More On Branding, Please

December 5, 2018

In our post last week, I attempted to explain what a brand really is in a simple way, and from the feedback we got it seems like I did a pretty good job. If you missed the last post then here’s the gist of it: A brand is like a person in many ways, and working on branding a business is like working on creating a living, breathing, person or character.

Some of you requested we go deeper into the subject, so in this post I’m going to explore the 4 main attributes that make up a brand, and the kind of work that needs to be done for each. But first...


Branding is an Art

It’s important first to note that branding is an art more than anything else, and the best way to brand your business is to hire branding experts, who usually charge upwards of 10,000$. While this is something I recommend for established businesses with spending power, I am highly against it when it comes to startups.

Startups have far more important things to spend money on, such as sustaining their business and keeping it alive, reaching their target market, improving their product or service, building new features, growing the team, and optimizing operations.

With that being said, I hope that this post helps you get good results without spending too much. Let’s dive right into the 4 attributes of a brand.

Mission Statement

This in my opinion is the most important of all; every business should be in the market for a purpose other than just making money.

Imagine that 2 supermarkets open right next to each other, one has no mission statement, while the other makes it clear that their mission statement is to help customers find what they’re looking for faster. Which supermarket do you think people will remember and frequent more?

So, what is your business setting out to do?

  • Providing fresh water to 3rd world countries?
  • Making healthier pizzas?
  • Connecting entrepreneurs around the globe?

Our mission statement at IdeatoApp, for example, is to help shape a more productive region through the power of the internet. Everything we do is grounded in this mission. Not only does this make IdeatoApp more meaningful to customers, it also gives us - the team at IdeatoApp - a purpose and makes our work more meaningful.

Whatever your mission statement is, write it down, and remember it is not set in stone and will probably need to be changed as you develop your service/product and understand the market more.


Personality And Voice

How’s your business like? And how does it speak to customers?

  • Is it entertaining and funny?
  • Maybe entertaining and sophisticated?
  • Formal and straight to the point?
  • Sarcastic?

At IdeatoApp we’re caring, friendly, simple, and straight to the point. Our personality and voice guide our marketing efforts and content creation. And so should yours.

With this your customers start feeling like they are dealing with a real person, and allows you to build real relationships with them. You thus become more than just another product or service provider.

Name

Before choosing a name, check to see if it’s available as a domain (you can check on godaddy.com) and on social media platforms. Every business, regardless of what it does, needs to have a website and needs to be on social media; this is where all the attention is today.

While you don’t need to register your business from day 1, take the time to make sure the name is available in the countries you’re planning to register it in. The last thing you want is to establish your brand in the market and then have to change the name.

Visual Identity

A logo, color palette, and font are the basics of your visual identity. There are many designers online that can take care of that for you; platforms like Upwork & Fiverr will help you find them.

When hiring designers, I recommend you choose from those who

  • Have an online portfolio that showcases their process and projects
  • Have worked on projects similar to yours
  • Have a style similar to the one you are looking for

Finally, make sure you communicate your mission statement, brand personality & voice, and business name to the designers.

Final Thoughts

Visual identity was left to the very end on purpose; branding starts by first defining what our business stands for, and ends with us giving it a visual identity, and not the other way around. Most startups jump right into logo design; don’t make this mistake.

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