Developing your business’s brand can be one of the most fun and most challenging pieces in your marketing program. It’s like working really hard on a work-out regime (the day-to-day work of running the business) and finally getting to put on a really great outfit (the logo, business card, you get my drift). Settling on your brand is a lot like deciding what your great outfit is going to be.
Before you call in a graphic artist to design your outfit, you need to do some brainstorming. You need to have a pretty good idea what personality, purpose, and values your company will embody. How do you do that? Ask yourself some questions —
- What is your company’s story? Why does it exist and why did you choose its name?
- What are you selling? If it’s a product, this can be simple to answer: a widget. However, a service can be more difficult. Selling spa services? You’re actually selling an experience, relaxation, a deserved break, and maintenance services for the body and soul.
- To whom are you selling your product or service? Be specific. New mothers, hot-rod enthusiasts, chic professionals.
- What adjectives would you use to describe your business? Serious? Fresh? Creative? Professional? Wacky? Pretend you’re describing a person.
- What values does your business hold? Environmental sensitivity, over-the-top customer service, or a commitment to a specific cause?
Write all of your answers down and take it to your graphic artist. It will be a big help to them in designing your business’s visual personality.
Finally, let me say that the visual end-result of branding — logo, website, business cards — should be taken on with the full guidance of a professional graphic artist. We all think we’re graphic artists in the making (I’m guilty too), but seriously, they are trained for this sort of thing and we should leave it to them!