An online business, like any business, thrives with loyal customers. Loyal customers are return customers, and, so long as you have what they need or want, they will keep coming back to your business to purchase goods or services. The relationship you build and maintain with your customer begins with your brand.
Branding is the creative process of building a visual image of your product or company. Creating a brand is creating a clear and unique identity for your business; the name, design scheme, logo and slogan are part of your brand.
Brand loyalty is not simply having a recognizable brand; it is about having a brand that customers feel is honest, reliable and consistent.
What’s in a name?
You want the name of your business to be memorable, represent the correct image and create an impact (a feeling, heightened interest etc.) on the viewer, and whether or not it is personal or not, you want it to be search engine optimization (SEO) friendly. The logo, like the name, has to be simple, appropriate, versatile and timeless so be considerate of these factors when coming up with your brand, and remember that some of the most successful brands in history aren’t particularly creative, but they are memorable enough to be the primary identifier.
Your slogan or tagline can add a level to your brand identity; taglines do not need to be overly specific or philosophical, but are short and simple catch phrases that customers will connect to your brand.
A weak brand is bad starting position, make sure that you have one strong yet simple brand that you apply to everything from letterheads to rulers to t-shirts; the more visible your brand the more likely to be remembered, thus customers are likely to think of you when they are looking for a service or product that you distribute, they will be more inclined to recommend you if you are memorable.
Make sure that you a delivering on your promises, skimping on quality will not help to create a brand that customers will trust or want to purchase from again, which will definitely cost you in the future. This applies to everything from packaging and stationary to staff and contractors.
Remember, the small details matter. Open lines of communication, thoughtful details, and great service delivery will help to create and strengthen your brand identity and grow your business.