If you’ve always dreamt of starting your own camping or glamping idea but don’t know where to start then read on to get tips on branding a business. Motivated by our own journey we’re running a series to help others discover their ideal camping, leisure or tourism business. Within the series we’re going to look at ways of discovering:
- Great business ideas;
- Business brands and branding elements;
- Fundamental elements of the idea (i.e. what do you need to make it happen);
- How to become a social media guru with great strategies for success;
- How to get a well designed, styled and written website, including branding and professional photography;
- What to do if land is involved and what permissions you will need;
- How to make sense of procurement and service agreements;
- What you need to do to get good marketing skills;
- Basic office systems you will need, including: storage, maintenance, signage, email, stationery, bookkeeping and accounts, public liability coverage, reservations and administration;
- How you can develop a launch plan or re-launch plan to make the most of good PR and set your business plan rolling.
From names, symbols, logos, taglines, etc., branding makes your business different from other organisations or businesses as it is unique to you.
It helps shape how people see your business and identify your presence when you’re out and about, both physically and virtually.
It can be a great low cost advertising tool that helps you build confidence and trust with your customers, making them more likely to purchase your product or service. It creates loyalty so happy customers keep returning to you in the future and helps strengthen the identity of the business, as people are more likely to recognise it quickly.
The brand is made up of the business name, logo and tagline, and if you intend to have an online presence with your camping business (lets face it, you’d be mad not to!) it also includes a domain name. All this together creates the business brand, identity and first impressions visitors and customers have of your business and any contact you have with them.
If you have an idea for a business and don’t know where to start then we recommend branding should be at the top of your list. Specifically you should:
- Think carefully how you want your brand to make people feel, and is that right for what you’re trying to achieve;
- Consider how you can hint about what you do, how you do it and who for;
- Try to be different to other businesses in your niche of the market;
- Search for a business and domain name that includes some or all of the above elements.
A really important element to your brand is your logo and you should definitely think about this carefully once you’ve decided your business name. If you’re not a designer it’s not a problem as there are loads of companies out there to help no matter how large or small your budget is. One such company is 99 Designs, an online resource giving you access to graphic designers all over the world. However, what you do need to spend some time doing before you commence work is to research other logos you like and show these as examples to whoever you intend to work with in a clear and well communicated brief. You can research these simply by typing “images for camping logos” or “images for glamping logos”, etc. into google.
Not every business decides to adopt a tagline into their branding, but if they do then it should work just like a headline in a newspaper by giving the reader a rough idea of what it’s about but a desire to find out more. Most of all it’s about grabbing the attention of the audience.
For example, our tagline is… “Inspired Camping – It’s camping… but on your terms”
A good tagline will help the reader identify why your business is different from your competitors. Be aware however, that if it’s good it will pull in some visitors but it will also turn others away.
With all that in the bag all you need to do now is think about now is your domain name and website, and specifically:
- If you going to get the website and branding elements designed or do them yourself;
- You will also need a domain name and a host for your website;
- You will also need to decide if you are going to use WordPress or another website design, (BTW we thoroughly recommend WordPress);
- There is also the option of using a WordPress compatible template to easily improve the look of your site;
- And of course, you also need to seek help to do this if you don’t have the skills. However, we recommend trying it yourself as once you have basic WordPress skills, everything else is easy to pick up. The added bonus is you will be totally in control of your websites design and content.
These days it’s difficult to get a domain name that’s available to represent your brand name. However, it is worth putting the effort and time in to researching and securing what you want. Whatever that is you must make sure it’s memorable, different from your competitors and attractive (it doesn’t have to include keywords about your business, but it can help you with your google ranking within your market if you do).
An example of this is with the camping business Billy One Horn. It’s memorable, creates a great identity and is definitely different from anything else we’ve seen in this vintage camping niche market. After dealing with the business and finding out the reason for the name it’s now locked in our memory so makes it easy to find the details whenever we want to return to it.
If you’re starting to think about your dream camping business and planning for the future then it’s essential you think through all your options thoroughly. This is what we did before we set up Inspired Camping. For those who want to know more about our own journey then you can read more about the decisions we made and the work we did before our launch by visiting The Inspired Camping Story, through the eyes of its founder.
If you are thinking of setting up your dream camping business and are at the stage of thinking about naming and branding your idea, or already have a great brand and you’d like to shout about it, we’d love to hear from you so drop a note in the comments section below or say hello.
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Picture Credits: Inspired Camping