Starting a new business is so exciting—branding should be one of the most fun things you do for your new venture. It is critical to establishing how your customers will identify with your business.
Simply put, branding is the look and feel of what you want to say to customers about you. Begin with your logo, typography, and packaging to establish how you want your business to be portrayed. Are you looking for casual and relaxed, or edgy and modern?
The more cohesive and consistent your brand identity is, the easier it is for others to understand and connect with your company. Be sure to pick the right visuals and content to represent you and how you want your business to look. When you’re creating a brand identity, pretend to be a customer who knows nothing about the business. This will help you pick the look you’re aiming for.
Generally, brand identity includes your brand name and the purpose of your business while maintaining that consistent tone throughout your visuals—your logo, typography, colours, signage, packaging, decor, social media, and website, for example. Don’t forget that the people who work in your business will also influence the customer experience and are an integral element in your brand. Every single detail about your brand’s purpose, values, goals, and audience should be clear from the start. This process can be long and challenging. It requires a lot of careful thought and research, but it will pay off to successfully brand yourself.
Businesses with a successful brand know, inside and out, who they are and who they are trying to reach. Every branding decision should be made with your potential customers in mind. A logo geared towards millennials would look very different from a logo geared toward seniors. The colors, the font, and the language should all be tailored to your audience. Remember, when it comes to brand strategy, if you try to reach everyone, you end up reaching no one. Are you a kid at heart, or more of an old soul? Are you trendy and modern, or classic and professional? Figuring out what kind of person you are is crucial in determining how to brand yourself. Who is my target audience? Who am I trying to reach? Who is my competition? Research potential competitors—every brand has them. Even if your product or service is revolutionary and one-of-a-kind, you are still competing for the consumer’s time and will have competitors who are also after this precious commodity.
Brainstorming should never be done alone, especially when you are creating a brand! Recruit friends, family members, co-workers, and employees, and survey as many people as you can. Play word-association games to spark new ideas for names, slogans, or taglines—all of which will help with the visualization of your brand identity.
Remember to find an original and unique way to define your own brand. No matter what your method, the rules for branding are always the same.
Creative design and impeccable craftsmanship have been the focus of artist Elizabeth Burry’s jewellery brand since the debut of her first collection in 2003. She creates her exclusive jewellery designs, paintings, and many private label brands in Trinity, Newfoundland. In addition, Elizabeth operates Mirabella, her small, seasonal artisan shop, which is known for its creative branding and attractive displays of her work and other fine art products.
Elizabeth has been featured in many local, national, and international articles, and received NLOWE’s 2009 Start-up Award in 2009.