How to Create a Brand From Scratch
If you’re trying to connect the dots between your product and the audience you want to reach. Whether your business is just an idea or you’ve decided to change your existing brand, here’s everything you need to know to build a strong identity around your business.
What Exactly is a “Brand”?
A brand is not just a recognizable name and a logo that sets you apart in a crowded market. Your brand is how people perceive you wherever they interact with your business; they are the impressions that you can control and also those that you cannot.
Come to think of it, people have brands too. Each of us has a name, a face, a style, a way of communicating; the impressions we leave on people are different, and what people say about us when we leave the room is different.
Likewise, companies use names, products, logos, colors, fonts, languages and reputations to manage who they are and influence how they are perceived.
To create a brand, you need to be consistent and maintain that consistency in every part of your business. But first, you need to decide what this coherence will look like and what it will elicit.
1. Research Your Target Audience and Competitors
Before you start making brand decisions, you need to understand the current market: who your potential customers and competitors are.
There are several ways to do this:
- Google your product or service category and analyze the direct and indirect competitors that emerge.
- Check out the Reddit website for subreddits about your customers, and spy on their conversations and product suggestions.
- Talk to the people in your target market and let them tell you which brands they buy.
- Look at relevant social media accounts or pages your target audience follows and is interested in.
- Shop online or offline and get an idea of how your customers browse and buy products.
How to Create a Brand Style Guide
2. Choose the Focus and Personality of Your Brand
It is important to find your own focus that is an inspiration for all other aspects of the brand under construction.
What Is Your Positioning Statement?
The positioning statement is a definition that fixes your positioning on the market in a few lines. It’s not necessarily something to indicate on your website or business card, it just serves to help you answer the right questions about your brand and define your niche.
3. Choose the Name for Your Business
A rose, by any other name, would have the same scent. But a Nike with another name would be seen much less around.
What’s in a name? Depending on the type of business you want to start, the name may matter little or a lot to you.
As we have already said, a brand is much more than a name. The personality, actions and reputation of your brand are what really make sense of the name in the market.
But as an entrepreneur, your company name is probably one of the first big commitments you need to make. It will impact your logo, domain name, marketing and trademark if you decide to go this route (it’s harder to register generic brand names that literally describe the product).
The ideal is a company name that is difficult to imitate and even more difficult to confuse with existing competitors on the market. If you intend to expand the product lines you offer over time, consider a generic name rather than a specific one, so it will be easier to adapt.
Another good idea is to test the name together with a focus group of close people, if only to make sure it doesn’t have an unwanted meaning or that you haven’t missed a resemblance to something else.
4. Choose Your Brand Colors and Fonts
Once you have chosen the name, you will have to think about how to visually represent your brand, that is the colors and typography. It will also come in handy for building your website.
Choose the Colors
Colors don’t just define the look of your brand; they also convey the feelings you want to communicate and help you maintain the coherence of the whole brand. We advise you to choose colors that differentiate you from direct competitors to avoid confusing customers.
The psychology of color is not an exact science, but it helps to influence your choices, especially when it comes to the color you choose for your logo.
Keep in mind the legibility of black and white text on a colored base and how colored text can appear on black and white backgrounds. Try using a color palette generator to choose matching colors, keep the hex codes handy and sift through the different shades to find the ones you like best.
Choose the Fonts
At this point, it’s worth looking at the fonts you want to use on your website. Choose a maximum of two fonts to avoid unnecessarily confusing visitors: one for headlines and one for body text (excluding the logo font).