So, you are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur. Or you already consider yourself as one. You’re great at what you do. You’re ready to start following your passion.
And then… BOOM!
You realize that there are loooooooots of things to keep in mind that are out of your comfort zone and that will vary depending on your strengths and weaknesses. One of those aspects that, at one moment or another, keep you thinking at night is branding. And when you think about it probably the first thing that comes to mind is how you want your logo to be. Well, your logo is just a piece of your brand. According to the great Seth Godin “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” Meaning that a brand is the overall experience that you offer to your clients that, at the end of the day, makes them want to buy from you instead of from anyone else.
So, what kind of experience are you trying to create? How do you want your customers to feel? If you still don’t have an answer for that let’s make a journey into the core of your business.
Are you coming?
To discover your brand identity we need to explore a few things. Here we go!
Define your message:
At this point you need to think about what do you do, why you do do it and how can your customers get a benefit from your product or service. Which is your superpower? Take some time to reflect on this. Make sure that you’re clear about the group of people that you intend to help. Determine how your mission and your values are aligned to what your audience needs. How do you use your superpower to help your customers? How do you do it differently from your competitors?
Focus on your niche:
Before I asked you to think about the group of people you wanted to help. “I want to help everybody” you might think. That’s very noble of you but with this idea you get the risk of not attracting the kind of customers that you want. The more precise you are with your niche the more possibilities you have of attracting your ideal customers and creating a product or service that satisfies them. Now, do you know who your ideal customer is? If not think about your client in detail and define gender, age, interests, challenges, goals, etc.
Discover your voice:
Your voice is how you’re going to present your brand to your customers. How you want people to see your brand. So how is it going to be? Formal? Friendly? Think about it and start writing. Don’t try to be perfect, just do it as if you were talking to your best friend while taking coffee (or wine…). Infusing your personality into your writing will show authenticity, will help you to stand out from your competitors and also to create a stronger connection with your customers.
Determine your style:
Taking in consideration all of the above now it’s time to define your style. How everything that you’ve been creating is going to be represented. That will outcome from what you’ve analyzed before. Your message, niche and voice would help you discover a style that not only represents you but also resonates with your ideal clients. Which colors would you use? Which fonts? Play the music that inspires you and take the time to create a mood board in which you include images, colors, fonts, textures and logo (yes, you finally get to think about your logo) inspiration. Once it’s complete, observe which are the elements that keep coming back. Remove everything that doesn’t resonate with that until you refine your theme.
I’ve mentioned before that branding is an experience so, when in doubt, make sure that every decision that you make as regards branding correlates with the experience that you want to create. In that way you’ll make sure that you are fulfilling your customer’s expectations and they’ll give you their loyalty.
Give yourself some time and space to think about this. Write, draw, cut out pictures from magazines, whatever works for you. Build a clear idea of what you want your business to be and how you want people to feel about it.