Ah, branding. The age-old mystery is how many businesses seem to strike the perfect balance between fun and professional. Between experimental and yet succinct. The list goes on, but if building your branding is at the top of the to-do list this year, these helpful tips can get you started.
Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It
Identifying a mission statement is number one on the list to help shape any branding and communications for your business.
A mission statement should form part of your overarching strategy to help others understand the business’s purpose and what you care about.
Writing a mission statement can feel daunting, but Google a few examples to get you started. Ultimately it should include what the business is for, who you’re targeting, why it exists, and where you want to take it.
Let’s Get Personal
Brand personality is a huge part of building a business. This should be established early on to help guide elements like tone of voice, logo designs, and look and feel.
A brand personality usually consists of up to 5 human personality traits or characteristics relating to the business. Think about your own personality, write down your characteristics, and then do the same when thinking of the brand.
Is it authentic? Creative? Optimistic? Passionate? Brave? This is a fun task, so try writing loads down and making a shortlist, or think about the product or service and how that would translate to part of its personality if it were a person.
Set The Tone
Similar to the above, having a specific tone of voice is crucial to any communication from the business and is another fun element of branding.
Once you have the personality traits in place, look at how you’d like your comms to come across based on this, and start building out the tone of voice (or TOV) guidelines. A good way to do this is to have the brand personality traits listed and work off the back of these to determine how your brand should come across. For example, if the top personality characteristic is enthusiasm, tonally, you want any comms to be bright, fun, and energetic.
Your mission statement will help determine a lot of this, but understanding who the audience is for your brand is vital.
Audiences come in all shapes and sizes, and often brands can have more than one audience type they want to target, so don’t feel pressured to squeeze everyone into one bucket. Establishing multiple audience groups you’re talking to through your branding means you’ll be able to test who responds better to what, helping develop your brand even further.
Keep It Visual
For many, this is the best bit; developing the visual aspect of a brand to help it shine.
This usually consists of fonts, logos, and how imagery and video assets look stylistically. If you’re unsure, consulting a professional designer can wield many benefits to get you on the right track.
Again, refer back to the brand personality traits and tone of voice. How would this translate to fonts and assets? Research is key for this – create a virtual or physical mood board to help get an idea of best practices and colors, fonts, styles, and photography/video formats you find engaging, which can be used as inspiration for the brand.
Branding can either be a simplified task or become quite vast, but the above will help any brand or business stuck on where to begin. The main goal is creating a clear, succinct, relatable, and recognizable outcome for the brand, and you’re off to a great start.