How to brand Your business From the Start
Creating a brand for your business involves a lot more than creating a logo and calling it a day. Your brand is your company's voice, it speaks for your business when you can't so it's important that you have a solid and consistent brand strategy in place.
What a lot of people fail to acknowledge is that your logo alone isn't your brand.
Your brand is a whole bunch of items that come together to form your company, such as:
- The tone and voice of your company
- Brand colours
- Web design
- Photography style
- Document design
- Social media presence
- Brand mission statement
- Design elements such as icons, patterns, etc
If you're just starting out don't worry about trying to brand your whole business right away. Start small, choose the top three most important items you need in order launch your business and go from there.
- Designing your logo
- Getting your website up and running to bring in new customers/clients
- Social media presence to attract people to your website
Once you have your top three important items completed you can work towards the smaller items to complete your brand.
Below I share step-by-step instructions on how to build your brand to make it as painless as possible. So let's begin!
Whether you're rebranding your business or starting from scratch it's important to not skip this step. When brainstorming your brand you want to write down all of your ideas that are floating around in your head, no matter how silly, out of reach, or amazing they are. You'd be amazed at what you might come up with in this stage!
A good starting point is after scribbling down all your thoughts you then organize them into separate category lists.
- Feelings & emotions
- Colours you like
- Design elements you like
- Brands you like and what it is about them that you like
- Brands you dislike and what it is about them that you dislike
Check out my list examples below:
Remember, this is the brainstorming phase, don't worry about writing the wrong thing down, how messy your notes are, or how out of reach your ideas my seem. Go with the flow, there's always room to refine and cut things out later on.
Pro tip: sit on this list for a day or two and go back to it. Cross off any words that you don't like anymore or add any words that have crossed your mind.
Research & REFINE
Now that you've got all your ideas and thoughts onto paper it's time to research and go in-depth with your brand's goals. This stage is basically narrowing down your ideas that you've come up with in your brainstorming stage and elaborating on them.
A good starting point is to think of your brand as a person. When developing your brand you're developing a person who is your ideal audience/customer. Since everyone is unique, so should your brand. Keep these points in mind while developing your brand.
- What personality traits does your brand have?
- What characteristics does your brand have?
- What does your brand believe in?
- If your brand was a person how old would they be?
- If your brand was a person what would they do for fun?
- If your brand was a person how would they dress. Casual, formal, etc?
Once you have all those questions answered go back to your brainstorm list(s) and circle the top 3 words that best represent your brand.
Feelings & Emotions
Nice Design Elements
- Thin Lines
- Bold Fonts
- Geometric Shapes
Now that you've built your brand as a person and narrowed down your ideas you should be on a clear, more direct path to creating your brand. And to top it off you probably feel a lot less stressed.
Since this is your brand you should be a trustworthy expert who knows every single detail and understands what is best for the company. If you take your business serious and act professional people will take you seriously and your business will flourish. Being professional means:
- You understand your brand's values
- You act professionally on all social media channels
- You reply to emails on time and aren't replying back to your customers in a tone that you would use to email your friends/family.
- You are organized
- You are constantly looking for ways to improve your brand and take feedback seriously.
- You aren't missing deadlines.
I could list 100 other things but I think you get the point. Professionalism takes work and if you're just starting out you will continue to grow and learn as you go, so don't stress yourself out too much, do the best you can and your customers will appreciate the professionalism.
I've said this before but your brand is the voice of your company. You want people to recognize you, whether it's online, in stores, in articles, on social media, etc, so if you're constantly changing your brand's appearance you aren't growing your business and you are confusing your followers.
Imagine a company like Nike was changing their logo and brand values every year, you would lose trust in the company and likely go to another brand that is consistent, professional, and trustworthy.
Keep in mind your brand should grow with your business so if your brand needs a tweak here and there to improve itself than by all means go for it, just be cautious and keep your audience in mind.
Go The Extra Distance
Have you ever bought something from Etsy or from a small shop and they took the extra time to include a handwritten note, or wrapped your item in pretty paper, it made you feel special, right? Adding that extra personal touch to your brand will keep your customers coming back and your company will feel less like a box store that has no personality. Even if it's just sending your clients a card to thank them for being awesome you'd be amazed at how that adds so much value to your brand.
I hope this post has helped you understand what you need to do to build your brand.
Download my free brand personality workbook to help you figure out your ideal audience and how you can help them.