How to Start your Brand: Helpful Guide
Branding refers to the perceived image and the emotional response to a company, its products and services. An identity describes the visual devices used to represent the company. Identity systems are visual components that are paired with style guidelines and are used as a framework to ensure the company’s image is cohesive and consistent.People tend to assume that branding is just for the big companies, but it's not. Pretty much everyone is a brand meaning you have to invest time in building your brand, whether you are a big company or a start-up/micro-entrepreneur.
Step 1: Create your business plan
This is by far the most important thing that you should do first. Why you may ask? Well, a business plan helps you create a foundation for your business and pretty much helps you stay focused. It also helps you establish what it is that you really want to do with your business and state all your goals for your business.
When I started my business, I didn’t have a business plan, to be frank. And that made me so confused and disorganized when starting out because, yes, I had the ideas in my head, but I didn’t write them down in a way that would help me work on my goals step by step. I didn't realize the importance of having a business plan until I had one. I felt so at peace and I had something to go back to whenever I needed a reference pertaining to my business.
What to include in your business plan?
Here is what I have found to be effective when included in your business plan:
A mission statement
Your purpose or vision for your business
Your products and services offerings
The market-who are you selling to?
Your ideal customer who can also be your target audience
The current trends in the market
Your SWOT analysis(strength, weaknesses, opportunities, threats
Your marketing plan-how you intend to grow your business
Step 2: Discover your brand
This is the most crucial part of building your business because your brand is what people will see and connect with. In this step, you will walk away knowing who you really are and your brand, what you stand for and your purpose for your business and a whole bunch of awesome stuff!
This was my most favorite part of building my brand and identity. I got to discover a whole bunch of useful stuff that I still use to run my business till this day.
What you will discover?
I love this step because you get to:
Know yourself as a person and how to incorporate that in your brand and to use in your copy like in your about page on your website!
Know your special gift
Know your business like the story of your business and your mission statement
Know your market and pinpoint your niche aka establishing your target audience
Finding your dream customer and how you can help her
Your peers aka your competitors or people you admire in your industry
Find your inspiration like from your role models
Find your purpose like what do you stand for? Stand against?
Find your why-why did you start your business?
Find your cause by establishing your core principles and making your brand a beacon of hope for whatever it is that you stand for
Step 3: Creating your Identity
Here is where you get to build the visuals for your brand that will set you apart from the rest and represent what your brand really is and your business will have a purpose!
What's included in the Brand Identity creation?
Here you will walk away knowing how to create:
Your brand keywords
Your tone and voice
Your inspiration board
Your logo + variations
Your brand colors
Your brand fonts
Your graphics like background, icons, patterns
Your photography style
Step 4: Putting together your brand identity system
Identity systems are visual components that are paired with style guidelines and are used as a framework to ensure the company’s image is cohesive and consistent
How would it feel like to be able to have your brand identity system in place? Yeah! That is how I felt after incorporating everything from the above steps and creating it into a one identity package that will be used in:
Your brand stationery
Marketing collaterals like brochures
These are all the exact steps I used when starting my business and creating my brand and identity. I found them to be very effective and really fun + challenging to do. If I could this, you can too!
Let me know how the steps go for you? I'd really love to know!