Branding is the term we use to cover all the visual and non-visual concepts you use to distinguish your company from others. This is a step you cannot skip when starting your business. If you already have your company up and running but never took the time to brand yourself, it’s never too late.
There are a lot of small businesses that don’t take the time to sit down and create a brand. This is a fatal mistake because your brand is how people know it is you and not another company. If you browse around on Etsy, you can find a lot of people that do not have a logo, or their logo is in no way related to their banner or their logo and banner don’t match their product/service. Now, if you are not interested in growing, then you don’t need a brand, but if you are please follow me.
Just to clarify what a brand is, let’s look at a few examples: Target. The Target brand is well-designed, affordable, red. How about Nike. The Nike brand is athletic, sleek, cutting edge. Obviously there are a lot of moving parts that are under the umbrella of a brand but when you are getting started, you need to focus on the base of your brand.
So come up with 3 or 6 words that you want your brand to be synonymous with. So mine would be: Modern, eco-friendly, great customer service, fresh/bright/happy. These may overlap your keys to success but they are not exactly the same. Once you have these you can start to come up with a set of visual & other rules to follow that express these words. Once you have the set of “rules”, it is easy to start to develop items like a logo. I picked orange as the main color for my company because it exemplifies the fresh/bright/happy part of my brand. You know when you see orange that this stationery is for fun and spreading joy.
This may be something you need to hire someone to do. Not everyone should design their own logo and business collateral. But no matter who sets your rules and designs the collateral, they must follow the rules. I mean Target can’t all of a sudden decide that blue is their company color. Red conveys the image that they want and blue just wouldn’t cut it. Your business, while smaller, must abide by the same laws of branding.
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