Branding is just as important for small businesses as it is for big names. Branding is not just a logo or how their business is perceived externally but it is something which reflects the core of your business. It is a process that aligns a company’s internal values and objectives with the way it interacts with its audience. Your brand lives in everyday interactions with your customers, the images you share, the messages you post on your website, the content of your marketing materials, and in your posts on social networks. It takes a lot to create a
good brand. Big companies have an army of experts on their side, including brand specialists, graphic designers, marketing experts, copywriters, photographers. But if you’re just launching your new business or creative venture, you’re probably on a tight budget you can go the DIY way of doing things if you got what it takes. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Know your audience: It’s pointless investing time or money in developing your brand without first ascertaining what will resonate with your audience.
- Think big from the start; come to the exercise as though you’re already operating across continents, because there’s no reason why even the smallest micro-business can’t in a global marketplace.
- Be unique. One of the most iconic brands of our time – Apple – was reborn after it launched, in 1997, an innovative campaign inviting people to “Think Different”. Ask yourself who you are and what problem are you trying to solve.
- Be consistent. Many small businesses mistakenly change their messaging depending on their audience. To build and maintain a strong brand, every aspect of your brand should be as good as your product or service and you must be consistent in presenting your brand. It will help reinforce the business’ character and clarify its offering so customers are aware exactly what to expect from the product or service.
- Stand for something. Think about brands you love. Those brands commonly stand for something (or against something) and connect with their customers emotionally. It is said that people don’t buy a product, they join a cause.
- Colour and design matter: Your visual identity, including your logo, is a consumer’s first encounter with your brand, so it must create the right impression. Hire professional to design your logo unless you know how to do it. Visual effects are more powerful than ever nowadays, so it’s imperative that you create an excellent logo and brand identity to use in print, online, and in social media.
- Identify your core values: Your core values are high level concepts – like love, community, freedom, creativity, joy etc. It’s good to know what they are, and base your brand on them.
- Create A Color Palette Using Free Online Tools: You’ll want to create a color palette for your website, social media profiles, logo, business cards–everything. Everything should stick to a consistent color palette. Your colour palette should also reflect your brand personality.
- Choose Brand Fonts & Stick To Them: You want to use fonts that are appropriate for your audience and reflect your brand’s personality. Then, stick to using the same ones in everything you do–your graphics, your website, your business card, your collateral materials, and all of your documents (that clients will see).
- Build a logo: A common misconception is that your logo has to be complicated. The most effective logos are often the simplest. If you want to DIY a logo, the best place to start is with a beginner friendly design site like Canva, they have pre-made logo templates in which you can drop your company’s name into the designs.