I have a love/hate relationship with branding. The colours! The fonts! The pretty mood boards! But also, the hard questions and identity crises. Who is my brand for? What does it offer? Branding is a beautiful and intricate process that starts long before you start choosing swatches—get a start on that process with The Beginner’s Guide to Branding.
Entrepreneur, blogger, freelancer or Etsy seller—every interaction with a customer or product that you send out says something about your brand. The words you use and the systems you employ tell your clients whether you’re easygoing and fresh or sophisticated and classy. Take hold of those impressions by defining your brand; with a little brainstorming and a few thought-provoking questions, you can create a brand that tells your customers exactly what you want them to know.
It all starts by laying the foundation. You’re going to have a hard time picking colours and fonts if you’re not sure who you are and what you have to offer . Or you’ll pick your favourite colours and realize months (or years) later that your brand isn’t saying what you want it to.
Get a handle on your brand by asking a few key questions.
- What does your business offer? Take this one step further by defining not only what product or service your business provides, but what the results are for your clients. If you’re a videographer you may provide your clients with videos they can use in their marketing campaigns. But you also offer them a way to tell their story and engage potential and current customers.
- Who does your business serve? Who are your customers? What do they need? What do they love? Get specific and think about their motivations.
- What makes your brand different? What sets you apart from your competitors? Maybe it’s your voice, your unusual experience or the extra miles you travel for each customer.
- Describe your brand with a few words. If your brand was a friend of yours, how would you introduce her? How would you explain why she’s such a great friend? Is she generous, helpful, always knows the latest trends?
- What is your brand voice? Now that you know what your friend (brand) is like, how does she talk? What words does she use and what tone does she take—casual, quirky, open, funny? Use this description to guide your brand writing—your social bios, your web content, your blog posts.
- What platforms are you on? Where can your customers find you? Is your brand in print, online or on physical products? Are you sharing visual inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram, having casual chats on Periscope, or tossing out witty thoughts on Twitter?
Taking the time to think about and thoroughly answer these questions will have you as familiar with your brand as you are with your best friend. And as ready to sing her praises. Download The Beginner’s Guide to Branding to start answering those questions. Once you’ve laid the foundation, you can pull your swatches out and have some fun with mood boards.
What are your biggest struggles with branding?