes, typefaces, layouts and a whole brand armoury are important. Your idenity should be more than just you logo stuck on everything!
In a tough and competitive market, your startup simply cannot exist for a long time unless customers trust your company. Branding is all about building the trust for your products or services among your target customers. There are already many brands in your target market. So, creating a unique brand that stands out requires you to have branding ideas that are special.
"There is still that stigma, even though many craft brewers before us have done such a great job in educating the consumer, we want to do our bit too," co-founder Rui Esteves said. "We wanted to create a can that you hesitate to throw away after you’ve had the beer. I end up leaving stacks of these empty cans in my kitchen because I feel bad throwing such a beautiful thing in the recycling." 
Market challenger: The market challenger holds the second highest market share in the category, following closely behind the dominant player. Their market posture is generally offensive because they have less to lose and more to gain by taking risks. They will compete head to head with the market leader in an effort to grow market share. Their overall strategy is to gain market share through product, packaging and service innovations; new market development and redefinition of the to broaden its scope and their position within it. #AskGaryVee Episode 30: How to Pick a Name for Your Business

According to Porter, these strategies are mutually exclusive and the firm must select one approach to the exclusion of all others.[70] Firms that try to be all things to all people can present a confused market position which ultimately leads to below average returns. Any ambiguity about the firm's approach is a recipe for "strategic mediocrity" and any firm that tries to pursue two approaches simultaneously is said to be "stuck in the middle" and destined for failure.[71] 10 of the Best Branding Tips and Ideas | Building Better Brands | Episode 6
If you want everyone to be on the same page, make sure you clarify your ideas in a brief, especially if you are going to be creating several design concepts. Make sure everyone from creative, graphics, to management understands the brand concepts you want to use, then clarify it in a brief. If you want to get started, here are 5 Tips to Create a Good Branding Design Brief.
It is essential that the internal analysis provide a frank and open evaluation of the firm's superiority in terms of skills, resources or market position since this will provide the basis for competing over the forthcoming planning period. For this reason, some companies engage external consultants, often advertising or marketing agencies, to provide an independent assessment of the firms capabilities and resources. What is a Marketing Strategy?

David, there is a difference between the logo and the overall website design. This site is a perfect example. We basically don’t have a logo, but because there is valuable content in an easy-to-read layout, people keep coming back. The overall design of your site reflects how in touch you are with current trends and technologies. If you’re still using frames, tables and animated spinning logos, you’re out of touch with current best practices and that reflects badly on you – regardless of what the logo in the corner looks like. Your business logo typically has little to do with your website design. It may influence the color palette and in rare cases be the inspiration for certain design cues – think of Coke’s swoopy logo and integrating a swoop on the page – but your logo doesn’t dictate the layout, technology or usability. Branding Basics: Making Your Business Stand Out
Today, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google. Whenever someone wants to learn something visually, they head there. You've likely done it yourself countless times. So just ask yourself what you could teach in your business that would help consumers solve some pain point? What got you into business in the first place?
Those who follow after the Close Followers are known as the Late Entrants. While being a Late Entrant can seem very daunting, there are some perks to being a latecomer. For example, Late Entrants have the ability to learn from those who are already in the market or have previously entered.[98] Late Followers have the advantage of learning from their early competitors and improving the benefits or reducing the total costs. This allows them to create a strategy that could essentially mean gaining market share and most importantly, staying in the market. In addition to this, markets evolve, leading to consumers wanting improvements and advancements on products.[99] Late Followers have the advantage of catching the shifts in customer needs and wants towards the products.[92] When bearing in mind customer preference, customer value has a significant influence. Customer value means taking into account the investment of customers as well as the brand or product.[100] It is created through the “perceptions of benefits” and the “total cost of ownership”.[100] On the other hand, if the needs and wants of consumers have only slightly altered, Late Followers could have a cost advantage over early entrants due to the use of product imitation.[95] However, if a business is switching markets, this could take the cost advantage away due to the expense of changing markets for the business. Late Entry into a market does not necessarily mean there is a disadvantage when it comes to market share, it depends on how the marketing mix is adopted and the performance of the business.[101] If the marketing mix is not used correctly – despite the entrant time – the business will gain little to no advantages, potentially missing out on a significant opportunity. What is Branding? // A Blue Ocean Ideas Film
Realize that you’re not in control of your brand. That’s right, you only set the direction for your brand. Your actual brand image is determined by your audience. You can use these tips to ensure alignment between your desired brand image and your actual brand image in the minds of your customers. Branding isn’t a one shot deal, it’s an on-going juggling act of marketing, research and conversation. If you’re not tapping into those conversations with your audience, how do you know what their real impression of you is? How will you know how to address it? Brand growth comes from alignment. You have to ensure that your actions, stationary, website and marketing efforts put out the right image. But you cannot stop there; Those are pre-sales activities that get you noticed and hopefully bought. You also have to ensure that all actions and engagements during the sale and post-sale are positive and in line with your desired brand image. If your audience has a different view of you than you’d like, then you need help. And it’s probably best to bring in an outside perspective.

Want to grab a lot of attention really quickly? Well, this set is definitely for you, then. Breaking it down, the fundamentals of this design are pretty simple, but when paired with a vivid signature colour, this design really leaps off the page and screen. Coupled with bold, geometric type and plenty of white space, this design is vibrant without being gaudy, perfect for any creative brand that isn’t afraid of a little fluorescence.


Marketing strategy involves mapping out the company's direction for the forthcoming planning period, whether that be three, five or ten years. It involves undertaking a 360° review of the firm and its operating environment with a view to identifying new business opportunities that the firm could potentially leverage for competitive advantage. Strategic planning may also reveal market threats that the firm may need to consider for long-term sustainability.[9] Strategic planning makes no assumptions about the firm continuing to offer the same products to the same customers into the future. Instead, it is concerned with identifying the business opportunities that are likely to be successful and evaluates the firm's capacity to leverage such opportunities. It seeks to identify the strategic gap; that is the difference between where a firm is currently situated (the strategic reality or inadvertent strategy) and where it should be situated for sustainable, long-term growth (the strategic intent or deliberate strategy).[10]
Mr. Rice… I found these “tips” on branding to really miss the whole point of branding. It has to do with differentiating your company/product/service in a positive and unique way, and it begins with your strategy, not tactics. Positioning your offering within your competing category through significant strategies (not logo color or even its cost) having to do with company values, mission and culture, an understanding of customer and prospect values, needs and triggers, knowing your competitor’s positioning and corporat strategies are all significant inputs to the ultimate brand. Your tip number five sort of addresses this, but is really simplistic. I don’t care how small a company is, a strategic foundation for branding is first and most important. I’m blogging a series of post called Branding Basics at http://www.thebrandingblog.com. I’ve just posted my sixth blog in the series and have just given readers permission to begin the “creative” process by writing their brand’s “story”: all this before we ever address the elements of name, logo and teglines, never mind media. If you check it out, I’d welcome your comments.
Realize that you’re not in control of your brand. That’s right, you only set the direction for your brand. Your actual brand image is determined by your audience. You can use these tips to ensure alignment between your desired brand image and your actual brand image in the minds of your customers. Branding isn’t a one shot deal, it’s an on-going juggling act of marketing, research and conversation. If you’re not tapping into those conversations with your audience, how do you know what their real impression of you is? How will you know how to address it? Brand growth comes from alignment. You have to ensure that your actions, stationary, website and marketing efforts put out the right image. But you cannot stop there; Those are pre-sales activities that get you noticed and hopefully bought. You also have to ensure that all actions and engagements during the sale and post-sale are positive and in line with your desired brand image. If your audience has a different view of you than you’d like, then you need help. And it’s probably best to bring in an outside perspective. The Difference Between Marketing and Branding?

Participate in local business events. And by participate, I mean be on a committee. Just showing up at events is great, but you’re just a face in the crowd. Ask to be on one of the committees. Believe it or not, it’s as simple as just asking most of time. Groups are looking for volunteer help and it’s a great way to elevate your status and visibility among the entire organization. 9 Brand Design Elements Your Brand MUST Have for Designers and Entrepreneurs
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