In this comprehensive guide to branding your business, you’ll learn how to create and manage a brand that speaks to your ideal client and gives them an experience they’ll remember.
Whether you realize it or not, your business has a brand. And no, I’m not just referring to your logo. It doesn’t matter if you’ve made one sale or one million, your brand is woven into everything that you do, intentionally or not.
And that, my friends, is the key to today’s post – how do you brand your business with intention?
IN THIS ARTICLE
>> What is a brand?
>> What is branding?
>> Why does brand matter?
>> How do you brand your business?
>> Let’s talk about ongoing brand development.
>> Rather watch than read?
>> Additional brand resources.
What is a brand?
At Witt and Company, we define brand as how people think, feel and act in regards to your business.
How you actually get people to think, feel and act towards your brand is through a combination of brand elements like your messaging, logo, color scheme and website.
What is branding?
Branding, then, is the ongoing effort to shape how someone thinks, feels and acts in relation to your brand. All of the elements we mention above go into the branding process and help support your overall brand experience.
Why does brand matter?
Every business provides an experience, tells a story. The businesses that truly make an impact on their community are the ones that build connection. Connection leads to trust and trust is a catalyst for someone investing in your business.
An intentional brand, one that’s consistently putting efforts into their branding and creating a cohesive and unified brand experience, will without a doubt, increase trust.
A brand that’s not, will either stay stagnant or decrease trust.
And yes, we believe it can be as simple as that.
How do you brand your business?
At a high level, there are two main components that go into creating a brand. The visuals and the strategy. An effective and cohesive brand can’t exist without both. The strategy guides the design and when they’re both created with intention, you end up with a strong brand experience that supports your business and vision.
Your brand’s strategy
There are four foundational pillars that we walk through with clients to give them a strong understanding of how they want to communicate their brand. They are ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’.
Who you serve.
The point of honing in on an ideal client is so that your brand and marketing efforts have direction. Think about it like this: every message you share has a goal of reaching the dead center of the target – the bullseye. The bullseye is your ideal client. Sometimes, you’re going to miss and hit an outer ring. That’s okay, but the effort and intention behind the shot is to land in the center. Meaning, your goal is to always do your best at connecting with the ideal client, but it doesn’t mean you won’t attract others outside of that space.
Another note on ideal clients – you do not have to stick with your ideal client profile forever. You’re not marrying them – you’re just deciding who you most want to work with and going all in. Work with people, gain experience, learn what you like and what you don’t, and then come back to revisit this ideal client profile. There is no shame in updating the information because you’re doing it from experience – it’s an educated and intentional adjustment, rather than a guess or assumption.
What you offer.
Another benefit to narrowing in on who you’re serving is that you can better understand their specific problem and tailor your offer to said problem.
The key is to understand what you’re offering but not just the features or deliverables. But really understand the version of success that you’re leading the ideal client towards.
Think about the problem as Point A and your offering as Point B.
Why it matters.
I’m going to do something crazy and assume that there is at least a small part of you that has a strong belief, opinion or idea about the offering(s) that you provide.
The goal here is to clarify the belief behind what you do so that you can create an even deeper connection with your ‘right’ people.
For example, you’re a wedding photographer and believe in capturing real, honest moments from a couple’s big day. Or, maybe you are a health coach and you know how powerful small diet changes can be without feeling restricted.
Yes, this is a deep question… but that’s the idea. Your belief is one of those strong ties that will help you connect with your community on an emotional level.
How it’s experienced.
I like to think of a brand as diverse and unique as a human. Meaning, your brand has personality and characteristics that provide a certain experience.
The benefit here is that you can be intentional about your brand’s personality. For example, when someone experiences your brand, do they feel fun and welcomed or elegant and refined?
The goal is to understand your brand experience so you can strategically use various brand elements (logo, colors, fonts) to enhance and reinforce the desired outcome.
Once you have these four foundational pieces clarified, put all your answers into a brand strategy guide. This will be a great reference document for you to utilize for consistency as you marketing your business.
Your brand’s visuals
With the strategy in place, it’s time to move onto the visuals. Remember, the strategy will guide the visual direction, so be sure to reference it throughout the design process.
As you start creating your identity, at a minimum these should be included:
Primary logo + color variations if available
Color scheme (four to six brand colors)
Font recommendations (heading font, sub heading font, body copy font, specialty font)
Similar to the strategy recommendation, you can pull all the elements together into a visual style guide. Think of it as the reference tool for keeping your brand visuals consistent and cohesive.
Every day we’re inundated with messages and graphics and videos and podcasts – there is no shortage of content – so the best way to visually differentiate ourselves is to be consistent with our brand identity.
That way, our community can know within a few seconds if the piece of content is coming from us and whether or not they want to pay attention.
And that, my friends, is the basic rundown of creating a brand for your business.
Well, that’s the goal. Because making things simple is a great way to stay consistent. If you start with a complex and intricate brand, you’re less likely to implement it. Let alone have it be consistent or cohesive.
Let’s talk about ongoing brand development.
With your brand in place, the next step is to get out there and implement it. What I mean by that is it’s time to start showing up for your business, consistently (and have some fun while you’re at it).
Create an implementation plan that’s aligned with your (or your team’s) capacity and get the word out. Use your strategy guide to stay consistent in what you say and then share visuals that are aligned with your style guide standards.
Think about the implementation of your brand as one big, never-ending experiment.
Because your brand is an evolving, growing entity, it will change right alongside your business.
And the next time you want or need to make a pivot, you won’t have to start from scratch because you already have a strong brand foundation to start from.
All my best,
Rather watch than read?
Need additional branding resources?
The strategy and creation of your branding mood board just got way easier when you follow this post step by step.
Want the full rundown on Seasonal Brand Theory and Color Psychology? Check out this post.
Not sure how to pick your brand’s season? This faux case study walks through the process.
This post is filled with easy-to-follow tips for picking the right brand color palette for your brand’s personality.