The 4 Elements of Your Business You Need to Keep Original for the Sake of Your Brand

planningLet’s get real: starting from scratch is never easy for business owners.

Besides, we live in an era where tried-and-tested templates are the norm. Meanwhile, it’s easier than ever to borrow elements and tactics from other brands and apply them to our own.

But while imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, “copy-and-pasting” aspects of your business from competitors isn’t exactly a good idea.

This rings true from a branding and legal perspective, by the way.

Rather than risk taking the easy way out and getting in hot water as a result, there are some aspects of your business that do need to be totally original. Highlighted below are four pieces of your company that need to be of your own creation.

Your Business’ Name

This might seem glaringly obvious, but ensuring that your company name is unique something that many business owners surprisingly overlook.

You don’t need to make up an entirely new term ala names like Microsoft or Twitter, but you should be able to find something that isn’t so generic that it could be mistaken for someone else.

Do your homework regarding what’s already out there and do a quick Google search to ensure you’re not stepping on anyone’s toes. For example, if you can register the domain name and social channels for your business, you’re likely good to go.

Logos and Creatives

To ensure that you stand out in people’s minds and don’t look like every other business on the block, a totally unique logo is a must-have.

Creating a logo from scratch is arguably easier than ever given the wealth of DIY tools out there, by the way. You don’t need to be a design genius, either. Just remember that basic (1- or 2-color) combinations are easier to remember in terms of branding and minimal, simple logos are fair game.

Content and Copy

You were taught not to copy off your neighbor’s paper in school, right?

Well, the same rules apply to your business’ content and blog posts. Beyond incurring a nasty penalty from Google, being accused of plagiarism within your industry is a PR nightmare. Once you’ve been noted as someone who swipes content, it’s nearly impossible to rebuild your reputation.

But bear in mind that you can use templates for your business in regard to items like privacy policies. Such legalese only requires a few tweaks to be made “your own” without causing any potential trouble.

Ad Campaigns

Have you ever watched a commercial or ad and thought “Man, why didn’t I come up with that?”

Well, you certainly aren’t alone. But much like content and copy, you can certainly be inspired by ad campaigns without copy-and-pasting them.

If you’re struggling to come up with ad ideas, you may need some external help which is totally fine. Putting together a swipe file and then consulting with someone else can really get the juices flowing for crafting effective ads. Just make sure that your slogans, copy and imagery for digital ads and beyond are all your own before rolling them out.

Originality counts for any sort of creative endeavor and your business is no different. That said, avoiding copycat syndrome can also keep you out of needless legal trouble. With these tips in mind, you can ensure that your business doesn’t look like a carbon copy of a competitor and likewise has its own compelling voice to potential customers.

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