Shape up your brand

When people think of you and your business you want them to feel something. Think about one word that captures that feeling. It could be ‘speed’, ‘expertise’, ‘ innovation’, or ‘fairness’.

When people share the same feeling they’re more likely to connect with you. Customers who connect emotionally to your brand are more likely to be loyal — and can even become champions for your business.

Your brand is the core of what your business is. But the old way of only slapping a logo on everything won’t cut it today. A brand must be authentic, engaging and all-encompassing. It should ooze out of everything you do.

You can’t be all things to all people

Figuring out your brand is like a journey of self-discovery for you and your business. It takes time, and can be difficult and uncomfortable.

Think about what’s at the core of what you do and what you stand for. Think of your business as a person. Get to know your personality. What do you believe in? How do you behave in different situations? Who are your heroes?

You might be an innovative maverick or experienced and reliable. You might represent high cost and high quality, or low cost and high value. Choose who you want to appeal to.

Do your homework

Learn what your customers and prospects already think of your business. Do your research. Understand the habits, needs and wants of your current and potential customers. Get to know their rational and not so rational behaviours. Don't rely on what you think they think. Find out what they think. Your business brand needs to match your customers’ wants and needs.

Learn from other brands

Look at other brands and think about what they do — notice how they signal their brand every step of the way. But don’t copy big chains or big brands — carve out your own authentic identity. You need to create a point of difference that your customers can immediately see.

Play the name game

First impressions count. Your business name sets the tone for your whole brand. Have fun brainstorming, and follow these rules of thumb to get it right...

Unique and unforgettable

Choose a name that stands out and sticks. Think about whether your name will be descriptive (says what your business does), evocative (evokes a strong feeling), or whimsical (something original). Could it be turned into a verb, for example Google or Hoover?

Keep it simple

Avoid unusual spellings. Make sure your name is easy to pronounce and remember. Try to keep to two syllables — the shorter the better. You might find it harder to secure a website address for a very short name because they can be very popular — aim for at least four letters and check whether it’s available. Avoid hyphens, and to help with search results, pick a name closer to A than Z.

For websites choose a common ending such as .com or — these are widely recognised and have high credibility.

Check your name isn’t offensive (or laughable) in other languages.

Don't fence me in

Avoid choosing a name that limits the products or services you might offer in future. Avoid using a geographical region in the name if you might expand beyond that region one day.

Test it out

Come up with a few names and try them out on customers, investors, co-workers and friends. Ask questions about your suggestions to see if they give the impression you want.

Check your name is available

Once you’ve thought of a name, make sure no-one else is using it. has a ONEchecktool where you can:

  • Check whether your name is available.
  • Reserve your name.
  • Register your name.

Help your brand go the distance

Once you've defined your brand, you need to live and breathe it.

Show don’t tell

What you do matters more than what you say. Your brand should shine through every aspect of your business — how you answer your phones, what you wear to meetings, your office, your online presence, how you travel, how you deal with problems, everything.

Match your voice to your brand

If your brand is friendly, be conversational. If it’s up-market or more exclusive, be more formal. Speak to your customers with a true tone of voice. Don’t slash prices if that’s not your brand. Be true to yourself and consistent with your customers. Build long relationships and loyalty by being authentic.

Express yourself

Create yourself a unique and consistent look for your brand. This might include a logo, a colour palette, website and other design templates, and all the other visual material that can tell the story of your brand.

Write a memorable and meaningful tagline that captures the essence of your brand. You and every employee should live and breathe it.

Protect yourself

If a customer has a problem, protect your brand by responding quickly and thoroughly. Think of it as a unique chance to find out about a problem, fix it, and build trust.

Important information

The material is for information purposes only. You should seek professional advice relevant to your individual circumstances. While ANZ has taken care to ensure that this information is from reliable sources, it cannot warrant its accuracy, completeness or suitability for your intended use. To the extent permitted by law, ANZ does not accept any responsibility or liability arising from your use of this information. We recommend seeking financial advice about your situation and goals before getting a financial product. To talk to one of our team at ANZ, please call 0800 269 249, or for more information about ANZ’s financial advice service or to view our financial advice provider disclosure statement see