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Unlock Customers with the Power of a Strong Brand!

Branding 101

6/20/2024 | Designer Patch

We’ve covered the basics of social media & graphic design and even the importance of a brand refresh & brand standards in this blog, but we’ve never talked about the basics of branding. So let’s change that!

What is branding?
Branding is a deliberate process of creating a distinctive identity for a business that symbolizes its values and evokes a specific perception of the business in the customer.

Why do we need branding?
Successful branding helps customers understand your offerings and what you stand for while building a loyal customer base, generating leads, and increasing revenue.

When should we think about branding?
You are starting a new business and want to build a solid brand. 💪
You are introducing a new line (products or services) and want to position it in front of the right audience. 👏
When you started your business you didn’t do any or enough market research nor created a relatable story. This, in turn, didn’t position you where you wanted to be so now you’re not being seen in the way you had hoped. 🫢
You want to develop your personal brand. 🙌

What goes into branding?
Start with market research and analysis to learn about your target customers and their needs. What do they connect with? How can you empathize with them on a deeper level? Once you uncover this, then start writing your story - your brand’s mission and values (make sure you're authentic).

Next, you’ll turn to designing your brand’s persona. This isn’t just creating a logo or color scheme, it’s about creating something that people care about and want to be a part of. When they think of your brand, it should invoke a feeling - preferably the feeling you’ve crafted via the market research in step one. Think of what defines your brand, do you want to be known for luxury or affordability, being serious or fun, etc? This will help guide you in creating your brand’s voice. How do you want your brand to sound? (The wording you’ll use in advertising and on social media.) For example, a luxury brand will use different words to share its values (high-end materials and exclusivity) than an affordable brand (low price points and inclusivity).

With your mission statement and persona in tow, it’s time for the fun part, creating your logo (aka the symbol of your brand).

When designing your logo, remember that the colors and typeface you choose will represent your brand across all forms of marketing - signage, business cards, flyers, apparel, etc.- so make sure they’re  something you can see lasting a long time and not just a trendy pick.

Here are some things to consider when designing your logo.
What do you want it to represent/communicate?
What color(s) should it be? (Check out this article for some insight on color theory.)
What font should it be? (Check out this article for some typography tips.)
Make sure the colors and type will work well throughout your branding, not just in the logo.
Does my brand need an icon to use in tandem with the logo? (text + graphic)
Don’t be afraid to look at other logos and note what you like about each and how it relates to their brand (and what parts don’t).
Make sure the logo works well at all sizes. Is it readable on a business card, embroidered on a shirt, or printed on a pen?

Now that the foundation is set and the visuals are created (including brand guidelines), it’s time to put your brand in place - get online.

Social media is the most popular and probably easiest way to reach your audience. Remember your voice and authenticity when creating your social presence. Be a service to your followers, not an ‘80s used car salesman shouting “buy from me”. I have several articles covering social media marketing you can check out if you need help. You’ll also want to make sure your website is user-friendly. There’s nothing worse than visiting the website of a brand you love only to find it lacking in intuitive navigation or it hasn’t been formatted to be mobile-friendly.

Lastly, you need to monitor and manage to ensure you’re staying consistent with your values, voice, and visuals.

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