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Branding for Beginners: 5 Essential Tips for Creating a Brand Identity Yourself

First steps to branding your businessIt’s time to empower business owners to brand their businesses themselves. Why? Because you care more than anyone else about how your brand turns out.

For more on this, see last week’s rant post, Why You Shouldn’t Trust Your Brand to Anyone Else.

If you’re ready to create a brand identity for your business but you don’t know where to start, this post will outline how to move forward, starting from your first baby steps.

1. Know Why

Before you begin working on your brand, dig deep and find your motivation. Ask yourself:

  • What do I want my brand to achieve?
  • How long do I need this brand to last?
  • What is my brand personality? (If you don’t know it, try this quick brand personality quiz.)

Need inspiration? Read The Lazy Way to Build a Long-Lasting Brand, and How to Brand for Survival.

2. Know Who

Before you put a single pixel on a screen, or draw the first faint trace of a line on paper, you must understand who you want to reach with your brand. Here’s what you have to nail down about your ideal customer:

  • Their age range: what age group do the majority of your customers fall into?
  • Their gender: are there more men or women in the group you’re targeting?
  • Their education level: is it high school, college, post-graduate?
  • What type of employment they have. Are they self-employed, do they work for a corporation, do they own several business? Are they looking for work?
  • Their lifestyle: how do they spend their work and leisure time?
  • Their challenges: what do they struggle with? And how can you help them?

Even if you don’t have a single customer lined up, imagine who your perfect customer looks like. Who needs the solution your business provides, and what are they like?

3. Know How

The verbal and visual elements you use to express your brand are next. You’ll have to figure out:

  • What words you’ll use to express your offering. This includes your business name, tagline and “brand promise,” the short text you’ll use to explain what your company does, who you serve and how you help them.
  • What colors you’ll use. I recommend developing a five-color palette you can use in all of your branding elements. It’s versatile, flexible, and will give you the right color for every occasion.
  • What fonts will represent your business. For more on choosing fonts, read this page. Once you’ve chosen fonts, be sure to use them consistently on the web and in your print materials.

Once you’ve created these brand elements, your focus moves to spreading your brand message.

4. Know Which

When you’re creating your brand yourself, take advantage of the inexpensive (and sometimes free) tools available:

5. Know More

For more details and inspiration for creating a brand identity for your business, check out my Quick-Start Guide to Branding Your Business below.

Quick-Start Guide to Branding Your Business
Build a brand you’re proud of with the step-by-step technique in the Quick-Start Guide to Branding Your Business. Identify who you’re trying to reach, fine-tune your message, and translate it all into a brand you can be proud of.

Get the Quick Start Guide to Branding Your Business

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