Defining Your Brand Identity

Starting your own business and becoming your own boss isn’t a pipe dream, it isn’t exactly a fluffy daydream either. It is stressful and demands a lot of your time and focus. That being said, once you get into your groove, it is fulfilling and a wonderful experience. So, let’s have some fun with creating your brand identity!

A brand is the way a business is personified in the minds of consumers.

Melissa Bolton

Once you have a business plan, a mission, and a vision for your company and you are ready to jump in, you will have to start thinking about your company brand. Aside from what service or products you offer your brand is going to play a very large role in your success. Ms. Bolton is right, your brand is a visual representation of you to your customers, which is why it is imperative to put together a good strategy.

your brand is as good as your reputation - brand identity

You should have a solid strategy in place and implement it so you will have an edge on the competition. Your brand will be derived from who you are because you are the only thing that no other business has. Therefore, you want to make sure your brand is a strong and genuine representation of you. So, when building your brand there are a few things to keep in mind.

It is hard to try and be someone or something you are not. It is a lot easier to be yourself than to try and be someone else, not to mention how much easier it will be to keep it consistent. So, just be you. Because you are a real person and your brand is a reflection of who you are; build your brand on things that you believe in. Your values, your beliefs, what you stand for, and who you strive to be. Your business should have the same values, beliefs, and passion. As you grow as a person, your brand will grow and be more successful.

You probably already have an online presence, to stay connected with friends, family, and to express yourself. So, why not put your business out there? Create social media accounts, pages, and profiles for your company. Have these link back to your website, and vice-versa.  A website isn’t 100% required to be successful in business, however in today’s day and age, it is a good investment because you don’t know how long each social media platform will stay on top.

If you follow any of my work, you will know how important I feel knowing who your customer is. Now,  asked yourself “Who is your ultimate client?” You have done the research on who you are going to market to, now implement this into your brand strategy. How will your brand appeal to them? What do they want? What do they care about? If your target audience is the DIY Mom, you do not want to go out and build a brand that uses girls in bikini’s on cars for any part of your strategy.

When deciding on a company name be sure it is in line with your business message. There is no secret formula for choosing the perfect name for your business. To make matters worse, once you have decided on a name that you are100% happy with, you will still second guess yourself.  So when you start planning the company name, it should be simple, to the point, and easy to remember.

Be sure to avoid annoying, random words with no meaning, double meanings, awkward puns and spelling no one would consider.   If Siri can’t spell it, your audience probably can’t either.

If you are just starting a business or looking at tweaking one that is already up and running, I can understand being on a budget. However; using a professional looking logo and design is imperative when creating your business brand. If you are able, hire a brand strategist, such as AW Design Co. , to create the perfect logo and brand style that fits the vision of your business.  If that is not an option, look into purchasing a pre-designed brand and logo packages from a designer or community website like www.creativemarket.com.

Just keep in mind when you are purchasing a pre-designed package, there may be others that have that exact brand design and logo. So do not just buy the first one you like, keep digging! It is a budget minded option, but it may not be the absolute best.   You do not want to look like a box store brand, so be sure you make the right decisions for your business and your brand moving forward.

Having a defined colour scheme for your brand is just as important as your name. No matter what stage you are at in your business, your brand colours will create consistency and easy brand recognition. To do this, make sure you minimize your colours for maximum impact. Your goal is to have your chosen colours be associated with your business. For this, I suggest narrowing your colour choices down to two main colours with only 1 accent colour.

When you choose three different colours, not shades but colours, try using the 60-30-10 rule. By this I mean use your main colour 60% of the time, your secondary30%, and the accent only 10%.  Following this rule will provide a simple way to create a professional colour scheme for your brand.

When starting a business it is common, and smart, to check out the competition. You want to know what the leaders in your industry are doing to be successful but you do not want to be just like them.   As I mentioned before, you are the one thing no other business has. Use that to your advantage. What makes you different from your competitors, and how can you use that in your branding? Focus on being unique so you will stand out amongst the crowd.

Try not to forget that branding is a lot more than creating a logo and colour scheme. It is a representation of your business and it is how you intend your business to be perceived by others. Having a strong and professional brand will make your business memorable and will help build trust with your audience. So, when you are creating your business’s brand identity remember to be authentic, know your audience and choose your name wisely. Try to work with a professional design, define your colours with purpose and follow your own path.

If you already have a brand in place, step back and look at it. Ensure it is a genuine representation of you and your business values.

If you are just creating your brand and are in the planning phase, get planning! Peek at leaders in your industry and head over to Pinterest for inspiration!

Remember to stop in at the Facebook Network and share your branding board or logo, we would love to see it! If you are looking for assistance or guidance, the network is there to help you out!

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