Starting a new venture in the digital age is challenging on many levels. Knowing that whatever you publish about your company is instantly available to millions of brand-savvy viewers can be intimidating. It can also put you on an even footing to attract customers, partners, and investors.
Presenting yourself with a strong brand right out of the gate does not have to be daunting or expensive. These are the building blocks you need to create a brand image that will help position you as a serious and valuable business:
1. Basic brand platform. You should be able to define your mission, vision, brand promise, and basic attributes in a simple one-page document. This will inform all other materials moving forward and allow for a check point for company initiatives.
2. Logo/Visual identity. I can’t say this enough. Do it first and do it right. If nothing else, invest in a professional, custom corporate identity and use it consistently. Think of all the effort large corporations put into protecting their logos. It’s for a good reason.
3. Website. This will be the hub of your communications effort. All other outreach efforts, including social media, will refer back to the site. It is the first place people go to find out about you. We think of websites as the core of the visual brand. Whatever design elements are created here to communicate your brand and your business, should be able to translate out into printed and electronic materials
4. Everything else. From here on, the pieces that you need depend upon the business you are in. Presentations, social media, exhibits, printed collateral, advertising should all be based upon your brand platform, identity, and visual brand as portrayed on your website.
With the first three steps in place, the “everything else” part will be less daunting, less expensive, and less time-consuming. Your efforts will be more consistent, professional, and attractive to your audience.