Let’s talk about how to define your brand identity and create one that you love for your business…
In order to create a brand identity that you love first, you need to define your business. This means thinking about what your business stands for, how it differs from everyone else, and what tone you want to convey through your visual brand identity. You may or may not know the answer to these questions yet, but we will figure it all out…promise.This step is going to help you define your business so you can be well on your way to a brand identity that you are going to love.
Background? (What does your business do and why?)
A good place to start is to literally to write out what it is that your business has to offer why you started your business? This may seem like a given to you and you might be thinking “why?” “I obviously know WHY I STARTED MY BUSINESS AND WHAT I DO,” but trust me on this one, and you might even find it a bit harder than you thought.
Thinking this through and writing this out really seems to give you a clear idea of what you do and the why behind your business. ( Even if you think you already know.)
Objective (What do you want to accomplish?)
Think about what you would like to accomplish in this process. Are you a startup business looking to create a brand identity for your new business? or are you doing a rebrand of your existing small business and feel that your logo and brand no longer accurately represents your business? Try to be specific when you write out the objective of what you want to accomplish when everything’s said and done.
Message (What do you want to say?)
What message do you want your customers to get? For example I really want my customers to see that they can expect top notch quality work from me as a professional designer, however, I want to show that I am extremely personable, creative, but can be pretty bold. I also want them to know I specialize in website & brand design for small businesses immediately whenever someone comes into contact with my business.
Competition (Who are your competitors and what makes you different?)
Take note of your competition and who they are. Some things you want to look at are their branding. You will want to stay away from branding elements that may be similar to another company in your industry. Branding elements can be anything from the same color scheme, similar graphics, etc..
It’s also a good idea to check out what is working for those who are already at the top of their game in your niche but make sure you stay original. Never copy someone else you want your business to stand out NOT blend in next to anyone else’s.
Target Audience (Who do you need to market your products or services to?)
Think about your target audience and who you want to market your products or services to. Ask yourself who is my dream customer/client? What are their interests? What social networks do they like and is there a certain design aesthetic that appeals to them? When I did my brand redesign I wanted my target audience to be small business owners and the Etsy community. Mostly female between the ages of 25-45.
If you aren’t a startup company you may have a good idea already of who your target audience is, but if you don’t, and aren’t really sure create your ideal customer and write it down. You can always tweak this as you go forward. Keep in mind this doesn’t mean that each customer has to meet ALL the criteria that you write down, but it does give you a good idea of who you should be marketing to and how you can incorporate design elements to appeal to that certain person.
Tone (What feeling or personality do you want to convey?)
What traits or personality do you want to highlight and bring out in your business branding? Try to use a minimum of 3 adjectives to describe how you want to appear to potential customers but try not to use no more than 5 otherwise you can become confused and all over the board when you are marketing your business and trying to figure out design choices such as, fonts, and graphic elements that will make up your brand identity. All of these elements will come together to create the tone you want to convey.
Creative Considerations? (Do you have any certain colors or fonts that you MUST use in your brand?)
Are you drawn to a certain color, do you like a certain graphic element such as a star, heart, diamond, handwritten fonts etc….don’t try to think about this too hard though. These should be things that you came into the process knowing without a doubt you wanted to incorporate or something that you already use in current branding and want to keep. Try to stay open-minded and remember even if it’s something you love and came into the process wanting badly you might have to suck it up put your boss girl panties on and live without it because some elements, colors, fonts, etc… might not present your business how you want it to or give it the correct tone.
Design considerations such as color choice can have a big impact on how you are perceived and give off a certain feeling, but don’t worry we will talk a little more about this in the near future.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear any question or struggles you have when it comes to creating your business brand?