Creating a brand is the fun part about starting a business. It’s where you get to pick out your brand colors, design a logo and get ready to show off your new shiny identity to the world. It’s easy to wanna dive into logo creation but it’s really important to really nail your concept first.
As with all business processes, there’s a strategy to creating a strong brand identity and skipping this step could lead to costly redesigns and rebranding in the future. As a professional designer, these are some of the questions I will have when working with someone to develop their brand. Nail these things and the design process will be much easier and a whole lot of fun.
1. Consider the concept of your business
What is the solution you’re offering and more importantly, who are you serving? Knowing the type of offering and the intended clientele will help to package your brand the right way. You wouldn’t attend a gala in a bikini and flip flops and the same goes for your business. You want to show up looking like what your audience would expect and connect with.
Are you occupying a fun, young hip space? Is your product premium and pricey or affordable and relatable? Knowing your product and the client base it will serve inside out is the starting point of all brand conversations.
2. Consider the colors that will represent your brand
Colors are fun but the thought process behind them is really important. The psychology behind colors has been researched widely and its established that different colors evoke different feelings and actions.
Blue evokes trust for example. While the colors yellow and orange are said to make people hungry. These colors combined with red, which can symbolize passion, lead people to become passionately hungry. Think about the logos of some of your favorite fast food joints. Are you hungry now?
There might be colors that mean something in your specific industry to consider. This may affect the color combination that makes the most sense for your brand. Bottomline, your colors should be cohesive, visually appealing and evoking the emotions and connections you want to build with your audience.
Grab the color handout to help you get started.
3. Consider your brand voice
This relates directly to how you communicate with your customers. Is your business very formal and straight to the point when communicating with your audience? Is the language more relaxed and casual? Do you want to come across as fun and playful? Sophisticated? Young and trendy? Mature and trustworthy? The voice, tone and personality of your brand in your marketing material will help to shape the development of your brand’s imagery.
Your brand designs should also reflect the personality and demographic of your target audience. This includes their age, their income level, their culture, their marital status and more. They should look at your packaging or marketing materials and immediately connect with your business or at least be curious and want to find out more.
Here's the 2020 mood board for my personal brand!
4. CONSIDER CreatING a Mood Board
A mood board can help you to visualize your brand identity and give you a better starting point to engage an artist or designer. Search the Internet for images and styles that appeal to you and begin to pull them together to create what you have in mind for your brand.
Pinterest is a great place to start. Save everything you love to your Pinterest account to help you build out every aspect of your business that you can think of, from your logo to your website, the type of images you share on social, the aesthetics associated with your brand and more.
Knowing exactly what you like and what you don’t before engaging a designer to build your brand saves you from having to redo your imagery as you grow, potentially creating confusion for your audience.
5. Consider Market Testing
Once you start to build your brand, test a sample of your target market to get their feedback. Put forward some of your designs and ask them to choose their favorite. Also ask them what thoughts they get from the images, what they feel, and what emotions come up for them when they see your designs.
This is important, you shouldn’t skip this step. Especially when it comes to your logo, this is something you want to nail from the very beginning.
Knowing and documenting every aspect of your business will ultimately help you to shape the brand like you envision it in your mind. Nailing your business concept, personality and colors gives your designer direction and sets you off on the right path. Without direction, you could potentially be back at the drawing board several times throughout the life of the business.
While it’s perfectly normal to make small changes as the business grows, as my husband Wallace says, do it right the first time.
Brittnee N. Smith is a Graphic & Web Designer, Creative Brand Strategist, Speaker, and Author. She is also the founder and C.E.O. of Brittnee Smith Creative Company. Her mission is to help women owned business and entrepreneurs effectively promote and communicate their brand through creativity, design and media. Brittnee’s areas of expertise are Brand Development, Social Media Strategy, Personal Development, Motivation, Live Video & Digital and Print Design. Through motivational speaking, workshops, coaching and consulting, she helps her audience and clients transform their thinking, through authentic branding and excellent design.