A guide to creating a brand that works for your audience

Watercolor background with the word "Branding" in the bottom left cornerWatercolor background with the word "Branding" in the bottom left corner
Table of Contents

You've got a great idea for a business. You've got the skills, budget, and resources to pull it off. But what about your brand? Branding is more than just an image or a logo — it's how customers perceive your company overall. And if you want to stand out from the crowd in this ultra-competitive market, it's time to step back and think about your brand in terms of what makes sense for your audience.

It's all in the name.

You should start by selecting a name that is easy to pronounce, easy to remember and easy to spell. Avoid names that are too long or confusing. The goal here is to make it as simple as possible so your customers can easily recall your name when they need your product or service.

The second thing you want to consider is how your brand will be associated with the rest of its industry's players. If you're in an industry where there are many companies who offer similar products or services as yours, then it might make sense for you to use a more generic term (e.g., "lawyer") instead of something more specific ("bankruptcy attorney").

What's your story?

What makes your business different?

Why is it unique?

What stands out about your brand, and why would anyone care to listen to what you have to say?

These are all questions you should be asking yourself as the founder of a new company or project. You need to have answers ready so that when people ask why they should trust you with their money, time and hard work (and they will), it's easy for them to see how great your idea is. The best way to do this is through storytelling: telling the history of your business and its people (even if it’s just true for one person) in an engaging narrative that gets people excited about where things are going next.

Your website is your storefront.

Your website is your storefront. The first impression of your brand should be the most important one, so it’s worth investing time and energy into creating a site that reflects your values and speaks to your audience.

That doesn't mean you have to build the next Facebook in order to get people's attention online—but if you want them coming back for more, then it's worth looking at what makes websites successful and how they work with visitors' expectations.

Don't be afraid of a few colors.

Your brand may have several different versions, and each one will need its own unique look and feel. To make sure that your audience can easily identify the version they want, consider using color to differentiate between them. You can also use color to help evoke an emotion or create a sense of familiarity with your brand.

Be "all about" something.

Branding is about being different. And the best brands in the world are all about something.

They have a unique selling proposition (USP). They have an identifiable personality. They have an amazing story, or at least some kind of narrative that makes them stand out from the crowd and makes people want to be part of it—even if they're not customers yet, but just potential ones. That's why branding is so important: it creates allegiance, which is what every business wants; after all, it's hard for consumers to buy from you if they don't feel any connection with what you do or who you are as a company!

Choose a unique design aesthetic.

Your brand’s design aesthetic is a combination of colors, fonts, and other visual elements that communicate the key characteristics of your brand in a cohesive way. In other words: It’s what makes your website or marketing materials stand out from the crowd — so it’s important to get it right!

Your design aesthetic doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. You can start by choosing a single color palette — just make sure it works well with your logo and other branding materials (more on this later). If you're not sure where to start, look at examples from companies like MailChimp or Zendesk who use simple but effective designs in their own brands.

Once you've decided on some key colors and fonts that work together well, create templates for all of your marketing materials so they match each other perfectly. This will help ensure consistency across all facets of your marketing strategy so customers know exactly who they're dealing with when they see something related to Brand X (whether an email subject line or landing page headline).

Work on consistency.

Consistency is critical for ensuring that your brand is recognized and remembered. It helps build trust, which makes customers more likely to return or recommend the business. Consistency also has SEO benefits, as search engines will index a site better if it's easy to navigate and has similar features throughout.

Consistency matters for user experience (UX), too: if someone visits your website and finds that the navigation doesn't match what they're accustomed to seeing on other sites you own, then they may become confused about where to click next—which could lead them astray from completing their task or buying what they came there for. Being consistent with user experience can also help prevent frustration among users who visit multiple sites under one umbrella company; seeing familiar elements across those sites will make them less likely to be frustrated by each new site they visit in turn.

When it comes down to it, consistency matters because it shows people that you know what you're doing—and this gives them confidence in your abilities as a brand owner/marketer—which makes them more willing to trust what else you say about yourself (or buy from).

Your brand should reflect your business goals and work for your target audience.

Your brand is the visual expression of you, your business, and all that it stands for. It can be a logo or slogan, but it's so much more than just an image or wordmark — it's how people perceive you and everything that goes along with that perception. That includes your values and story as well as what you do, who you serve, and why they should care about working with/buying from/following/listening to/watching etc.

Conclusion

What we’re trying to say is that your brand is more than just a logo or color scheme. It’s a collection of ideas and concepts that reflect who you are, what you stand for, and why people should care about what you do. The key is to figure out what makes your company unique and then apply those values across all aspects of your business—from the name, tagline and mission statement through to the website design and social media presence.

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