Crystaldust tips to How Start Your Own Brand From Scratch in 7 Steps
Esmeralda C and Braveen Kumar
What exactly is a “brand”?
A brand isn’t just a recognizable name and logo that distinguishes you in a crowded market.
Your brand is how people perceive you wherever they interact with your business—both the impressions you can control and the ones you can't.
When you think about it, people have personal brands too. We each have a name, a face, a style, a way of communicating, and with these traits, we make different impressions on different people.
Likewise, businesses have names, products, logos, colors, fonts, voices, and reputations that make up what they are and affect how they’re perceived.
You can’t build a brand without being consistent and maintaining that consistency as you extend your brand to every part of your business. But it all starts with establishing what that consistency is going to look like and the feeling you want it to evoke.
How to build a brand
Building your own brand essentially boils down to seven steps:
1. Research your target audience and your competitors
Before you start making any decisions about your brand, you need to understand the current market, i.e., who your potential customers and current competitors are.
2. Pick your focus and personality
Your brand can’t be everything to everyone, especially at the start.
It’s important to find your focus and let that inform all the other parts of your brand as you build it.
3. Choose your business name
What’s in a name? Depending on the kind of business you want to start, you can make the case that your name matters very little or it matters a lot.
As we’ve said before, a brand is so much more than a name. The personality, actions, and reputation of your brand are really what give the name meaning in the market
4. Write a slogan
A catchy slogan is a nice-to-have asset—something brief and descriptive you can use as a tagline in your social media bios, website header, business card, and anywhere else where you’ve got very few words to make a big impact.
5. Choose the look of your brand (colors and font)
Once you’ve got a name down, you’ll need to think about how you’ll visually represent your brand, namely your colors and typography. This will come in handy when you start to build your website.
6. Design your logo
A company logo design is probably one of the first things that comes to mind when you think about building a brand. And for good reason: it’s the face of your company after all and could potentially be everywhere that your brand exists.
7. Apply your branding across your business
Applying your branding across your business gives it a cohesive brand story. A brand story represents who your business is and what it stands for. It sets the stage for every interaction customers have with your brand, in-store and online.
Evolve your brand as you grow
Building a brand doesn’t stop with creating a logo or slogan, or even with your brand launch. Your brand needs to exist and remain consistent wherever your customers interact with you, from the theme you choose for your website, the marketing materials you produce, all the way to how you package and ship your products.
You’ll continue to shape and evolve your brand as you expose more customers to it and learn more about who your customers are and how to speak to them.
It’s important to appreciate that you will never have 100% control over how people perceive your brand.
You can tug customers in the right direction, make a great first impression, and manage your reputation, but you can’t control the individual perceptions that exist in each person’s mind (say, if they had a bad customer service experience).
All you can do is put your best foot forward at every turn and try to resonate with your core audience. But hopefully, at this point, you have the tools, knowledge, and resources to start.