One step down: you have a name for your business. Or if you’re not quite there yet, you can use TRUiC’s free Business Name Generator as a brainstorming tool. Once you’ve landed upon the perfect name for your new company, it’s time to work on expanding your brand. There are numerous ways you can spread the word about your products and services — here are some common questions and our recommendations.
What to Know About Expanding a Brand
How do I secure a domain name and start a business website?
Launching a website for your company will establish credibility, make it much easier for people to find you, and if you don’t have the funds for brick-and-mortar business, can be a low-cost, low-risk way of dipping your toe in entrepreneurship. To start a website, you’ll need to first purchase a domain name. You can either navigate that yourself or use the TRUiC Domain Name Generator, through which you can find and purchase thousands of available domain names. Alternatively, you can secure a name through GoDaddy by using TRUiC’s main Business Name Generator tool. Using these services is helpful because they incorporate Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which will help your business rise to the top on Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines.
How do I design a logo?
The Nike swoosh, McDonald’s golden arches, Target’s bullseye — logos can be just as important as names for brand-building. They resonate with customers and help generate brand recognition as a result. Be careful to consider your audience and intended company message when creating a logo. Though it’s more than possible to try your hand at design, it can be best to leave logo creation to the experts. For example, TRUiC has an in-house team of designers who come up with personalizable logos which are free to use, free to download, and are extremely high quality. Try taking TRUiC’s Logo Maker for a spin. You might just find the bullseye to your Target.
How do I create promotional materials?
After deciding upon your name and logo, you have to do everything in your power to make sure people see it. Making promotional materials, like business cards, flyers and brochures, can help get your brand out there, and can add a nice personal touch to your business strategy. Deluxe works with millions of small businesses to create memorable promotional materials at all price points. It’s a great resource if you want to get creative with outside-the-box offerings like branded T-Shirts, tumblers, pens, journals, and more (hint: people love free merch).
How do I build a social media presence?
Social media is your friend. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube — you name it. You should have your company on all of these social media platforms if you want to get your name out there and engage with customers. Social media can work kind of like a search engine. If a customer is looking for something specific, many will turn to social media and look for pages or accounts offering the item or service. Additionally, social media is a great place for free or paid advertising. Instagram and Twitter are useful for accessing younger audiences, while Facebook has a huge number of users of all ages. YouTube is a great platform for promotional video content, which engages with younger people in particular.
Should I collaborate with like-minded brands?
Yes! There’s no “I” in success. Working with another brand that shares your goals or compliments your product/service can be a great, reciprocal way of reaching new audiences. If you have a hand-crafted wooden toothbrush company and you see someone who sells organic toothpaste, reach out to collaborate. You’ll be stronger together, and can both take advantage of the progress the other has already made: clients, trust, and marketing. It’s a win-win!
How do I present my products or services?
Especially in crowded markets, packaging and presentation can be absolutely make or break. How you go about this depends entirely on your industry and intended customer. For example, many brands appeal to younger audiences through block colors and more minimalistic packaging (example: Glossier, quip). However, REI wins in the outdoor-sphere through emphasizing adventure and danger in its packaging. Carefully consider your color palette, fonts, exterior imaging, and try to make sure they all nod toward a cohesive brand goal.
Should I align myself with organizations that cater to my target market?
Absolutely! More than ever, people like supporting brands that create a positive impact in the world — and on top of that, you’ll feel satisfied to know you’re giving back through entrepreneurship. Consider researching and reaching out to organizations related to your target market. Connecting with a cause that speaks to your brand — either through giving a portion of your profits to the organization or co-ordinating on a volunteering project — can really resonate with customers, and make your company a part of the community.
How do I establish myself as an authority in my market?
A key part of branding is making sure the world knows your company is the best at what it does; there are several ways you can go about this. First, make sure you’re filling a market gap. You need to find your niche of something people want and that you in particular have an edge on making. Secondly, be reliable. If your website is faulty, your shipping is late, your customer service is bad, people will begin to lose trust in your brand and you’ll lose your place at the top of the food chain. Ask yourself these two questions: What are you doing that no-one else is? And are you doing it well?
Should I attend networking events?
Of course! Though the internet is a fantastic way to connect with other people, don’t overlook the power of a little face-to-face time. Attending networking events — specifically those relevant to your industry or with noteworthy speakers — gives you an opportunity to interact with both experts in your field and fellow entrepreneurs who are facing the same challenges as you. Networking events can be a great place to pick up tips, workshop ideas, and learn from industry titans.