The term “branding” or “branding identity” is thrown about a lot in the business community, but in all honesty, most people struggle with understanding what this term really means. In fact many people assume it means to simply create a logo. But a logo design is only a portion of what it really means to create a "branding identity". So let’s start at the very beginning and go over what you should do prior to creating your logo, in order to get a clear vision for your brand. (Don’t worry, it's not some Jedi mind trick, it's an actual process that is fun, easy and will help you get started in the right direction.)
“the act or power of imagination b (1) : mode of seeing or conceiving (2) : unusual discernment or foresight <a person of vision>”
Start with Your Brand Vision
A brand vision is the foundation on which your business is built. It stands for what you are doing, who you are doing it for and why it is important to them. Your brand vision can be best described as your WHY in business. Your “why” is important to consider before starting any brand because it contains the building blocks to success. Before you are even remotely close to picking a business name, colors, logo or developing your website, you need to identify in your mind, how you see your brand visually. If your brand was a person, what would he or she look like? What style would they like? What are their values? What drives them? Thinking of your brand like a person, is the very beginning to a successful brand. Work through the following steps to get a clear vision of what your brand will look like:
1. Get a clear vision of your ideal audience and what their specific needs and wants are. Answer the following questions:
What products will you offer that will my target audience?
What products will appeal to their emotions (their ideal lifestyle)?
What services will help my target audience solve their problems or pain point?
What are your ideal clients greatest pains and how can you be the hero?
Write your 30-second elevator pitch and practice reciting it to friends and family
Create an inspiration board on Pinterest that includes your favorite fashion, style, decor or whatever strikes your fancy. Then look for a consistent look that stands out the most of your choice.
2. Define Your Mission and Values
Your mission is how your vision for your brand will be expressed in words and includes the core values that will guide your approach towards business. Your mission should describe why your company even exists and what drives your actions.
What you promise as a company?
What inspires you as a company?
What organizations do you support or collaborate with as a company?
Write a rough draft of your mission statement (to get you started list at least 5 core values)
3. Define Your Brand’s Unique Personality
Your brand’s unique personality is the style and tone of all it’s communications. For example is your brand fun and bubbly? Hipster? Super serious/corporate? Minimalist? Formal? Casual? Your brand’s personality will determine the overall look and feel of your marketing materials including your logo, website and ads and clearly defining these elements will help guide you and create consistency whenever you add content.
By creating consistent content you will attract your ideal clients and make them want to choose your business over your competitors.
Write down a list of emotions and adjectives surrounding your brand
Narrow the list down to no more than seven attributes so that you can keep your brand message clear
Now put them all together and you have your BRAND VISION. Every decision you make hereafter needs be in line with your brand vision. If you get stuck, think through your why and steps and ask yourself, “does this decision support my brand’s core values?” “Does this decision fill a need or want for my target audience?”