The Basics of Branding

Branding is an important aspect of your business, be it big or small. But what is branding? Why should you care about branding? And does it effect small businesses?

Simply put, branding is your business’ image, or rather the process of creating your business’ image. While also important, your brand is more than just your logo, and reflects certain aspects of your business, from quality of customer service, the quality of your services or products to your business’ mission and ideals. Your brand also shows your customers what to expect from your products or services. It is who you are, and how you are perceived by current and prospective clients.

So why is it important and why should you create and maintain your business’ brand? Whether you notice it or not, you already have a brand. People will make certain connotations based on your customer service, the quality of your products or services and how you deliver it to them, what your business’ ideals and morals are and the general vibe they get from you and your employees. Focusing on your branding gives you more control over how you are perceived, helps to get your business recognized by having a good and positive brand and gives you multiple opportunities to grow your business.

A good brand sets your business apart from competitors, and maintains customer loyalty.

We all know that companies such as Nike, Adidas, Apple and Microsoft have strong brands. A lot of their prospective customers are generated by the brand image itself. If they did not put so much effort into creating and maintain their brand, they might not have been where they are today.

The examples of brands I used are huge companies, so you might be thinking that it does not have much relevance to you and your company. Why should small businesses care about branding? Well, it is a rarity that you are the only business that sells a particular product or service.

Today consumers have so many options and you need to show what sets you apart from your competitors. Are your products or services high cost for great quality? Or are you affordable and trustworthy? Unfortunately you cannot be everything to everyone and the sooner you create a good brand identity, the better. All companies started as small businesses, and neglecting your brand won’t help your business grow.

We are seeing a big increase in conscious consumers today. While that mostly pertains to environmentally conscious and sustainable products and services, I personally see it as much more. Prospective clients want to know more about you, about your business and they want to know that they are supporting a business that stands for something. Whether it is impeccable customer service, catering to a variety of subcultures or supporting ethical causes, this all ties into strong & authentic branding.

Continue reading on how to create a strong and authentic brand. Get in touch with Advertising Solutions Web Design to effectively communicate your brand strategy today.

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  • REPAYMENT PLAN

    How does the repayment plan work?

    Upon acceptance of the quotation, we require a 50% deposit payment before the start of the project. The balance or outstanding amount has to be paid after we have completed the project.

    With the repayment plan, you are able to repay us the balance or outstanding amount over 3 months. However, failure to make payments will result in immediate suspension of your account.

  • WEBSITE HOSTING

    What is Web Hosting?

    When you design a website and want other people to see it, you will need to publish (or upload) it with a web hosting service.

    Web hosting services work by storing your website files in high-powered computers (web servers) connected to a very fast network. When someone types in your web address (such as www.advertisingsolutions.co.za), the Internet connects to the web server holding your website files and then transfers your website information back to their computer. From there they can surf and view the pages of your website.

  • DOMAIN NAME

    What is a Domain Name?

    A domain name (www.yourcompanyname.co.za) is essentially your company’s Internet address; the same way your company’s street address is used to find your offices, a domain name is used to find your website. Consider this: Pick a domain name that’s memorable and relevant!

  • NUMBER OF STOCK PHOTOS

    Stock photos are professionally taken photographs that we can buy online to use commercially, without having to stress over copy-right issues. It can be used to enhance your website or in marketing material.

    Stock photos can save you quite a bit of time and money, as you do not have to hire a photographer just to have some quality images for your website. While stock images cover a broad range of applications, it can be difficult to acquire pictures for a certain niche, or a specific product.

     

  • NUMBER OF SLIDES

    What is a slider?

    A banner slider is comprised of images and text on multiple slides, allowing you to rotate content on a single space on your website. It’s most commonly the first thing you see (apart from the logo and menu) on a website’s home page. The purpose of the slider is to catch the attention of the viewer while being visually appealing and easy to read. It can be used to display selected information, such as promotions or highlighting specific products or services, and can also be used to easily navigate your site.

    How many should I use?

    This is dependable on the amount of content you have on your website. Small websites that do not have much information 1-2 sliders will be enough. Websites with more pages and content to market will require more sliders to make the navigation of the site easily digestible for the viewer, while promoting certain products or content. We do not recommend more than 5 slides, as we find that most viewers spend a few minutes on your home page before moving on to another page and won’t view more than 5 slides.

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    Standard Website Design

    This design is for the general purpose of getting your company’s information out on the internet and reaching potential customers. This does not include an online store/eCommerce, directories or custom development. As we use WordPress, you will also have the option of logging in to your website and doing some small changes yourself if you choose.

    Online Store/eCommerce

    This design option is for selling your products online, as well as having your information online and reaching potential customers. This includes payment gateway integration such as Payfast and EFT and also includes up to 50 individual products. If you have more products you can simply load them in yourself by logging into the backend of your website, where you can also manage your inventory and take stock. If you have a large selection and would prefer us to do it, we can assist you with loading all your products for an additional fee.

  • NUMBER OF PAGES

    Most websites are comprised of 4 pages, eg: Home, About, Services/Products and Contact.

    Your Home page welcomes the viewer, with a general summary of your company and what you have to offer. It also helps the viewer easily navigate your site. Your About page may list company history, your mission and vision, team members, company values or any information regarding your company.

    Your Products or Services page is where you expand on the products or services you have. Your Contact page lists all your contact details, such as your physical address, contact number and email address. It is also good to have an enquiry form so potential clients can easily get in contact with you.

    These are just the most common pages used, the amount of pages will depend on the amount of information you have.

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