Congratulations! You may have just started your own business or perhaps decided to rebrand your existing business. With all the different ways to market and advertise you need to do your research and get a plan together. Like most of us, your search will likely begin right here on the internet. You will quickly learn that all the advice on the internet points to an overwhelming full-time job of managing your digital presence. Here is a summary of what we found in the last few years as we developed our brand.
According to the internet, these are the top 10 steps to successfully brand your business:
In no specific order:
1. Get a website
2. Learn and work on SEO
3. Build your social media presence and drive engagement
a. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok
4. Network locally
5. Get out and be social
6. Get a logo
7. Get business cards, stickers, t-shirts and other merchandise and swag
8. Do great work
9. Get reviews for your business
10. Engage your audience
Spoiler Alert - As you read this list, you might quickly realize it kind of looks like a job description. You need to be able to market, advertise, develop graphics, build websites, engage audiences, and somehow make money at some point.
There’s a ton of advice we can give you. First off, do your homework. A crummy web developer, photographer or graphic designer can stifle your brand and waste your time. Expensive services don’t always translate to good services. Check references and ask around. Second, you must define your brand. Determine whether your brand is going to be a lifestyle/quality brand or a bargain brand. Lifestyle brands integrate with your client’s life. Think of YETI, RTIC, Rolex, Lamborghini and Ferrari. Bargain brands are constantly offering deals to get you in the door. Think of Groupon, Sears, Kmart, Kohls, JCPenney, etc.
If you are going to be a bargain brand; then focus on the deals. Buy low and sell high. Maybe consider a drop shipping model. People will be buying from you for the deal, not necessarily the brand or even the service.
If you’re going to be a lifestyle brand; then you need to focus on quality. This means you should not go cheap on anything you’re doing. Strive for the highest quality possible so your brand is accurately represented. If you decide to have t-shirts made, get the absolute best quality t-shirts you can afford. It will cost more but the return will be tremendous. Think for a minute about your favorite t-shirt. Does it have a cool image, does it have a cool saying, does it feel amazing? It’s your favorite shirt for a reason. Everyone has a favorite t-shirt. In the sea of t-shirts, your goal is to become the new favorite. You must stand out in the crowd. If people are wearing your shirts, you are going to get exposure for your brand.
T-shirts have so many different options. You have options from screen printing to vinyl to direct to garment (DTG) printing. The screen printing and DTG printing are typically going to be the highest quality. Each of the different methods have options within and all have a different look and feel. Do your homework. At ETCHUS, we like water-based ink and no feel screen printing for our shirts. We also use very high-quality shirts. Everyone that touches them is blown away. What we’re getting at is, make sure the items you put in the hands of clients and prospective clients are reflective of your brand. If the print or image will fade, peel, bubble, fall off, or fail in anyway; this will reflect poorly on your brand. We all perceive our brands to be of the highest quality and we all believe that our brands won’t fail. Stick with quality items and the perception of your brand will be on point!
In this instance, less is more! Starting a business is no easy feat. There is no such thing as perfect and perception is reality. To get the reality you want, you must create the perception. If you’re interested in promoting your brand with quality products; then ETCHUS is interested in helping you achieve your goals and get measurable results!
When we started ETCHUS we made the decision early on to strive for perfection. While we know its not achievable we do make a best attempt. We didn't want to create or sell anything that didn't meet our own very high quality standards. Thanks for following along and considering us for all of your customization and personalization projects.
That's What's Up!
Scott Zimmerman is the CEO and Co-Founder of ETCHUS. ETCHUS is your #1 Source for Cerakote, Laser Engraving, Branding, Strategy and Design. Scott is a contibuting author to Our Blog called "That's What's Up". The Blog is focused on everything from super cool projects, interesting collaborations and tips & tricks on all kinds of different topics. Now That's What's Up!