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  • Writer's pictureMartese Bellizzi

Branding 101

Many of us know what a brand is, but few of us know how to brand.

There’s a great deal of confusion surrounding how to create a brand, and we are here to share the basics with you. For all intents and purposes we are going to assume that you have already come up with an idea for a business, blog, podcast, etc., that is niche and brings something new to the table.

So what happens next? We start the branding process.

Step One: Create a Personality

Our golden rule when it comes to branding is: Create a Personality.

Don’t worry about what your business will be called. Don’t worry about your target audience. Create a personality and the rest will come.

Creating a personality for your brand is the most important thing you will ever do as a business owner because this personality will impact every aspect of your business going forward. Everything from your logo to your price point will be dictated by the personality that you create.

Personalities are unique and your business should be too - think about what makes your business different from others in your desired industry. Compile a list of 20-30 words that you want associated with your business. For example: bold, modern, upbeat, colourful, affordable, dependable, fun, honest...etc.

Here is a handy list of words you can use to get started.

Step Two: Company Values

Once you have compiled your list of 20-30 words, narrow it down to 3-10 words that you value above all else. These 3-10 words/ideals are what you will be building your brand off of.

These words should:

  • Encapsulate the type of service you want to provide customers

  • Be a representation of what makes your company unique in your market

  • Should be identifiable by the public.

Step Three: Identify Your Target Audience

After you’ve created your list of words, you are in a perfect position to identify your target audience and build a customer profile. Think about who you are trying to attract based on the personality you created. The personality you created is meant to attract a certain type of person. Ask yourself, who is your ideal customer?

Create a customer profile using demographics, psychographics, and actionable insights.

Also, describe that person in detail. What do they look like? What do they need help with? What do they think, feel, do every day?

Step Four: The Name

You have created a personality and identified your target audience, now you can choose a name for your business. Your business’ name should be an extension of its personality and have some type of meaning.

Tips for Choosing a Business Name:

  • Avoid hard to spell or hard to pronounce names

  • Don’t pick a name that could be limiting as your business grows

  • Conduct a thorough internet search - someone may be using your name already. It’s not a total dealbreaker, but it should give you pause.

  • Once you come up with a name, get the .com domain name

  • Use a name that conveys some meaning

  • Assess if the name is catchy

  • Get feedback from friends and family who will tell you the truth, not the friends and family who are just trying to make you happy

  • Make sure your name does not mean something unappealing in another language

  • Choose a name that sounds good when said aloud

  • Make sure that you are happy with the name

Step Five: Brand Colours and Font

At this point you can choose your brand’s colours and font. Again, both of these things are an extension of your brand’s personality. Keep it consistent. The colours and font are important because they are going to be used on everything from your logo, business cards, social media feeds, website….etc.

Tips for Choosing a Font:

  • Choose a font that is easy to read & that it remains easy to read, regardless of how big or small the font is

  • The font should convey your brand’s personality

  • Serif or Sans Serif?

  • If you are using two fonts use decisive contrast: these fonts should be obviously different but work together in harmony

Step Six: Design Your Logo

Your logo is extremely important because it is going to be how your customers identify you. A logo is your first opportunity to provide an impression; make it appealing and consistent with your brand.

Step Seven: Design Your Website

Take all of the branding you have done so far and apply it to your business’ website! The layout, images, text/voice, colours, font….etc. should all be on brand and be an extension of the personality you created.

Now that you have done all this work you can apply it everywhere from social media platforms to email blasts and pamphlets! You are ready to focus on building your business. Good luck!

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