5. Brand your business
Your brand identity is built on your logo, website, marketing materials, and other communications with customers. If you make deliberate choices, you can shape your brand identity to be unique and appealing to your customers.
The best way to begin this process is to summarize the qualities you want your brand to convey in just a few words. Is it funky, friendly, and casual? How about sturdy, high-quality, and reliable? Could it be youthful, vibrant, and fun? In the case of a business that sells hand-painted travel yoga mats, the brand might be artistic, unique, and uplifting.
One way to distill your brand identity is to give it a persona, too. Imagine your brand as a cartoon character: What does it look like? How old is it? Does it have a gender? How does it sound? How does it dress? What kind of things does it do? Is it a surfer, a college professor, a bookworm, a hippie, an artist, a nature lover?
Your brand identity will be expressed in the way you use language, your logo, the images you choose, and the colors you select. If you make those choices without a plan, your brand will be hard for customers to discern. Here’s what to focus on for a strong brand identity.
Every brand has a recognizable, consistent lookthat’s tied together with color, a logo, and your product imagery.
Choose a color palette with one main color and 2 or 3 secondary colors that express your brand identity—for example, red is often perceived as bold, dark blue as luxurious, green as organic. Keep in mind that color associations are often culturally specific, and what appeals to customers in one part of the world may not communicate the same things in another.
Your logo should be simple and expressive. Complicated designs don’t work well when printed in small spaces or if reproduced in black and white. Since your logo will be on everything you create, it should be carefully built to convey your brand’s identity. You can create one yourself using a free online logo creator such as Canva (most will charge you to download your design) or hire a graphic designer.
The images you choose for your website, advertising, and social media should be consistent and express your brand’s image clearly.
For example, the yoga mat brand would market to its 2 personas with imagery in a specific context for each—either a resort class or a hotel room—with a spotlight on the product. That’s a consistent type of image that could quickly become associated with the brand and convey the brand’s identity.
Your words should be carefully chosen to project your brand’s identity—this is your brand voice.
Keep in mind your buyer personas and your brand persona when writing copy. Who are you talking to, and how are you talking to them? Are you a fun friend, a knowledgeable expert, or a calming confidant? This will help you hone your brand voice and keep it consistent across channels—email, product copy, social media, advertising. Here are areas in which you can be deliberately expressive:
- Ad copy
- Website copy
- Product names
- Email automations
- Social media posts
- Phone greetings
To help stay on track, you might make a list of certain words you’d like to incorporate into your copy often—for the yoga mat sales, these might include “artistic,” “elegant,” and “unique.”