The 4 branding basics you need to unleash your business

If you're confused about what branding involves, read this post to learn the 4 basic steps of branding you need to take.

Branding is one of those fluffy topics that can be broken down into a million different components with names that mean slightly different things to different people. Components like brand stories, brand promises, positioning statements, and more.

It’s done to help explain the concept and put it into bite-sized pieces that are easier to digest (I use these terms myself). But when you’re building your business and trying to gather information about branding, it can also make things really confusing. Do you really need all these things?? What are the branding basics?

Well, to help simplify the process for you, I’ve put together the bare-bones, most basic steps you can take to create a brand from scratch.

Branding basics 1: Vision & values

So, this is where you start — by working out why your business needs to exist and what you stand for. A meaningful brand is one that is build on a meaningful foundation. You’ve got to be setting out to achieve something worthwhile for your target market.

Sit down and figure out the purpose of your business and the beliefs or values you’ll stand by. What can you promise your audience? Why should they care enough about your brand to follow it/buy from it? The elements of your brand that you come up with in this initial step will be its primary driving force, propelling you forward as your business grows.

You can also look into:

  • purpose
  • core values
  • brand promise
  • brand vision

Branding basics 2: Messaging

The previous step should have set you up nicely for this step in your branding. Your brand messaging where you put your vision and values into words and phrases to communicate the value of your brand to others. You’ll use this in your marketing. You’ll use it when you’re speaking to prospects. It’ll be evident everywhere from your website to the way you post on social media.

There’s two main parts to this: what you say and how you say it. What you say should be a reflection of your vision and values (from branding basics 1). Key note: make it about your audience/clients.

For how you say it, you’ll want to define a personality or tone of voice for your brand. Give your brand some attributes and a sense of character that shines through in every piece of copy you write.

You can also look into:

  • brand message
  • positioning statement
  • brand story
  • tagline

Also read: An easy exercise for writing a brand message

Branding basics 3: Identity

At this point, you have something worth saying. That’s awesome. Now it’s time to grab people’s attention and give them the opportunity to hear it. You need thoughtful design to deliver your message.

Like it or not, appearances are important. In an age of abundance choice, people look for ways to make snap decisions and visuals are one way to do that. But it’s not just about “making things look nice”. When your brand identity (logo, brand colours, the way you use typography) is well designed, it reinforces your brand message and ensures your brand is noticed by your target market.

You can also look into:

  • logo design
  • brand colours
  • typographic hierarchy
  • branded photography
  • style guides

Also read: 5 essential brand identity elements your business needs

Branding basics 4: Application to touchpoints

This is where the brand experience takes place. Touchpoints are the meeting points between your business and your customers/clients. Your website, marketing material, emails, social media posts… whenever someone comes into contact with your brand, you want that experience to be an accurate reflection of everything you’re trying to build.

In a nutshell, it’s at this point that all the previous branding components come into play.

Every successful business needs thoughtful branding. Here are the 4 basic steps you want to follow.Last thoughts

That’s it! I hope that helps to simplify and demystify the concept of how to brand your business, if it’s something you felt stuck with. At it’s core, I think these 4 steps outline the major points you need to take care of as you grow your brand. If branding is something you’re looking for further assistance with, feel free to reach out.

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