Ready to build your brand? Here’s what you need to know.
Okay, so you want knock-‘em-dead branding that they can’t get enough of. The good news? Knowing the importance of good branding means that your clever self is already ahead of the game. High-five, girl.
But we aren’t going to stop there.
Today, I’m going to walk you through the foundations of creating a killer brand.
‘Cos the truth is that good branding is made up of a variety of different elements that work together to create an instant connection between you and your dream customer.
Your branding tells your audience:
- Who you are
- What you do
- Your true, authentic story
- Why you’re in business
- Who you’re passionate about working with
Pretty freaking magical huh?
But here’s the deal: You don’t actually need magic to create an awesome brand. You just need to break your brand down into two primary parts:
- Your inner foundational work (aka the deep and meaningful stuff).
- Your visual identity (i.e. your logo, lifestyle images, fonts and colour palette).
Let’s tackle it one at a time.
(Grab a coffee and something to nibble on – this post is a long one!)
The deep and meaningful stuff
Step one: Define your values.
Your brand values are what your business stands for and believes in. But why bother defining them? Well, done correctly, you can create a strong following of loyal customers who become true advocates for your business by defining and showcasing your brand values. By applying them consistently throughout your business, you’ll attract people that share the same values and beliefs. Thus making it easier to connect – and convert your dream customers!
Step two: Get clear on your mission and vision.
And yep, they’re two different things. But if you can understand the difference and how to apply it within your business, you’ll be set up for some serious brand success. So, what is the difference?
Your mission describes what your business is doing NOW. It gives your potential customers a clear understanding of what you do.
NIKE: TO BRING INPIRATION AND INNOVATION TO EVERY ATHLETE IN THE WORLD.
Your vision is where you see your business in the FUTURE. It doesn’t have an end date. Your vision gives you clear focus and inspires your business direction.
NIKE: TO REMAIN THE MOST AUTHENTIC, CONNECTED AND DISTINCTIVE BRAND.
The two connect and support each other, with your mission helping you to work towards your vision.
Step three: Create your ‘why’.
Your why is your brand super power and one of the most important aspects of your foundational branding. Your why:
- Gives you crystal clear brand clarity.
- Ripples through your brand and helps you to define every part of your business.
- Ensures every decision you make is perfectly aligned with your core reason for even starting your business.
- Speaks directly to your ideal audience and tells them WHY YOU.
See how it’s kinda important? I mean, if you haven’t got a clear why then why would someone hire you? Why would they buy your products or sign up to your course? Hmm, good point, huh?
But if the idea of creating your why is making you panic, take a deep breath and download my free WHY YOU worksheet.
Phew. Lucky you have me!
The visual stuff
Step one: Define your dream client.
When you’re first starting out in business, it’s totally normal to want to work with #allthepeople. You’ve got a portfolio to build and a reputation to grow, yo! Bring on the masses.
But after trying unsuccessfully to appeal to everyone, you’ll realise that not everyone will actually want to work with you. You can’t attract corporates and start-ups at the same time. You need a niche, so you can zone in and target people that share the same beliefs and values as you do. Bonus? When you have a strong niche, you’ll create advocates for your brand. Which means … hello, word of mouth advertising.
But how do you create your niche and design your client? Well, now that you’ve defined your values and your why, you can use this information to tailor the perfect dream client for your business.
Or, you could slide into the fast lane and use my free DESIGN YOUR DREAM CLIENT worksheet to get it sorted stat!
Step two: Create your visual identity.
Did somebody order a heartfelt and authentic brand that makes your dream clients feel like your business has been made just for them (‘cos it has)? Ding! Your order has arrived.
Once you have a strong brand foundation, you can move on to creating a visual identity that not only looks hot, but is meaningful af too ‘cos it has your values, mission and why woven through it.
So … how do you perform this visual awesomeness?
Your visual identity is made up of many different touch points, including your:
- Logo (must have various layouts to make sure your brand is versatile across print and online use)
- Lifestyle images
- Print material
- On and offline marketing material
Once you have your visual identity in place, you must use it consistently across all platforms. This means using similar design layouts for all printed material and making sure it is consistent with your website feel and vibe.
Why? Consistency creates a memorable brand, but it also creates TRUST! A wishy-washy brand with changing fonts and colours does not portray a strong, organised business your dream clients want to spend their money with.
Step three: Pull it all together.
Now that you have an amazing brand that perfectly portrays your authentic kick-arse boss lady business, you are ready for next level: your brand experience.
Not gonna lie, this is the part where a lot of people drop the ball.
But a well-designed brand experience adds that little extra sprinkle of love and charm to a customers’ time with you.
Brand experience isn’t about giving away freebies all the time or discounting products, it’s about connecting with people on an emotional and personal level. For example, your automatic emails could be quirky and funny and give your customers a little giggle when they read them.
For example, instead of saying: “THANK YOU FOR YOUR ORDER.”
You could say: “HOLY HOMMUS, BATMAN! YOUR ORDER JUST MADE US DO A HAPPY DANCE.”
See how much more fun and memorable that is?
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think about what the current process is like for them when they shop or interact with your business. Write it down step by step so you don’t miss anything. Now, is it clear? Easy? User-friendly? How can you add a little bit more sparkle in there?
Become the brand that bends over backwards to make your customers happy, and I have no doubt that you’ll see your success – and sales! – sky rocket.
To branding bad-assery,
Hi, I am Jen the design boss lady behind Jenna-Rae designs. I help female entrepreneurs become UNSTOPPABLE with fearlessly authentic and kick-ass brands.