Starting a business is not an easy task. Communication can be wrongly regarded as a simple (or pleasant) task to perform in relation to the difficulty of the financial requirements or the technical development of a product. Unfortunately, a technically superior product can remain in the starting blocks for lack of sufficient attention to how it will be perceived by the market.
Here are some useful tips for setting up an effective communication strategy even if you don't have the budget of a multinational company.
1. Spend more time on the critical elements of your communication
Your brand name and domain name cannot be changed easily afterwards without requiring a significant investment. It is essential to do it right the first time and to take the time necessary for reflection. Contact the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property to make sure that the various components of your brand (logo, logo, brand name) are not protected by a third party.
Then book the domain name you want without delay. Check that you - not your provider - are the owner of the domain name.
2. Create a simple and powerful graphic identity
Hire a professional graphic designer and do not use a do-it-yourself logo builder or your logo could be a popular version identical to that of hundreds of doubtful companies around the world. The graphic identity consists of the brand name, the logo and symbol of the brand, the color code and the fonts used. It will reflect your brand's personality and should be designed to facilitate its memorization. Simplicity is the watchword. According to the typographer Adrian Frutiger, the best logo is the one a child can draw on the sand with his finger (1). Consider the comma of the Nike acronym. Provide a version of your logo suitable for different types of media (stationery, computer or mobile phone screens, posters, signs, etc.). Plan to buy the different fonts and add them in the style sheet of your website.
3. Don't neglect stationery and promotional materials
Stationery is a small part of the business that your customers take with them. We sometimes meet entrepreneurs who apologize by holding out their business card: "It is a provisional card made on the basis of my little nephew's drawing, but we are going to redo a more professional one." Better to remove the step of the little nephew right away and not have a business card at all, because this only highlights your lack of investment. Thanks to digital printing, it is now possible to print small quantities with a quality close to offset. Hire a professional to create the basic layout. Then possibly invest in DTP software for subsequent text updates if you anticipate many. In particular, you should think about the following:
- business cards,
- letterheads and envelopes with logo,
- compliment cards,
- advertising brochure or leaflet,
- data sheets,
- advertising gifts,
- PowerPoint templates.
4. Plan your promotion on the internet
The Internet is obviously an essential channel. The network can be used as a media, a prospecting tool, a virtual showcase or provide online services. If nobody in the company has the skills of a webmaster, do use an open source content management system (CMS) like Wordpress or Joomla in order to be able to make by yourself the most common text modifications. Indeed, for your customers or prospects, the site is the company's showcase and if you can't google your product, it simply does not exist. We are often asked the question of the winning recipe for a successful website. In general, a large budget is not absolutely necessary, but it does take time to create relevant content and trials and errors in order to find the right sources of qualified visitors to your site.
5. The link between all of this: the concept of communication
The concept of communication gives its identity to the company and serves as a link with its target audience: think of the famous Uncle Ben's, the McDonald's clown or the Michelin man. In the internet age, many companies are content with a few 'low cost' photos rather than taking the risk of developing an original communication concept. I say take the risk, because any creation could displease a certain number of people. But, after all, starting a business is an adventure.
The concept of communication gives its identity to the company and serves as a link with its target audience: think of Mr. Proper, the McDonald's clown or the Michelin man. More subtly, Google stands out for the simplicity of its home page which does only one task, but extremely well, and a logo which evokes both large numbers of results (googol), eyes, a magnifying glass, etc. In the internet age, many companies do use a few 'low cost' photos rather than taking the risk of developing an original concept of communication. I say take the risk, because any creation could displease a certain number of people. But, after all, starting a business is an adventure that involves risks.
1. Cited in Le petit manuel du Graphisme, par Céline Remechido, Editions Pyramid, 2009