You’ve hired a great, new team. You just created a strong new line of products. You feel confident about how your business could take off. You’re ready to let your company, your products, and your vision be communicated to the public. What’s the next step? Developing your brand.
Your brand is a promise to your audience. It includes your visual identity, such as your logo, corporate templates, iconography, and style. It also includes content guidelines, writing style, and communication protocols. With all these ins and outs, it can be tough to know where to begin. Here are the steps you can take to begin developing your brand.
Start by Defining Your Brand
Your brand must answer specific questions, not only about your company, but also about its philosophy. Three of the most important questions to ask are:
- What is your business’s mission?
- Why did you start your company?
- Are you fulfilling a purpose to a specific community, or service for a particular audience?
Spend time actually writing out answers to these questions. This process should give you a feel for the essence of your company.
Outline Your Brand Attributes
Your company should have a set of core values, or brand attributes. These traits help to reinforce your brand identity. For example, let’s say you sell cost-effective medical equipment. One of your core values might be approachability. You want your company to be seen as open, friendly, and helpful. Your products, which are less expensive than most medical equipment, should reflect that image.
Create a Logo and Templates for Your Visual
Images and icons transmit a powerful message. It’s critical to spend time selecting colors, fonts, and design templates that appropriately reflect your brand identify. For example, red is associated with boldness and energy. It’s also associated with aggression. If one of your brand attributes is helpfulness, then that doesn’t align with aggression.
Common Color Associations
Red is associated with energy, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love. It is a perfect color for ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Click Here’ buttons on Internet banners and websites.
Green is directly related to nature, so you can use it to promote ‘green’ products. Darker green is commonly associated with money, the financial world, banking, and Wall Street.
Blue symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, and faith. Use blue to promote products and services related to cleanliness, air and sky, water and sea.
Purple symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. Purple is a good choice when promoting luxury products, and believe it or not, children’s products.
Orange represents enthusiasm, happiness, creativity, determination, success, and stimulation. Orange is very effective for promoting food products and toys.
Yellow is an attention grabber, commonly associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy. Use yellow to evoke pleasant, cheerful feelings.
Color choice isn’t the only major point to consider. More than anything, you want your company’s design elements to be consistent. Your business’ marketing materials, corporate communications, and digital presence should use the same hues, color schemes, logo, and fonts.
Craft a Tagline and Content Strategy
Think about a major restaurant chain you’ve eaten at this year. Without question, you can recite that chain’s tagline. It’s on every poster, every commercial—every piece of marketing material you’ve seen that’s associated with that restaurant.
Your company should have a unique tagline that communicates exactly what you do in less than 10 words. Unless you’re a professional wordsmith, you’ll probably want to hire a professional copywriter to craft this tagline for you.
In addition to the tagline, you’ll want to create an overarching content strategy that includes a list of go-to adjectives writers can use and a calendar of where and when you’re publishing content.