A brand is not a name, a logo, an image or a business strategy. A brand is a promise of an experience, and the most important item in developing and promoting this experience is trust.
But how can people trust you if they are confused by you? What is your business name? Website? Email? Are they all different? If yes, shame on you. Right there you have made communicating with you and your business much more complicated and you have lost 10 brownie points for muddying the waters and making it hard for a single brand impression to reside in your prospects and customers mind.
The key to branding is consistency, consistency and consistency. Even if you are only a one man band business. Even if our long term goals are not yet in focus. For now, assume you will be around for a while. Now what name are you going to use? Once again, your name is not the actual brand, but your name is shorthand for your brand. It is the handle by which I open the door to business with you and your company.
So before you go to the county and register your little dba, think long and hard about the name. Then when a decision is made, stick with it and properly implement it before you have your first business card printed.
I cringe when I see a consultant actively networking and looking for new business, then giving out a card that says the business is Stratmar Consulting (or something like that), but the website is mac.com/stratmarketing and the email is Shirley458@aol.com. Ouch, ouch and ouch.
Today anyone can get a website for a very low cost with their own unique domain name. And once they have that, publicly used email addresses should all match and run off the same domain name, even if behind the scenes they forward to your old favorite email system.
Do you see the difference when the company name is Stratmar Cal say, and the domain is www.stratmarcal.com and the email is firstname.lastname@example.org? If all I remember is Stratmar Cal I can find this company and person.
Remember, consistency, consistency, consistency.
Here is a great case study of a small business doing branding right.
PS Consistent use of logos and color schemes too.
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