As a business owner starting out, you have lots going on. You're working on so many aspects of your business at the same time - perfecting your product and services, hiring staff, trying to acquire your first customers, and building the foundational operating processes of your business.
It's a lot to handle!
However, even though your plate might be full, you also have to make room for working on your brand. Because in today's savvy consumer world, you need a strong brand, it's an essential ingredient in the success of your business.
I won't lie. Building a brand is not easy! It's not something that happens by accident. You need a clear brand vision and a strategy to make your brand come to life. You also need buckets load of determination, and a lot of patience
Now, as a beginner, this might seem like a tall order. But, don't worry, in this quick beginner's guide to branding, we will cover some of the basics you need to know.
Identify the Purpose of Your Brand
You can't build a brand overnight and before you unleash your inner creativity and start producing logos and catchy slogans, firstly you need to identify the purpose of your brand. Ask yourself some all-important questions. What do you want your brand to achieve? What is your brands personality?
Understanding the purpose of your brand will act like a motivator. It will help you to brand your business moving forward as it gives you a basis to start working from.
If you are struggling to find answers to your questions, you may benefit from taking a brand personality quiz online. They are easy to find from a quick Google search and it can help you further understand your brand's overall purpose.
Understand Your Ideal Customer
The aim of branding is to resonate with your customers. For you to build a brand that appeals to your target audience, you firstly need to understand them.
But, who is your ideal customer?
Here is a good place to start: Take into consideration their age, gender, lifestyle and challenges. This will help you to identify how your business provides a solution to your customers problems. Why should they trust your brand?
Doing this can help you make more informed decisions when it comes to branding. You may find it is a lot easier to choose a color scheme that they will respond too. It may also help you understand the kinds of products/services they want to buy and how your brand will fit into that.
Consider Verbal Elements
During your branding journey, it is important that you consider what verbal elements you will use to build your brand. This includes your name, slogan and brand promise. The words that you use to express your offering should explain what your company does, who you appeal to and how you can help your customers.
Choosing your brand name is always a good place to start. However, it can be a difficult challenge but there are some time-tested tips that you follow. The key is to not make it too complex and choose something that will stick in your customers minds.
Create A Visually Appealing Logo
Your logo is a crucial part of your branding. Not only will your audience expect to see a logo, but it will also be the element that creates a strong first impression. So, it is important that you get it right. A recognizable logo can help to draw in potential customer's whilst consolidating brand loyalty with existing ones.
The key to creating a good logo is to not make it too complex. If you start adding in multiple symbols it can get rather confusing for your target audience and it will struggle to resonate with them. Instead, don’t be afraid to keep it simple. The key is to create a logo that will make a lasting impression with your audience. Be consistent with color and let it reveal your brand's identity.
Creating a logo is a now a hell of a lot easier, you now have ai logo designers, which means that don’t have to be a top graphic designer or have any design skills. For people just starting out with branding these logo tools take the headache out of creating a logo for your brand.
Choose Your Color Scheme
When building your brand, the importance of consistency cannot be stressed enough. Once you have verbal elements like your brand name finalized, you need to start focusing on how you want your business to look. Your color scheme is something that should take a lot of thought and consideration. Colors don’t just look appealing, but they can also influence the way a customer feels towards your brand. It can help to investigate colour psychology to give yourself a clearer understanding.
Once you have chosen your specific color scheme it is important that you use this across all platforms. You should refrain from using a different color palette for your logo as your brand will lack consistency and this may be confusing for your customers moving forward.
Know How to Communicate Your Brand
Once you have built your identity, it is important that you understand how to communicate your brand to others. There are plenty of fantastic resources out there which can help you. One of the most obvious being social media platforms. As well as being free to sign up to, they are a hugely effective way to share your brand with a global audience.
Millions of consumers use social media platforms each day and it is important that you know how to get your brand out there. When using social media it’s important that you publish consistently across all of your social profiles you can use publishing tools to make this easier and help free up time.
A website is also a crucial part of communicating your brand. If a potential customer wants to find out more information on your brand, it is likely that one of the first things they will do is look for a company website. Creating one couldn’t be easier as there are now an abundance of tools online which can help you build a website in a matter of minutes.
Research Your Competitors
When building your brand, it can be easy to get lost in all the elements that come with it. One thing that you should always be doing is researching your competitors. There is nothing worse than creating your brand logo and picking out your color scheme, only to find out one of your top competitors uses similar designs. You don’t want to build a brand that looks like everyone else's. Instead, think about how you will differentiate yourself from them.
How will you give your brand a unique edge?
For example, how many food brands do you see using a chef's hat in their logo? Although you relate that symbol to the food industry, if all brands use it, you’ll struggle to make yourself stand out. Instead, it is important to think outside of the box. There are plenty of ways that you can help your business stand out amongst competitors and unique branding is certainly one of them.
Evolve As Your Grow
Now you have your brand, it is important to understand that the work doesn’t stop here. As your brand starts to grow it is important that you continue to evolve your brand design and identity. As your brand is exposed to more customers, you will be able to learn more about them and how to speak to them.
The key is to always place your customers of high importance. You want to make a great first impression whilst managing your reputation. Don’t hesitate to conduct a lot of research and remember that a brand cannot be built overnight. It takes a lot of trial and error to get it right.