Building your brand using design and communication
Building a brand for a business has its challenges. If you’re just starting out, you might think of the difficulty in deciding on the right logo and colours, or your business card design – but the challenges change as your brand develops.
Once you have the visual parts of your brand set up – such as your logo, business cards, stationery, website and social media presence – it’s then onto developing a plan to build your customer base and loyal followers. This doesn’t happen overnight, and it takes some thought into what your customers are expecting (or hoping) from you.
The first thing that comes to mind for many businesses wanting to build their customer base is to use social media. Social media is a great tool, but it shouldn’t be the only tool. If you are an online business, make sure to build an email database of past and current customers, and stay in touch with them regularly. If you are a retail business where customers come to you, you can always provide incentives to return – or it may be as simple as giving each customer a flyer about your business when they make a purchase. It’s all about setting up ways of being kept in the mind of your customers, so your business is the one they remember (and want) to come back to.
The other aspect that I see businesses often not consider as part of their brand building is customer service – I think everyone cares about their customer service, and many do a wonderful job at it – but do remember that it can be a part of your brand building and development too. Planning how you talk about your products and services can be instrumental in captivating potential customers interest. The follow-up communication is also important to have in your plan to build a loyal customer base.
Visually, always make sure that any communications you make with customers look consistent with the brand you originally set up – and this is important whether it’s online (website and social media), printed (flyers, cards, posters), and even down to any temporary signs you might pop up in your store. Your logo, brand colours, fonts and images are assets to making your business look professional, so use them to back up your amazing customer service and communications, and your brand will flourish.