Stage One – The basics
First start off with the basics. We like to break this into four main points.
1) What is the name of your desired brand.
This is usually a pretty obvious first point. Something specific to your industry? Maybe a totally unique made up word that has a nice memorable ring to it. Anything has the potential to work in our opinion – although bear in mind that the name is not easily changeable and is something that will be with you for life! Chosen a name? Great! Now are the domain names available? This is a make or break with many startups and is often a chore to find a great name with matching domain names. We recommend UK2, and use them for all our domain names if you want to check if your domain is available
2) What does your business do?
Awesome – we’re steaming ahead! Now that you have your name, you need to ask yourself what does your business do? This may seem like an obvious question but many startups have so many great ideas they want to implement all from the word go that they become somewhat scatter-brained. This may mean they try to offer too much to consumers that it becomes overwhelming and difficult to understand what you are trying to offer them. Or it may mean you spend far too long trying to establish your idea, by which time the moment may have passed and you’re starting to miss out.
3) Who does it target?
Your target audience (or audiences) are those who are purchasing from you or otherwise involved with your brand. It is important to identify them and break them into little groups so you can further understand what they could be looking for from your business. Try to put yourself in their shoes, the brand you create should ultimately appeal to them. This may mean that what might appeal to them might not necessarily appeal to you. You may want to look into user profiling, which is the process of researching what attributes your customers may have.
4) What is your price range?
This may seem a little irrelevant to pass on to your design team but it is super important to know in order to develop an appropriate corporate identity which matches your intended price range. A great example of this is the colour orange. Stereotypically, this is usually a colour associated with low cost / cheapness (think easy jet) – so using that as a primary colour in a high quality business selling high ticket items may be a silly move!
Stage Two – More detail…
Now that we’ve covered the basics, you are well underway to creating your brand. But, we’ll now delve a little deeper to really identity your brands inner-self! We call this section ‘if your brand was a person.’
5) If your brand was a person
This may seem like a bit of an odd question at first! But if you imagine your brand, the people that work for you, the offices you might have – how do you envisage them? Are they friendly and approachable? Flash and sophisticated? No bullshit and straight to the point? This is very important to a design team as understanding how you want to present your brand will help with things like font choice (choosing an old serif font often paints an idea of establishment and authority) and a fun lively colour palette with round quirky fonts often presents an approachable, friendly business.
So, you should now be about 90% of the way to properly understanding the brand yourself, and you should be in a really good position to start briefing someone (hopefully us!) to start developing your corporate identity.
6) Your vision
This final stage is purely explaining what you, as the leader of the business, have in your head as ideas. You might have a clear tunnel vision of a particular graphic icon you wish to develop along with colours and fonts to match it. Or, you might have absolutely no idea at all! Both are perfectly fine and we have worked with a lot of clients in both boats! We do recommend you try to justify your ideas to yourself. If you want to see purple in the brand – why do you want to see purple in the brand? Is it because this colour is often associated with nobility, luxury, power, and ambition which matches your online financial advisory business idea? This can really just be a brain dump of all your ideas that can help a designer piece together to come up with something (or a series of somethings) that embodies your business perfectly.
We hope this post has been helpful in kickstarting your branding journey.
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