A single black check mark. A popular fruit with a bite removed. Two golden arches. A peacock with rainbow feathers.

You didn't see any images, but you can still probably identify those brands -- Nike, Apple, McDonald's, and NBC. According to Forbes, those are some of the top 10 most powerful brands of 2016.

In fact, if you’re like most consumers, you’ve probably purchased a product from at least one of these companies. Consider that experience for a moment. What drew you to that brand in the first place? What level of quality did you expect from the company? How did your experience measure up to those expectations? Would you return to that brand again?

If you responded positively to those questions, it’s thanks to the “magic” of effective branding. 

What Is It?

Think of your brand as the face of your company: It’s every element that customers see, hear, and interact with. Logos, images, slogans, print collateral – if your customers come into contact with it, it’s part of your brand, and it needs to be as effective, reliable, and distinctive as your business.

What Makes An Effective Brand?

According to Forbes, successful brands share seven traits. These include:

·      Uniqueness. How distinctive is your brand compared to your competitors’? How easily is your company’s identity recognized? Think about what specific quality your company has to offer. The sandwich chain Subway distinguishes itself from similar restaurants by emphasizing that it’s a fresh, healthy alternative to fast food. How do you want your customers to remember your business?

·      Exposure. Smaller companies can’t usually afford the huge price tag attached to prime-time TV commercials or magazine ads, but today, that isn’t a big deal – social media is the name of the game. How’s your company’s Web presence? Have you taken advantage of Facebook and Twitter? The Internet represents an untapped market of millions of potential customers who might otherwise never know about your company. And don’t underestimate the power of local advertising – newspapers, flyers, and radio stations are great ways to get your business’ name out there.

·      Audience knowledge. How well do you know your demographic? What qualities do they seek in a business that your competition may not be fulfilling? Knowing your target market is the key to strategies like marketing campaigns, and can help you create a brand that represents exactly what customers want.

Why Do You Need An Effective Brand?

 But why is branding so vital to a company’s success? The answer is simple: Good branding attracts customers and keeps them coming back. When you cultivate a brand that customers can trust and remember, you’re opening your business up to a whole new potential clientele.

If all this seems like an exaggeration, consider this: eight out of 10 businesses fail in the first year and a half, and 50% of American companies crash within the first five years. Branding your company well has never been more important than it is in 2015. Effective branding is what separates the success stories from the statistics. 

How Do I Develop My Brand?

If all this seems daunting, don’t worry. With the right guidance, branding will be a simple, straightforward process that benefits your business for years to come.

That’s why it’s critical to work with an experienced, qualified, and passionate team who can provide you with the results you want. We at METIK Marketing have over a decade of experience in the tax industry, and we want to put that knowledge to work for you. Let us handle every aspect of the branding process, from analyzing your target market to designing your logo, and everything in between.

Your brand is one of the most important keys to your company’s success. Trust METIK to take your business to the next level.

 

 Branding is one of the most powerful aspects of marketing – and for some business owners, one of the most overwhelming.

 

 It’s not hard to see why. Your brand is every element with which customers come into contact. Brochures, flyers, logos, blog posts – if your clients can see or hear it, it’s part of your brand, and it needs to be as effective, reliable, and distinctive as your business. If done well, branding helps your company stand out, generates word-of-mouth, keeps you competitive, and builds a reliable client base.

 

 That’s a lot of pressure, especially for entrepreneurs who are new to the game. So what should business owners avoid when creating their brand?

1) Using poor graphics. Consumers are visual, and the artwork and images that represent your brand should be original, striking, and bold. When it comes to graphics, it’s probably safest to leave the work to professionals, even if you think you might be able to do it. It’s worth shelling out a little more money for quality, too; pros know what works and what doesn’t, and what will appeal to your market most. From your logo to your website to your brochure design, good graphics make a difference.

2) Reinventing your logo or company name. Change is good, but in marketing, consistency is key. How can you expect to turn customers into returning clients if they can’t keep track of your business’ latest name? How can customers identify your company easily if you’ve changed logos three times? To build a house, you wouldn’t keep changing the foundation and expect to create a stable structure. Your brand is no different. Commission a good logo and choose a great name the first time around, and you won’t need to change them for a long time.

3) Trying to brand your company on the cheap. Small businesses may have small budgets, especially at first, but branding should be a priority, not an afterthought. It’s possible to create a brand for $50 – but it’ll be obvious that you only paid $50, especially to consumers. With branding, you get what you pay for. Show your market that your company values quality.

4) Trying to imitate another business’ brand. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but for branding, imitation spells disaster. It’s easy for consumers to ignore or forget about brands they think are just copying successful companies. Individuality appeals to almost every market. Besides, imitating another brand just sets you up for failure – customers will expect the same service from your company as they do the other. Don’t put unfair expectations on your business by mimicking another.

Branding can be overwhelming, especially for new businesses. We at METIK Marketing have over a decade of experience in the tax industry, and we want to put that knowledge to work for you. We know how to handle every aspect of the branding process – and we’ll ensure your company doesn’t make these mistakes.

Trust METIK to take your business to the next level. Contact us today at 844.44METIK (63845).