It’s easy to buy a business name, but you need to create a brand. You need to live it and grow with it, its the pinnacle of your communication, the thing that clients recognise and remember. I often picture the brands that I design on the tops of buildings, made into a pattern for suitcases, printed huge on the football field or worn by millions across the world. By doing this you place that brand mark high on a pedestal, just for a moment, to see if it fits, or whether you need to go back to the pencil and sketchpad.

Below are ten things we advise our clients to think about to ensure strong branding and thus a strong business message, thanks to Tim Reid for compiling such a simple effective list.

1. Know what your brand stands for

Whilst I may be a marketing consultant in every day speak, my brand is all about making businesses and charities irresistible. That’s what I stand for. Identifying what your brand stands for is the first part of my Brand Character process.

2. Do things properly

If this means do less, then do less. Avoid cheap, shoddy anything: printing, design, packaging, photography and copy. If this means buying a cheaper office chair, then get a cheaper office chair!

3. Have one designer do everything

Logo, fliers, website, signage, PowerPoint, stationary and so on. Make sure they know what they’re doing though, particularly in regards to your website.

4. Know your core values

These should form the basis of all decisions you make in your business and around your brand.

5. Identify your prospects’ problem

As brand builders we are problem solvers. Make sure your brand clearly says “Hey, I can fix your problem!”

6. Identify your brand’s personality

then ensure it comes through in all its marketing.

7. Be unique

Take a look at what the competition is doing, identify the gap and fill it with your brand. If all the brands in your category are black then be white. Great brands challenge their category.

8. Be consistent

Make sure you present your brand to the market place in exactly the same way no matter what the medium. You are creating one brand…not ten!

9. Socialise it

Make sure every person within your business knows what your brand stands for. It’s useless having everyone on different pages.

10. Make it visually really interesting

There are so many boring logos out there, don’t be one of them. Be brave…it pays off.

11. Under promise and over deliver

All good brands do this. Remember, I promised 10 points…well this is the 11th.