Branding Basics: Where Do I Start?
So, you’re ready to launch your dream business –but are clueless when it comes to branding. I mean, you know you need a logo and a website…social media, too! But did you know that your branding decisions can resonate with your customers for well, a lifetime? And if carefully thought out and executed, your branding decisions will build a name for itself long after your gone. Here are some basics branding touch-points to get you started:
Create a Mood board
Now, if you’re just starting out, I’ve found that a mood board can be super helpful in the beginning stages of branding. Not only will it allow you spew all your ideas onto one blank canvas, but it will hopefully inspire you during the branding process.
Never heard of a mood board? Well, that’s okay –it’s nothing fancy! Really, all a mood board is, is just a compilation of pictures, words, textures, and colors that tell a story. In your case, it should focus on your brand’s story. They can be created programs like Canva, or PicMonkey –or even scrapbook-style on a large poster board –there’s no rules!
Determine your Niche
Your niche, or target audience, should be one of the first things you determine when creating your brand. Once this is finalized, it becomes the foundation for the rest of your branding decisions, because those will soon tie into what serves your niche best.
Remember, your niche is a very important decision –so think about this part carefully before diving in. Ask yourself questions like, “who are my products or services intended for?”, or “what types of people will my product or service speak to?” You also want to make sure your niche isn’t too broad, as it will be harder to target them in your marketing initiatives, etc. So be sure to identify a market that is specific to your product or service, but not so specific that there’s no market at all.
Write a Mission Statement
This should be a general statement of your company’s overall mission. What are you trying to achieve? What values do you represent as a company or organization? What purpose are you serving to your customers? This statement is often placed in marketing materials or websites –so make it catchy!
Identify Targeted Messaging
Congrats! You’re halfway there. In this next phase of branding, you should start thinking about key words you want to incorporate consistently in your marketing messaging. Now, what exactly is marketing messaging? Well, it can be anything from the content on your social media pages, to the content in your emails, the wording on your advertisements, your logo, packaging, and more! These key terms and phrases should speak directly to your target audience in a way that will invite them to learn more about your product or service.
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Logo & Design
Now that you’ve gone through some critical branding components, it’s time to focus on the fun stuff –design! This would be a good point to bust out your handy mood board, so you can start narrowing down your color palette, the right imagery, and other key design elements. Another thing–though these details might seem small, they actually play a huge role in how your brand is perceived. Make sure to do plenty of research!
Once you’ve mastered these branding basics, the sky’s the limit!