By: Dennis Paul | May 31, 2019

The Branding Breakdown – The Ultimate Checklist for Building your Brand

The Branding Breakdown – The Ultimate Checklist for Building your Brand

Building your brand is an essential step for both new and established businesses. There are many aspects to personal and corporate branding. For some entrepreneurs, considering all of them can seem overwhelming. Here, we breakdown each component of a developed brand. Whether you are creating a new company or looking to revamp your current reputation, this checklist can help you cover all your branding bases.

The Ultimate Checklist for Building Your Brand

1. Product or Offering

Develop a clear, specific understanding of your service or product. What makes your offering unique? You want to be brief, clear, and precise. This first step is for your own clarity – don’t worry about how it will be presented to the public just yet. Take the time to consider your motivations and goals. What is your business all about? Can you solve a problem for your clients or customers? What can you promise them? What do you stand for? Aim to develop a short concept or a single word that encompasses your product. If someone asks about your brand, you should have a quick, clear answer.

2. Target Audience

Do some research to find your niche target audience. What demographic are you trying to reach? If you want to market effectively, you can’t practice outreach without intention. You first must know who you are targeting. Why are they interested, or not interested, in your offer? With this information, you can begin to make informed decisions about building your brand.

Precise demographics are essential to practice targeted marketing. A few things to consider when researching your audience:

– Age
– Gender
– Marital Status
– Family
– Location
– Income Level/Net Worth
– Lifestyle/Opinions
– Employment Status
– Hobbies and Habits
– Shopping Trends
– Preferred Products

You can find an immense amount of information online to help you with your demographic research. The more you narrow in, the more you will be able to specify your brand.

3. Market Research

What is the competition doing? Set a plan to break into the industry with intention. If your target demographic historically purchases a similar product or service from competitors, research why. Does your competitor offer lower prices? Does a superior service exist? Or is your product a solution to a problem?

Once you have identified your competition, examine how they approach their business. Look for any weaknesses or voids in what they do. How do you think the industry will respond to the addition of your service or product? Consider the same for your target audience. Make an effort to view your business objectively.

4. Name

Let the first three steps of the checklist inform your companies name choice. Your product knowledge, market research, and vision can all help solidify a strong company name. But keep it simple. Customers and clients should quickly know how to find your product or service online. A name that can grow as your company develops and changes is ideal. Choosing a name that limits your business to a particular idea can cause problems down the road if your focus shifts.

A successful name conveys meaning effortlessly. Ideally, you want the name of your business to communicate something significant and positive concerning your company. Can people immediately understand what your business is about when they hear your name? While a catchy name can eventually have value, it may be confusing and will take longer to establish. For new companies, an original name that instantly triggers your demographic is best.

5. Tagline

Describe your company in a clear but catchy phrase. How can you capture your audience’s attention? A tagline is a phrase that will commonly accompany your product or service’s name. Taglines, or slogans, can be a significant asset if written correctly. Think of your tagline as a spokesperson who announces what you do to everyone you haven’t met yet. Keep your tagline brief and clear. Imagine a phrase that people can read easily and instantly understand. You want to answer the customer’s question while also solving their problem.

Taglines are an excellent way to clarify any confusion about your product or service. Be explicitly clear in communicating your offer.

6. Colors

When building your brand, choosing your colors is key. Color is securely attached to our thoughts and emotions. Look at your values and choose colors that represent your brand’s identity. Emotions undeniably drive customer decision making. As a brand, your goal is to develop a secure emotional link with your customers. Branding colors supply a direct line to your customer’s heart.

When you know what you are trying to communicate, choosing your branding colors can be simple. Use your brand’s personality to determine which colors will work best to represent it. Many colors have strong emotional associations.

Some Common Color Meanings:

Yellow — optimism
Purple — luxury
Pink — innocence
Red — passion
Orange — playfulness
Brown — ruggedness
White — virtuous
Green — prosperity
Light Blue — trust
Dark Blue — security
Gray — neutrality
Black — power

7. Symbol

Design a recognizable symbol that can act as a visual identifier and activate your target audience. Symbols present a visual shorthand to the viewer and are a powerful communication method.

Symbols subconsciously communicate thoughts and beliefs to your customer. They can be navigational tools, differentiators, or even status symbols. Your brand’s symbol will combine with other elements such as your colors, name, and tagline to create an overall understanding of your product and service.

8. Logo

Let the work you have done so far influence your company’s logo. The goal is to create a robust visual identity that encompasses all of your established brand components. The best logos are eye-catching but also tell a story. You want your logo to stand out but also make sense. Your clients should be able to recognize your brand and easily remember what you do.

Your logo is a visual depiction of everything your product or service stands for. Ideally, your business logo improves potential clients first impression of your offer. A good logo can build a relationship between your business and your clients, establish a brand personality, and make a new company appear established and professional.

9. Domain

Choose a website domain that aligns with your brand but is also easily accessible. Your domain should be clear and straightforward. If the simple name of your company isn’t available, consider a combination of words from your tagline, or another item from the checklist. It is essential that your clients know where to find your product or service online without having to dig.

10. Message, Tone, and Personality

All of the elements of brand boil down to your message. What precisely do you want to communicate to your target audience? As you are building your brand, you should become incredibly clear on what you want to say to your demographic, and why it matters. The tone of your brand is the voice you want to communicate these ideas with. How does your brand sound to the listener? The personality you have identified through the branding process should shine through in your message.

11. Social Media Presence and Online Reputation

Use social media to relay your message, vision, and product directly to your target demographic. Once you have established your brand, you can showcase it online through your website, social media platforms, and other digital sources.

Socials are a surefire way to reach your audience and communicate with them directly. They also significantly impact your online reputation. As you build your brand, monitor your social media accounts, online search results, and other aspects of the reputation map. Examine the first impression of your online search results. Does your digital reputation reflect the brand you’ve established through this checklist? Above all else, your image should align with the predetermined goals of your brand campaign.

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