Nowadays, business branding is not as difficult as it was before. You can create professional assets in no time with plenty of online design tools. This helps you avoid having to hire a design or marketing agency during your first year as a startup. These tools are also money-savers, so you can invest more in your MVP (Minimum Viable Product) research.
Itís not really about the money when trying to get your brand right, the important thing is to know what youíre doing and why. A brand is not only your logo but rather all the pieces that your business uses to communicate with its market, from stationery to publicity. Itís the whole impression you project. The importance of branding becomes relevant when someone recommends you because they remembered your brand even if they arenít actually your clients. What happens here is that they recalled a problem and associated it with your solution (your product or service), and that is because you correctly communicated what you do in that industry through your brand. Being on peopleís minds is a major win.
Are you ready to spend just the right amount of time creating your brand? Just follow these easy business branding guidelines and by the end of this post, youíll know:
- How to create your brandís story and your pitch.
- How to create your color palette & fonts so you can unify your designs.
- How to use your tone of communication for your written pieces.
- How to create a logo on an online platform.
Start with Your Business Storytelling
Letís begin with creating a great story around your new business brand. You need a good story for when people come up to you and ask, ďHow did you ever come up with this idea?Ē Stick to the facts, but you need to also make it more beautiful and enjoyable. People will remember a good story more easily than random facts. And that is your goal, to be on peopleís minds.
There are a set of tips you can follow to do different research, and once you have all the information, put a story together.
Research Based on the Name
Ask yourself why you chose that name for your business and what it means. You can do further research, if, for example, the name refers to something like a precious rock. Look into what the meaning of it is in other cultures, etc.
Take into Consideration Your Mission and Values
Write down your mission and make a list of your values. Make sure your mission fits into one sentence and pick out at least three of your most meaningful values and write down their meaning.
Know Your Marketís Needs
Describe in one sentence the solution you are giving to your market. In other words, write down the most important thing they need from you and the experience around it when they receive your solution.
Analyze Your Competition
You donít want to do precisely the same thing as your competition, but you do need to learn the language they use since you are part of the same market. You can get some hints by analyzing their website, social media publications, or their newsletters. Answer the question: what are they talking about?
Ok, now you have a lot of information written down about your business, so itís time to start connecting the dots. Create a story that has some real facts about your business and its name, some inspiring ideas from your mission and values, and close your story with how your business will make a difference in your clientsí lives. Make it interesting and practice it out loud. From now this story will be your pitch every time you share it with friends, business people, media, etc.
Create a Mood Board for Your Brand
This is my favorite part of creating a brand because you can choose anything you like that reminds you of your brandís essence without overthinking it too much just yet. Using images will give you the first glimpse at the look & feel of it. Making a mood board can also bring you inspiration for the look of your workspace or for your printed stationery. My recommendation here is to use Pinterest since itís online, you can access it at any time, and you can even share it with team members. Pin all those images that remind you of your business, from animals to fabrics, textures or anything else you can think of.
Now, this is what you need to identify in your board to keep creating your brand:
Your Brandís Color Palette
Select your favorite image according to the colors you would like for your brand. You can make it with coolors.co by just uploading the image and it will throw back some colors with hex numbers.
Your Brandís Totem
This is a symbol that represents your brand,
and it will also be a reminder of the spirit of it. It can be an animal, a
character, a person, anything.
Your Brand Style
Select the textures that will be part of your shopís decoration or the inspiration for your prints. Choose different elements.
Define the Colors and Fonts for Your Logo
Before creating your own logo, I recommend analyzing the logos of your competitors. We looked at how they are communicating with the market, but this time pay attention to details. By doing this you can also have logo design ideas for yourself. You will be aware of the colors being used, fonts, and graphic styles in your industry. Save all of your competitorsí logos and paste them in one same document. Iíll tell you ahead in this post what else will we do with this document. This is another way of understanding what the market expects to see in your industry, but this doesnít mean you have to be exactly the same as them.
Select Your Logoís Colors
From the palette you made before, select at least 3 colors you wish to see in your logo. For a better understanding of why you chose them, write down the meaning of each color after researching the psychology of color and add in your personal explanation.
Select Your Logo and Publicityís Font
You can explore all the font options on Google Fonts. These are classified by 4 different types. According to the font you select your brand will express the following concepts:
Serif: These are the fonts that have a small line attached to the end of a letter. They tend to look classy, elegant, and serious.
San Serif: These donít have a serif at the end of the letter. They look minimalist and simple.
Script: These are based on handwritten or calligraphy styles. They tend to be decorative, and you must be careful if you use them. Not everybody may be able to understand this type of font.
Decorative: These arenít made for logos, but you can use them in publicity or other written and printed applications.
Itís Time to Make Your Business Logo
There are many online tools you can create your logo with, like this Logo Maker. Once you know what you want to express in your logo, just choose the elements that represent your idea. With a logo maker you can usually select:
Different Graphic Styles
These are icons, illustrations, or capital letters. You will find detailed figures to a minimalist style.
Variety of Fonts
According to the template you choose, it will have the perfect font that you can apply. The most recommended are serif and san serif style.
Customize Your Colors
You will able to apply your color palette with the hex number of your color choices.
Download Your Logo
Once your logo looks according to your idea, download it. If it gives you the option of a PDF, make sure to download that version since it will be on high resolution.
Now that your logo is ready, you can add your logo to the page you made before with all of your competitorsí logos. What do you think about the work you did around your logo? Does it look like part of the industry? Does it stand out?
This visualization moment is exciting because there it is, you officially have a logo!
How to Create Your Business Branding
Now that you have your logo design, itís time to apply it on different pieces that will be part of your brand. They all must use the same colors, images, styles, and fonts. The goal here is that whenever they see some printed or digital graphics related to your business, they must be recognizable. So here are some tips for that.
The Tone of Communication
How are you going to speak to your clients? It can be friendly, respectful, or formal. You decide, but you must use the same tone of communication on everything. Also, make sure to have an emotion added like cheerful, inspirational, or happy according to how you want to be perceived.
This means that in advertisements in magazines, flyers, catalogs, and posters you must make sure the image style is the same on everything. This doesnít mean it has to be the same exact image. For example, if you focus on using landscapes as backgrounds, make sure you always use the same style of landscapes. Another important piece of your brand is your stationery. There are many design templates for these items, like business card makers and flyer templates. You can customize them with online design tools. Make sure you use your brandís color palette.
Assure Your Business Brand Is a Success
Now you know how to improve your business storytelling and you have the tools to make your business logo easily with a logo creator. With all the research you did before you will be able to build a reliable brand. My last tip is to make sure you are on the right track. Ask at least three people that have nothing to do with your business what they think of your logo or your brand design. Pay attention to their answer and make changes if necessary. Now the real success of any business comes from being aware that your visual communication supports the quality of your product or service. If it doesnít, your branding efforts will be useless. What you show to your clients is what you must give. Spend your time double-checking your businessí quality and donít complicate your time on design. Use online design tools to create all your branding assets quickly.