When branding your business, you need a design that authentically reflects what you and your business represent. It’s not something you come up with overnight; this takes time. You want a brand identity that resonates with your clients emotionally and makes your business appealing.
By creating a distinctive brand identity with character, you are connecting your clients to you and your business on an emotional level. Your brand identity is the essence of what you do and being able to effectively communicate that through every decision you make for your brand is extremely important. It’s about having that bond with clients who buy with their hearts and not their heads.
In order to get your brand to where you want it, start by focusing on your business and what you want it to represent, followed by researching design ideas that work for you. Being able to put those ideas into a vision or mood board helps you to visualize the design element of your brand. This will allow you to design a logo ensuring that all elements of what you want in a brand is characterized precisely to what reflects your style and image.
What is your business focus?
What makes your business stand out from the competition? What do your clients value the most from your services? What inspires you about your work? How would you describe your brand? How do you want people to feel when they visit your website or purchase a product or service from you?
Before you make any decisions on brand designs or mission statements, you must focus your attention on questions like these. These are the little things that will set you apart from your competition because you have taken the time to really dig deep into the emotional part of your brand identity. You may have a great business plan, but if you don’t know how to communicate that to your clients, it will serve no purpose.
Take some time and answer these questions. Narrow it down by selecting three key words that summarize what your business is about. What are the most important words that describe how you’d like your new brand identity to come across?
What types of designs stand out to you?
Once you have a clear focus on what you want your business to be, it’s time to research design ideas. You may have a vision in your head of what you want, but once you see some ideas, you may start to think otherwise. So keep an open mind about what your business design could be without limiting yourself to one vision. I love using Pinterest as I find that there are always more than enough ways of doing one thing. Do a little research and ask yourself “How does this relate to what I want for my business?”, “Why do I like this?” “What works about this?”, and most importantly “How would I make this my own?”.
The key to creating work that’s unique and inspired is to stay focused on what you want your brand to reflect. Look at many different creative elements as you can, but in the end, break it down into a few elements that work for you and your brand. For my logo, I obviously love stilettos. So incorporating stilettos into my logo was a given. The fonts I chose were a reflection of my business in the sense that the script was classy and feminine for a woman in business.
Vision & Mood Boards
Now that you have ideas on colour schemes, logo ideas and patterns from researching different ideas on Pinterest and elsewhere, it’s time to bring it all together and combine into one design element. You can use a mood board or inspirational vision board to visualize your soon to be brand. Whether you plan on creating your brand identity yourself or you will be outsourcing to a brand stylist or graphic designer, it’s important that you know what you’re setting out to achieve in the first place. This is your sense check and is essential if you are to avoid creative overwhelm.
Creating a logo that stands out against the crowd
When you start to brainstorm on ideas for your, remember that less is almost always more. You don’t really need to have an icon logo, but what you do need to have is a colour scheme that makes your business stand out and is ideally smart, unique and an instantly recognisable mark of your business. This is where your creativity can come into play and you can have some serious fun with it. Again, find what works best for you and your brand and make it your own. Keep it simple, stylish and easy to read.
Bringing it all together.
Ensuring that each element comes together as a whole is by far possibly one of the most important and crucial part of building a brand and a business. In the beginning of creating my own brand, I had so many ideas of what I wanted in my blog. But seeing them written on paper and how they fit together made me re-evaluate what I really wanted my blog to be about. Every little part of your brand communicates a message subconsciously and it’s important that you make sure it’s sending out the message you want.
To review your own, or a designer’s work constructively, take your original written brief and your mood board and ask yourself “does this achieve what we set out to?”. Does every element on there add something? Is it well executed? Good design is essential to communicate confidence and professionalism. Does what you have send out the right signals? If not, simply tweak and refine until you have a brand identity that you can be proud of, and that most importantly, wins you lots of business. The first few months of being in business is when you want to tweak your brand vision and logo and design elements. Trial and error, it will help you figure out what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to experiment in the first few months, but at the same time, make sure your changes are a positive contribution to your brand.
Designing a brand with character takes time, patience and a lot of criticism. Constructive criticism from yourself is very important. Be honest with yourself when creating a brand. Ultimately, this will be your business for years to come and you want something that you are truly satisfied with in order for your business to be successful.
With Love | Nikki xo