Part III: How to Brand Your Business: My Branding Process
Like most things, from the outside looking in, branding looks pretty easy and it looks like a lot of fun.
But, like with most things as well, it’s really difficult when you actually do it. It takes practice and planning.
Today I’ll go over the main things I do when developing a brand for a business. This is my branding process and I definitely think it can work for anyone else who is looking to brand themselves or are interested in how it all works. It all starts with questions.
1. Start with your business
Asking a lot of questions at the very beginning and will help you find the direction of your business. I have the client fill out a very thorough questionnaire, some questions include:
• What drives you to own your own business?
• What is your motivation?
• Do you have a clear vision for what you want to achieve with your business?
• What is the purpose of branding for you?
• Who is your target audience?
• Who is your ideal client?
• What do you want customers to feel when they interact with your brand?
And the list goes on. There are questions upon questions you can ask upfront. And the more questions you can answer decisively, the more direction you will achieve with your brand.
2. Collect inspiration
Once the questions are answered, I can begin to see a direction I want to take with developing the brand. This is the fun part. Collecting inspiration and information. This means collecting magazine clippings, photos, fabrics that represent your brand, having a Pinterest board... sifting through all these mediums gives you a layered and rich brand identity.
TIP: If you’re like me and you find its very difficult to narrow down on a direction, continually go back to asking questions, ‘Does this image represent the tone of my brand?’ ‘Why do I love this group of photos?’ ‘Does this typeface convey the feeling I want?’ ‘What about this inspires me?’ Asking questions and dissecting the reason is very revealing to why you are leaning toward one look or another. The more questions you ask (and answer) the more clarifying it will be for you.
3. Choose a color palette
This is probably one of the most seemingly simple steps, but even this step presents it own challenges. Knowing some color psychology is really helpful in this part of the design process. Here’s a quick run through of colors and the vibe they give off:
Red = bold, aggressive, invokes hunger
Orange = original, youthful, feels unique
Yellow = whimsical, happy, feels carefree
Green = fresh, environmental, feels tranquil
Blue = loyal, calming, invokes trust
Violet = royal, intense, feels imaginative
White = pure, simple, feels clean
Black = classic, secure, feels sophisticated
That are more colors, shades and tints but these colors are a starting point.
4. Logo & design
This is where strategy and purpose come into play. This is not thinking of a trendy logo and fancy design, this is the creation of your brand in visual form. Going back to the original questions and answers, this is developing a design that will represent you, your service or product.
Photos and imagery is one of the most important aspects of a brand. Not only do they communicate your information in a digestible way but they have the power to add emotion and intrigue.
Visuals are becoming the prioritized way of presenting information and when your brand offers images that are branded for your specific aesthetic you stand out in an original and recognizable way.
6. Words and web
The final steps of the branding process is to make sure your words align with your message and purpose. This is a relatively broad overview of how the words on your website are sounding. It’s important to make sure that your words sound like how you talk or, if you’re presenting a more professional side, make sure that your words come off that way.
The final part is web design. This is an integral part of branding that can easily be overlooked. Having a website, or home base, is a sure way where you can professionally and efficiently show your work and services. Making a website work is combining all of the elements of your brand to make a site that is simple and direct in showing your purpose and mission.
I hope this was enlightening you to how I do my own branding process and maybe it can help you in your own journey if you’re branding for yourself or if you're thinking of re-branding.
Have you recently branded or are going to brand and thought this was helpful?