In many ways, your business brand is the face of your business. It communicates to customers the values and personally at the heart of what you sell or provide and it’s the way customers recognise and relate to your business. With so much rising on a brand it makes sense to spend some quality time in brand development to get it right, unlike a slogan, a brand cannot be changed, so you need to be fully committed to the design before you build your website and apply it to your retail packaging.
Understand your target audience
Before you start your branding journey you need to carefully research your target audience. There’s no point in kickstarting a branding process if you don’t know who you’re going to sell to, you might end up with a nice-looking brand logo but it will be far less effective if you don’t have a strong idea of who you’re selling to.
To create a successful brand you need to understand the sensibility and language of your target consumer, this is something you can discover by researching your potential customers and competitors in the market already. You can do this by searching your product on Google, networking and engaging with social media pages.
This is the brainstorming and composting phase of your brand development that is so crucial to creating a brand that speaks directly to your target customers and stands apart from the competition in the right way. At this stage, you want to make a note of the lowest hanging fruit – customers you can easily sell to – and your top-of-mind competitors.
Create a brand personality
This is where the fun begins – creating a personality for your brand. A brand personality is a style and emotional feel of your brand, something that your customers will connect with. It is part of the reason your customers will like your brand and relate to it which is why you must first have a strong idea of who they are.
Begin with a proposition statement. This is a statement about what your brand is and who it is targeted at. A proposition statement might sound something like this: We offer [PRODUCT] for [TARGET MARKET] to [VALUE PROPOSITION]. For instance, we offer laptops for freelance writers to improve their productivity without increasing their costs.
The proposition statement is meant as a guide to developing your brand in a focused way, it doesn’t have to go on the brand. Next, think about the words you would associate with your brand. Choose an adjectives list and identify the keywords you want to associate with your brand. Limit the words to three if you can, five at the most.
Choose a catchy brand name
You are well aware of the brand names of your favorite products, Nike, Coke, Adidas, Mercedes, and so on. While these are household brand names with excellent reputations that didn’t happen overnight. At one time these brand names were stripped back words without any meaning at all.
That is how your brand name will start out too. In this sense you might think that choosing a brand name isn’t all that important – all you have to do is choose one that fits with your product or brand personality and the marketing will do the rest. In some sense this is true, but choosing a brand name is also important for marketing.
You need a brand name that isn’t similar to other brands and products in your ecosystem. Chances are other companies will sell similar products and have similar brand names as a result. It has to be unique but also hard to replicate. Your brand name will determine your website domain, marketing strategy, and trademark registration.
Create a catchy slogan
Slogans are catchy statements that contribute to the meaning of the brand and connect with your customers in some way. They give customers a little bit more information about your brand and what it means in a fun way. There are various ways you can go about creating a catchy slogan for your brand.
Make a bold claim – Death Wish Coffee: The World’s Strongest Coffee.
Use a Metaphor – Redbull: Redbull gives you wings.
Use your customer’s attitude – Nike: Just do it.
Make it rhyme – Folgers Coffee: The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup.
Describe it plainly – Aritzia: Women’s fashion boutique.
To create a catchy slogan like the ones above brainstorm your positioning statement and any notes you have from your early research. Start to put some of these ideas together in the formats suggested above and generate a list of catch one-liners. Remember your slogan can change, unlike your brand name.
Carefully design your brand
It’s time to make your brand pop! To do this you need to choose some colors and fonts appropriate to your brand’s image and personality. Choosing colors for your brand isn’t an exact science but there are some helpful marketing criteria that can point you in the right direction.
Chances are your brand will fall into one of seven broad categories when thinking about color, you will want it to be either Optimistic (yellow), Friendly (orange), Exciting (red), Creative (purple), Trustworthy (blue), Peaceful (green), or Balanced (calm). This should help you chart your brand’s colour-coding some helpful marketing criteria can.
Fonts are also important and will affect how your brand is perceived online and on your packaging. If you want a modern style for instance you will probably use a Sans Serif font, but a youthful friendly brand name will likely use a script logo font that is more lively.
Design your brand logo
When you have all the pieces in place for your brand logo and slogan it’s time to get to work designing and marketing it. If you have a creative idea for it yourself then sketch it out on a tablet or some paper for your graphic designers. Alternatively, hire a professional to design your logo from your detailed brief.
Remember that your logo is the face of your business and it will be visible everywhere. You need a logo that is simple but one that captures the personality and values of your company. The logo needs to be right, but it also needs to be scalable. Ask yourself if this logo design will look right online and on different types of packaging.
Apply the brand to your business
Once you have the brand logo and slogan back from the designer and you’re happy with it the time has come to put your logo front and center of everything you do. There is no time to waste. You might choose to officially launch your brand with a brand event, or more informally through your marketing strategy.
Ensure that your brand is visible only on your website and social media channels, also make sure you have some creative retail packaging that fits with the style and substance of your brand. This means that customers get the product and the packaging they expect from a brand and product like yours. It’s now time to associate the right things with your brands like labels, decals, and packaging.
Your brand logo is the face of your company and it will help your business grow as your reputation develops. You need to spend quality creative time at the beginning of your brand development journey to ensure you create a brand that connects with your target audience and embodies the values of your company. Brand development can be done in house or in collaboration with professional freelancers, either way, you need to feel completely confident with your branding before you launch.