If there's one thing that makes you stand out from your competitors and attract your ideal client: it's your Brand. So it has to be as unique as you are.
Your Branding (or Brand Identity) is the visual elements that represent your business, i.e. the colours, fonts, shapes and logo. This should be represented in all of your marketing, so it needs to be strong (i.e. unique, recognisable and memorable).
Before you start creating the Branding for your business, I have a checklist of things you will need to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. This is an important part of the process because your brand is a visual representation of everything your business is about, so it has to evoke the right emotions in your target market.
A picture paints a thousand words .. just make sure they're the right words.
Getting yourself in the right frame of mind will help focus your creativity.
Create a brand that you love and that is personal to you - forget industry stereotypes and don't think that there are colours or fonts that are off limits because this will give your design an edge and your vibe will come from the heart.
Let's begin .. and remember this is not a test and there are no right or wrong answers - it's all about what comes from the heart.
1. BUSINESS BASICS
These are all the things you should already know about your business:
What is your business name?
What does your business do?
What does your business offer?
What are the benefits?
Who is your target market?
How much do you cost?
2. DESCRIBE YOUR BUSINESS
What reputation and vibe do you want your business to be known for - describe it in 3 powerful words
For example: mine are Funky, Informal and Enthusiastic.
3. DESCRIBE YOURSELF
You are the Unique Selling Point in your business because you are the one thing that your competitors don't have. So, what are you like as a person - what is your vibe, strengths and weaknesses?
Describe yourself in 3 powerful words (and I bet they are similar to how you describe your business!)
4. WHICH COLOURS DO YOU LOVE AND WHICH ONES DO YOU HATE?
It's important that you love your brand, so choose colours you love and eliminate those you hate.
5. WHICH THEMES, SHAPES, PATTERNS AND TEXTURES DO YOU LIKE?
Do you like geometric shapes, straight lines, animal imagery, country chic, pop art? .. it's your brand so whatever floats your boat.
Or think about if there was one thing you could chose to represent your business, what would it be?
TOP TIP: you could create a Mood Board at this point, with all of the colours, shapes and themes, etc you love.
6. OTHER BRANDS FOR INSPIRATION
Research other brands / logos to get a feel of what you love and hate - these don't have to be within your industry.
This will give you inspiration and remember you can take different elements you love from different brands and see how they work together to create something unique for you.
7. YOUR STORY
The story behind why you started your business is incredibly important for your brand. This is what will connect you to your target market.
Go back to the moment you decided that you wanted to help your target market and why you are doing this business.
8. FIND YOUR NICHE
Define your business by the following categories:
Category - what industry are you in (mine is Web Design)
Sub Category - categorise yourself within your industry (mine is Wix Web design)
Location - do you have a physical address (local) or are you online (worldwide)
Audience - what demographic of people (age, gender, location)
Price - are you budget, competitive or high end
Quality - are you no frills or do you check every last detail
Values - what political, ethical and religious view points relate to your business
Some of these will be more appropriate than others but try to narrow your niche in these different ways and see what applies and works for you. There are no right or wrong answers.
Check out my blog post on Why You Shouldn't have a Niche ..
HOW TO DESIGN YOUR BRAND IDENTITY
Now you have the mindset and hopefully some inspiration and focus to get started with your branding.
If you need a bit more help, check out my How to Design Your Brand Identity blog for more help ..
If you like what you've just read, this is your personal invitation to join my newsletter mailing list for more tips and advice about web designs, brand design, marketing and my honest experience on what it's like to be a small business owner ..