Branding is more than a logo and a name. Your branding should speak to your customers about you, draw them in for the right reasons, and encourage their loyalty through the right tone, message, and consistency. Follow these steps to brand your business the right way.
The first thing to do when creating branding for your small business is not “choose a color” or “design a logo.” Your priority when creating a brand for your small business is to determine who your audience is. This can and should be very specific. Without a defined audience, you don’t know how your branding should speak to them. And if your branding doesn’t speak to them, doesn’t solve their problem, then what are you even doing?
Once you know your audience, you can figure out what your brand has to offer them. What solutions can your business offer to this subset of people? This should go beyond your services on a surface-level, and also include why you do what you do, and how you do it. This is the message all of your branding should help communicate.
Logo, fonts, and color schemes
Now you can go ahead and design your logo, choose a font and colors, and create all the other elements of your brand. Hiring a good graphic designer is key here; spending money upfront for a strong, targeted, and consistent brand look will save you many headaches later on. Always remember to take your first two steps into account for this process.
Voice and personality
Your voice is how you speak to your audience, mostly on social media and through emails. Are you casual, professional, funny, or something else entirely? Your voice should be defined by steps 1 and 2 as well. All of your written communication should be done in this voice.
Design templates and create brand standards and guidelines
Create a guide to your brand that designates exactly how the elements should and shouldn’t be used. Your style guide should be very specific so that your brand is not used incorrectly. You should police the use of your logo, colors, etc. or risk looking sloppy and unreliable. Don’t waste your (and your designer’s) hard work!
Integrate: ads, social, website, swag
Now that you have all the elements to your brand and know how to use them, start using them! Use your colors and logo on your images, use your unique voice in social media posts and emails, and target your unique audience through all the content you create.
Now that you’ve gone through this whole process, keep up with your own brand guidelines! Keep your voice, logo, and colors consistent. Train any new hires in the use of your brand so that it continues to stay consistent as well.
Follow these steps and your branding will be well on its way to bringing you the right leads and loyal customers.