Your brand is so much more than your logo. It’s the personality that lives both online and offline.
Conversations in the media have dealt with branding for many years. In the 1950s and 60s, in the age of hand-rendered typography and hand-made graphic design, branding was almost simpler than it is now. The main focus areas were billboards, store fronts, print advertising and other objects that were created for the physical environment.
In the current landscape, the focus is on digital properties: websites, Facebook pages, Instagram feeds, and images created for these platforms.
When creating a new brand, the most common approach is to choose a name, claim and set up all the digital platforms and progress immediately into thinking about the logo.
We would suggest a different approach.
5 Steps to Creating a Brand & Brand Image
1. Start with what your company does and, more importantly, what your company does not do
This will help you choose a name and develop a clear focus. The temptation is to offer more services rather than fewer. For example, a photographer could include many genres of photography in their service offering: babies, weddings, portraits, products, and architectural. I’m no photographer, but I have it on good authority that it’s rather difficult to develop a cohesive style over that many genres. This leads to a lack of focus and a rather scattered service offering, which will make it rather difficult to progress through the following steps.
2. Decide what your brand values are
These are the values that your staff members believe in. Your brand does more than provide a service or sell a product. It fulfills a promise, but it can only do this if the values of your brand are clear. These could be very simple values, for example: “We value fun, laughter, joy and compassion.” Your brand values help you tell your unique story.
3. Decide on a name and logo
Once you have got your company values and story figured out, it’s logical then to step into concept generation for a name and logo.
Your name and logo are often your prospective clients’ first point of contact with you. Choosing a general name in very broad fields can cause your brand to become lost in a sea of similarly named companies. For example, a name like “Joanne Jones Consulting” is a bit too vague and you may find it difficult to appeal to your chosen target market. You may also end up fielding emails with enquiries that aren’t related to your services.
4. Create your social media profiles and website
Once the brand concept is solid, you can claim your company name on social media platforms and create your website. Try to claim the same name across all the social media platforms you choose to use, as this aids brand continuity. The website is where you want to spend a considerable amount of time in design and development. Your website tells prospective clients more about who you are and why you’re amazing at what you do. You want this to wow your visitors.
5. Create and curate content
Now it’s time to create content for your brand on your social media channels. Bonus if you can use this content to drive traffic to your website. You want this content to tell your fans and community more about your work and more about the people behind the brand. Don’t be afraid to get a little bit personal here. Give your fans a “behind the scenes” look into your day, or share sneak peeks into special projects that you’re working on.
Your brand should be true to the people who created it, so that you create something you love and are proud to share with the world. Amongst all the serious topics of brand continuity, intellectual property, originality, and logo design, developing your brand should be a little bit challenging and a huge amount of fun.
This series of blog posts is my participation in Sam Posselt’s 7 Day Blogging Challenge. Her website can be found here.
Day 5 – 7 November 2016: Today’s prompt instructs participants to write a post that instructs readers on how to do a particular task. A good idea is to write a “how-to” post on something your business actually does.
Melissa De Klerk
Writer, Web Designer, Digital Media Strategist, Typophile, Inspiration Junkie, Yogi
Melissa is the owner and creative brain behind Fox & Owl Media. She loves creating content strategies and has considerable experience with Website Design and Brand Management.
You can contact her here, and find her on social media by clicking the links below.