Branding! One of my favourite topics – but an often misunderstood one. Let’s clear one thing up right away – branding is more than your logo! In fact, when creating a brand, your visual identity should only be considered after you have several foundational pieces in place.
I’m going to provide you with a high-level overview of what you need to be including in your brand to get you started in the right direction.
Know your audience
You need to know who you’re talking to when creating your brand. Ever heard the expression “when you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one?” You can’t be everything to everyone. Get super clear on who your ideal client is, learn their struggles and desires, and make it clear how you can help them solve the problem their having.
Understand what differentiates you from your competition
Being aware of your competition is important, because it allows you to not only know what you’re “up against,” but gives you the opportunity to really stand out above the competition. Your differentiation factor could even be your personality – but you need to have a clear reason why someone should choose to work with you over x, y, z.
Create a personality for your brand
Brand personality is just like it sounds! Every brand has a personality. This simply means that you assign human traits or characteristics to your brand in order to stand out in a crowded market. You really need to think of your brand as if it is an actual person – what keywords would you use to associate with it? Brand personality really focuses on the emotional associations with your brand. In short, how does your brand make people feel? I have a great checklist for you to help you get super clear on your brand’s personality. Check it out here.
Get clear on your why behind your brand and incorporate this into your brand story
Your why is really the heart of your brand story. It’s WHY you came to be – it should ground you, motivate you and inspire you. To figure out your why, think about why you decided to create your business in the first place. Get super specific on what excites you about it and why you want to create results for your clients. Your why should be something that you come back to regularly to keep you on track and committed! For help with writing your brand story, I offer a mini-course that takes you through all the steps to create a story that will serve as the foundation of your brand. Learn more about it.
Have a clearly defined mission, vision and values
Your mission, vision, and values help you clearly communicate who you are, what you offer, who you offer it to, and why they should care. They help to point you in the right direction in your business because you will know where you want to go and what is important to you. This is a fundamental step in creating a stand-out brand.
One of the most important components of branding is ensuring you’re consistent at every brand touchpoint. A brand touchpoint is any encounter someone would have with your brand – this could be your website, social media profiles, sales pages, but also the more intangibles like how you respond to emails or answer the phone. Every experience someone has with your brand should be consistent. This will help to achieve brand recognition, trust and dependability.
Make sure your visual brand identity reflects these foundational pieces
Now that you have these foundational pieces in place, your visual identity has to be aligned. Use colours that show off your brand’s personality, choose an appropriate font (for example, a super flowy feminine font may not make sense for an accountant) and make sure that your visual identity aligns with how you want people to feel about you.
There you have it! A high-level overview of all of the various components of branding. If you’re needing more help, I offer a lot of resources to get you started with branding. I’d encourage you to check out my brand personality checklist and my Write Your Brand Story mini-course to help get you started on your brand foundation.
[FREE DOWNLOAD] How to build a stand-out brand
Use these 5 simple steps to create a personality-infused brand that will help you attract your dream clients