This branding to do list is perfect if you are creating a brand for the first time or if you already have a brand that is not giving you the results you need.A strong brand considers every part of your customer experience.
We want everyone to have the same great impression of your business and that requires a bit of planning. Because of this, building a brand is a mix of business development, research and designing. Once you have your brand, knowing how to build awareness and a following is just as important.
Let’s dig in!
Before you create your brand, it is important to understand where your business is now and your plans for the future. Try to think about the challenges you have and how you would like the brand to solve these. For example, you might have a lot of new customers but almost none return. This would be a great opportunity to build more brand loyalty. To do this, we need to find out what your customers care about and how they see your brand and the industry as a whole. That is where the research comes in.
Before moving on, make sure to write down the goals for the business moving forward and any questions that you will need to answer in order to get there.
Now that you have your questions, it is time to stop guessing and start asking your potential customers. The goal of any business should be to solve a problem for their customers so you want the solution to be tailored to them.
There are a lot of places to find answers including: looking at comments and reviews, government reports, online statistics, asking existing customers and creating a new questionnaire tailored to answer a specific question.
The goal with your research is to find reliable information to answer the questions you posed in the vision stage.
The brand strategy should use the information we gathered in our research to help us solve the problems we have in the business. For example, if the question was “how can we get customers to come back?” the research might have shown that customers care about a personalised experience. Knowing this, your brand strategy could be to create a brand where the message is friendly and the experience uses people’s first names.
The reason we want to create a brand strategy is to make sure that what we say and what the business actually does matches up. If they don’t customers will quickly see the brand as confusing or unreliable so it is best to have a plan before we start designing.
Great! Now you know what your customers want and what your competitors look like. Time to start designing a brand that appeals to the right people and shows why you are the best choice. The design will help show the personality of your brand and a great design is a surefire way to get noticed and remembered.
You will want to include these different parts in your design:
Brand fonts (the style of text you use)
Depending on what your business does you might also want to think about illustrations styles, package design and how your brand will look in your store.
A Design system can take many shapes but in essence, it is a place to keep all your design assets and plans organised. Having everything in one place so that you and anyone involved can create cohesive designs and find the right files will both save you time and make your brand more consistent.
A simple version of a Design System could be your style guide or brand guide and a folder where you keep your logo and photography.You might also want to create templates for things you use often, like Instagram posts, flyers or blogs.
Anything you create that will help you connect with your customers can be added to your design system. Many larger companies even include documents on best practice for code and copywriting. A great example if you want to learn more about Design Systems is Polaris – Shopify’s publicly available Design System.
We can put a lot of time and effort in to creating the most appropriate and beautiful brand, but no one will know about your business unless you spend just as much effort telling people about it.
Start by thinking about the interests and values of your customers. Where can you find them? Maybe it is on a social media platform or maybe it is a parenting group that meet once a week. Once you know where to find your customers, find a way to help them out in a way that lets them know about your business without making it a sales pitch. Perhaps you can host a talk, create a free guide or offer a consultation to start creating connections with people.
Be smart about the number of social media platforms you join, it is much better to be engaged and grow one following than posting on every platform but not talking to your fans.