Over the past year and a half or so, many of us have completely changed the direction of our careers. While prior to the pandemic, many of us were in employed roles where we worked for someone else, the pandemic has resulted (for many of us) in situations where we are looking for new work or career paths. Whether that’s because the company we worked for collapsed, because we were made redundant, or because we simply had sufficient time to reanalyse our career path and decide it wasn’t for us, you may have found yourself in a situation where you’ve decided to start your own business. Now, running your own business comes hand in hand with countless perks, so it’s not all too surprising that so many people have decided to follow this path. You gain more control over your career – you decide what industry you work in, you choose your own area of specialism, you decide what you sell, you decide who you work with, where you work from and how many hours you do. You also build your own fortune, rather than earning someone else’s on their behalf. But it’s important to be aware that running a business is extremely demanding and you’re going to have to learn a lot to make things a success. For now, let’s focus on branding to get the ball rolling.

Branding

When you run a business, you’ll quickly find that you have to become an expert in countless areas you may not have experienced or engaged with before. Sure, you will eventually take on staff with relevant expertise to help with this. But to hire staff, you need to be generating money and to generate money you need to be making sales and profits in the first place. So, prepare to learn at least the basics of countless fields. Whether that’s product design, manufacturing, market research, marketing or anything else. A key area of focus when you’re starting out should be branding. By having a good brand, you will be able to raise brand awareness and encourage brand loyalty, building a committed customer base who will return to you and your products time and time again.

What is Branding?

Let’s start out with the basics. Branding is the act of providing your company a distinct name, style, tone of voice and aesthetic that helps consumers to immediately identify a product as coming from your company as opposed to anyone else’s. Major brands include McDonalds, Nike and Apple. When you hear Mcdonald’s jingle, you don’t think of generic burgers. You think of the Big Mac, McChicken sandwich and McPlant – all branded elements of this business. When you think of Nike, you think of specific lines of trainers. When you think of Apple, you think of the Macbook, iPad and iPhone as opposed to other laptops, phones and other devices.

Getting Started with Branding

So, where should you get started when it comes to branding? The key is to avoid rushing this process. You want to create a brand that will stand the test of time, which can help you to avoid major rebranding exercises later down the line, which can be costly and confusion for already committed customers. A good place to start is to read a lot on the subject. Professionals like Dee Agarwal have plenty of posts online that can help you to understand the ins and outs of the branding process and what you need to do to experience success. There are also plenty of video tutorials, books and other resources out there. If you want to go all out, it could be worth completing a course in branding. This may cost some money, but it will really help you to understand its importance and how to go about branding correctly.

Agencies

If you don’t have the time or energy available to brand your company yourself, it’s important to be aware that there are countless agencies out there who can help you with this process. This will come at a cost, but it will also ensure that you get good quality branding advice and recommendations from professionals who really know what they’re doing when it comes to developing a recognisable and likeable brand. They will have worked with enough clients to know what does work and what doesn’t work, so can make good recommendations that should benefit your brand in the long run. When choosing a branding agency, it’s a good idea to look at their portfolio and to read reviews from previous clients. This will ensure that you’re working with people who know what they’re doing and who provide good services.

These are just the basics when it comes to branding, but hopefully, they will help to get the ball rolling for you!

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