Branding Your Business


Each day new businesses are born. It might be a blogger putting her words into the blogosphere. Possibly, a group of friends decide to make a difference with their products. Whatever the reason, these businesses need a brand, a best foot forward if you will. These days a logo and tagline won’t do it, competition is more fierce than ever before. So the questions are these; what else is there to do? How does a new business make their mark? When thinking about new brands try to imagine your business as a person.

1. Who Do You Want To Be?

  • If your brand was a person, what characteristics would it possess?
  • Is this person active, fun, compelling?
  • Maybe this person is clinical, intellectual, analytical.

2. What Would You Find Interesting to Talk about?

  • When online, what content are you interested?
  • Webmd, CNN, Daily Show with John Stewart, MLB World Series, each of these has a different message and audience.

3. Does your brand stand for something? (If not, maybe consider what you are doing in business.)

  • Even if your business is a large ecommerce site, think Amazon, it still can stand for something. The message might be “We bring quality products to everyone around the world” (even if you live in the back woods of Montana). Possibly the message is “Any product you need at great prices with spectacular customer service”. Of course if you run a non-profit the message would be organization specific, but you get the point.

4. Be Sincere.

  • Don’t promise the world, because frankly, no one can deliver on that promise. For example, there are businesses that say “Yes” to every request, despite a large work load, they promise to deliver on any day the customer requests. However, if this business is lucky enough to have more business than their current workload can handle, the business will ultimately break their delivery promises. In result a customer that will not return.

5. What Would The Personification Of Your Brand Look Like?

  • Would they be wearing macaroni earrings, bright sweaters and serve an audience of preschoolers?
  • Would your brand wear black or gray every day, purchase post modern furniture and eat dinner at 9 o’clock at night?
  • Perhaps your brand loves white eyelet skirts, open fields, drives a truck, and listens to Carrie Underwood?

These may sound like ridiculous examples, however they paint a picture of what each of those individuals would look like and what environment they would live in.

6. How to Relay The Emotions and Appearance of Your Brand.

Now that you have decided on your message, purpose, and style, it’s time to start developing your brand.

  • Colors. You have already pictured what the individual representing your brand would wear, be interested in, and attracted to. Now you can hone in on your color pallet.
  • Adjectives. After you have decided what your brand’s messages are, it’s helpful to make a list of adjectives that describe the core values of your brand.
  • Font. Similar to the process of picking your color pallet you can start researching fonts

7. Hire your team.

  • If you are a business of one or two, you probably don’t possess the skills to perform each of the branding pieces and projects on your own. Don’t worry there are plenty of contractors with the skills you need to help you along the way. The best part of developing your team is that you already have a message, purpose and style for your brand. This roadmap will save a lot of time as you get your business started.
  • Shop around. There is always someone hungry for your business with the skills that you desire and at a price you can afford. Find them. This will set the tone for future project budgets. When you start too high, it is hard to go down from there.

Every business needs a starting point. You may learn more about how your brand can evolve after analysis of your current buyers and their online habits. Many companies and their marketing directors make the mistake of sticking so strictly to a brand guideline that they miss what their customers are telling them. Evolution can be a good thing. Dreams and visions can change. Start by creating a solid foundation for your brand, create a plan and then you can fine tune as you grow.