You cannot possibly ensure the success of your business if you avoid creating an unforgettable and powerful brand identity for the same.
It might sound like a lot of work, but I am here to help you smoothly flow through the whole process!
“Determine who you are and what your brand is, and what you’re not. The rest of it is just a lot of noise.”– Geoffrey Zakarian
The most common misconception is that you have to spend a fortune on getting a branding identity right but, that’s not entirely true.
I am going to walk you through a very comprehensive guide (jam-packed with information so you might need a pen and a paper) to create a unique brand that will stand out from the busy place that the internet is.
I have well researched this area of business, saving you that amount of time to invest in your creative process.
I will provide free resources of ultimate value for you to dig deep into this process and guide you to use them most effectively. You can download the resources and practice along as you move forward with me!
DISCLAIMER: I have all the images & resources that I talk about here, ready for you to download in the “Freebies Zone”, so you can check that out later 🙂
There are two main aspects when it comes to branding,
- Emotional Aspect
- Physical Aspect
It is the secret of having a strong brand!
I will talk about the aesthetics and the visual components of the branding identity in the next point but, you cannot ignore how your brand is going to connect with your audience on the emotional level.
It is that connection, which will help you survive and thrive in the ever-increasing competition. The trust and credibility that you create in your viewers are what is going to set you apart!
Answer the following questions! Write them down on a rough piece of paper and evaluate the same as you go forward with me.
Keep the answers sweet, simple, and short.
Don’t stress this phase, just go with the flow.
PURPOSE: Why do you exist in the first place?
MISSION: What are you here for?
What is it that you want to achieve in the future?
How are things going to be different in the future than they are, right now?
VALUES: What are those two or three things that you will never compromise while building a business?
What is your conduct going to be, moving forward with yourself, your staff, and your customers or clients?
It’s not important to have clear and crisp answers just now, you just have to know that you have the basic idea sorted in your mind. It is going to help you a lot along the way.
Physical Aspect –
I would like you to download my free checklist which includes all the elements that you will require for building the physical aspect of your brand. Keep it handy somewhere so you can refer back to it at any given time.
Only fill in the areas that you think are aligning with your business!
There are three major ways to create this aspect of your brand, i.e., by the visual elements, corporate elements, and social media elements.
Visual Elements –
- Logo – Let me get one misconception out of our way, i.e., Your logo is the ‘face’ of your brand and not the whole brand itself.
Logo plays an undoubtedly a huge role in building an identity because it is usually the first visual of your brand that people are going to resonate with. It has to be distinct, memorable, and unique.
It should depict the core values of the brand crisply, and cleverly.
The importance of a logo can be understood by our daily instincts. We tend to prefer the brands we recognize and connect with, more than the ones which don’t have a cohesive structure.
After you have created a logo for yourself, you have to make sure that it works for both print and web as well as for small and large surfaces or screen sizes.
Below is a guide which includes the formats and versions that should be available for your logo for it to work in different environments:
- Typography – I cannot emphasize the importance of typography enough so, I have tried to incorporate all my knowledge and expertise into various other articles on this topic.
Please feel free to check them out after reading this one!
Typography can either make or break your brand.
Below is an example of how with the use of correct typography, you can evoke or revoke the feeling that you want to incite in your client.
There is an entire article about the psychology behind typography that will surely help you to make the correct decisions regarding the same.
You must choose at least one font for your heading and one for the sub-heading and the body text. All three areas can have different fonts but the best practice remains that you must not exceed three font styles in a single brand identity.
- Colors – Colors, just like typography, can evoke emotions in us. It is very important to choose a color palette that signifies the message of your brand and sets the tone right.
I have this resourceful article for you;
Mostly, brands choose four or fewer colors while defining a color palette. A widely accepted practice is to have a darker color for the texts and white or lighter color for the background and the negative spaces.
I want to share with you the color palette that I am using for my website, ie, graphilio.com – you can extract an idea of how to use one for your brand!
- Photography and Videography –
Either you want to click photographs of your own or you want to use stock imagery, the feeling of cohesiveness among all your photos and videos is very important.
You can achieve this by either having a similar effect, filter, primary color, or backdrop.
The goal is to make your brand distinct and recognizable among all others and photography & videography play a key role in doing the same.
- Refer to this list of 10 photography resources down below, for FREE images (both person and commercial use) to use in your websites:
- Iconography – Icons are a very crucial part of the branding system when it comes to adding a visual spice to your plain text content. Apart from that, iconography is used in e-books, infographics, and social media.
It is recommended that a certain type of icon pack should be chosen to
- Here is a list of 7 places that you can look into, for various FREE icons:
- Website – I have read several hundred articles online about creating a brand identity but I have not seen many of them mentioning the importance of having a website.
A website is an online address that belongs to you, wholly. Social media presence is a must, but, that along with a website increases the credibility and trust in your brand, manifolds.
Corporate Elements –
When the visual elements of your brand are ready, it’s time to bring them together into the corporate style. Whether you have a digital product or a physical one, it is quite important to have a cohesive corporate arrangement because let’s be honest, if you want to be taken seriously, these are the things that matter a lot while you will subconsciously be compared to your competitors.
The template on which I have worked on is for the “The Most Common & Widely used Business elements” is FREE that you can download, here:
https://graphicburger.com/branding-identity-mock-up-vol-6/ Source: Graphic Burger
Also, I will be attaching the example of my brand, so that you can take an idea wherever you feel that you’re dealing with a creative block.
- Business cards: The most common and widely expected way for you to communicate with your clients is a business card.
I will attach a video as to how to design one for you as well (let me know in the comments if you’re interested in learning!). Check it out below:
- Letterhead and envelopes: These are how you will formally communicate with the world. To reinforce the authority of your brand, it is highly recommended to have consistent visual elements running across all the corporate elements.
- Banners & Flyers: The banners, posters, or flyers are going to help you create a strong presence both online and offline.
The goal is to be visually and mentally available everywhere your customer is searching for an answer that you are willing to provide.
- T-shirts & Merchandise: The most common way to maintain your connection with your client is if you provide merchandise for your brand. It is not something that you want to think right in the beginning but, it surely is a great way to promote your business, even for the eyes that you might not be intentionally targeting.
Other types of corporate elements based on the type of business you run are:
- Outdoor advertisement
Social Media Elements –
Social Media elements are a very crucial part of any business, be it small or big.
It does not matter if you have a social media following or not, just the fact that you are available on all the popular platforms increases your brand’s value, credibility and the power to connect with your potential customers.
For example, one person can find Facebook more interesting than Instagram to find a business or a solution that they are looking for. So, it is important to cover the maximum number of platforms but, only the ones that you relate to & can manage effectively.
Quality is always better and far preferred than quantity. If you provide quality, your audience will automatically place their trust in you.
I have an entire PDF COURSE laid down for Social Media Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses. It’s full of value & for FREE! Check it out here: (Link updating – coming soon)
Don’t Do This when you create a brand identity –
Now comes the part where I am going to share a list of the things that you should “Not” do while creating a brand:
- Not having a niche: If you have not picked a niche by now, do not panic. It took me months, if not weeks, to trickle down to one subject that I want to talk about as believe me, just like you, my head is flooding with ideas, and I used to get overwhelmed all the time.
A niche is a particular topic, for example, if you want to talk about flowers, that is still a wide topic. But, if you only want to talk about roses & their varieties, their usage in social interaction, their origin, history, value, etc. then that is a niche.
If you have a niche to focus on, you will build stronger relationships with your audience. You will have returning customers or viewers who will resonate with the topic that you’re passionate about.
- Copying your competitor: Getting inspired by other people’s work is completely acceptable and is recommended. But, it is always a bad idea to copy someone. You are going to eventually run out of ideas and fall into the pit of creative insufficiency.
We are looking to create a brand that is going to live on forever, so, be as original as you can and get inspired from everywhere.
Pinterest is a great platform that you can look into for seeking inspiration. You can check out my account on Pinterest if you want to take an idea of how you can pin ideas and create boards for reference.
I am bringing a whole FREE course talking about the strategies to make the most out of Pinterest and more, so don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter so I can notify you when I launch it. I’m compiling it right now and will be available shortly.
- Not making your brand scalable: As I mentioned above, we are looking to create a brand that will live for a very long time, and we want to earn maximum profits from our business.
So, without overthinking or stressing out, I want you to pen down the ways that you think are feasible for you to expand or scale your business over time.
It is okay even if you have one single idea to expand upon, you will eventually get inspired and grow.
- Not being consistent: Consistency is the key to an impactful branding, both online as well as offline. You must stay consistent on all the platforms from where you are trying to promote your brand and trying to pull together an audience. But, that consistency should be maintained offline, in your packaging, dealing, etc. as well.
For example, if you’re following a particular color scheme on all your online platforms, you must incorporate the same color scheme on your physical and/or digital products as well. It will make you distinctly stand out in the sea of other products.