So you have a product. Congratulations! You’ve made it through the research and development phase, you’ve crossed your legal t’s and dotted your accounting i’s, and now you’re finally ready to reach out to your target market.
There’s just one thing standing in your way: you need a brand. More specifically, you need a brand that connects the dots between what you’re selling and who you’re trying to reach. Here’s everything you need to know about building a strong brand identity for your budding firm.
A brand isn’t just a recognizable name and logo. Rather, your brand is how people perceive you in the way they interact with your business, including the impressions you can control and the ones you can’t.
You can’t build a brand without being consistent and ensuring you remain consistent as you extend your brand to every part of your business. What is important is that you establish exactly what that consistency is going to look like, and the feeling you want to evoke in your audience.
Doing so ultimately comes down to seven essential steps:
Research the target audience and competitors
Use every avenue available to you: Google your product, check online forums that relate your customers, talk to people in your target market. Learn your landscape.
Pick your personality and your focus
Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Instead, figure out your positioning statement; that is, write your one or two lines that stake your claim in the market. You don’t have to make this public, but they will be a vital guide to you as you develop your brand.
Choose a business name
This is probably one of the first big commitments you have to make as a business owner. Find something that’s hard to imitate, and won’t be confused with existing players in the market.
Write a slogan
A catchy slogan is a nice-to-have. Keep it brief but descriptive, and suitable across all platforms: Twitter, Instagram, your website.
Choose your look, including color palette and font
Colors don’t just define the aesthetic of your brand; they also convey the feeling you want to evoke. Color psychology isn’t an exact science, but give this step some thought all the same.
Design your logo
The logo is probably one of the first things that come to mind as you start thinking about building your brand. This is for good reason; the logo is the face of the company and will be used everywhere your brand has a presence.
Ideally, your logo will be one that is unique, identifiable, and is able to be scaled across a range of sizes. This last factor is often overlooked, so keep this in mind as you work with your design team!
Apply your branding across your entire business, and evolve as you grow.
This last step is a box you will never truly cross off; if you remain proactive across the lifespan of your business, you’ll continue to shape and evolve your brand as you learn more about your customers and how to speak to them.