Your Brand - it starts with 3 words...
So you have an amazing idea for your business, product or service. How do you show your potential customer what to expect from you? Your branding needs to catch their eye, and keep their interest. It’s more than a logo, it’s the personality of your business. It’s your visual identity, tone of voice, product offering…the whole package!
I often have branding clients come to me with some idea of what they would like from their new branding - colours and fonts etc. But what they sometimes haven’t yet considered is their positioning, their values, or three ‘3 words’, i.e. 3 adjectives they would use to describe what their brand stands for to strangers.
What’s your 3 words?
I always ask my clients to outline these 3 words before starting any design work, as it is so important when outwardly communicating their brand. But also inwardly, because your brand needs to emulate these values from the core, through the logo, products and services, tone-of-voice, everything.
Small brands are so often an extension of their owners, and as unique as they are too. You want your branding to communicate something as truly unique as you are. So how do you get this across?
What’s your story?
Every brand has a back story - the who, what, when, where and why. It’s the good bit, the juicy bit, the part that you can chat about with ease, because it’s the reason your business exists. It is also what makes you unique. And your customers love it! We all like to know who we are buying from, whether it is a large multinational or a local independent, we want to know where our money is going and who we are supporting. So tell your story! How can your story come to life in your brand?
I also ask my clients about what other brands they admire - these can be competitors or businesses from other sectors. Whatever these brands do, who does it well? It helps me to understand more about what my clients want to achieve from their branding. There is an emphasis on ‘achieve’ here. Not what they want their brand to look like - that comes later .
It can be helpful to have an idea of what personality or vibe you would like your branding to have, and to collect inspiration from your competitors, and from Pinterest etc, but if someone else is already using it, then maybe it's not quite right for you?
Let them be them, and be you be you.
So what’s your point of difference?
Who is YOUR target or dream customer?
What do YOUR customers come to you for?
What do YOU do, that nobody else quite does the same?
This is what you want to bring to life in your brand identity.
The World is your Oyster
So once you know your brand’s identity, how do you bring it to life? There are so many ways to create personality in a brand - from the name you chose, tones, shades and combinations of colours, the range of fonts you use, the boldness of shapes, intricacy of patterns, the style of illustration - all create an ‘image’, and influence a customer’s judgment of your brand. There are so many combinations of colours, fonts, shapes, patterns etc…there is no need to worry about not being unique. There are enough identities to go round! Just as you differ from everyone else around you, your branding should too.
This can seem a little daunting, but I am here to help! With key measurables, knowing what you want to achieve, who your target audience is, and what your brand values are, the process can be smooth and enjoyable!
You can’t please everyone, so don’t try to. Choose your dream customer, and create a brand that will resonate with them. But most importantly, design a brand that feels right for you.