How do you build a brand from scratch ? The answer lies in the definition of the brand identity , to begin with, that is, the personality of the business that is decided to promote or launch and its promise to customers , expressed through a clear and coherent message that the public can perceive and understand. But, of course, it’s not just about this: once the Brand Identity has been defined , it will be necessary to design and structure all the marketing and communication tools necessary to “push” the brand.
A book could be written on the subject (maybe ten), so in today’s article we will limit ourselves to talking about all the preliminary and essential operations that are at the root of the brand identity.
To begin with, it will therefore be important to dedicate a few nods to the logo .
The logo: it is important for the brand, but it is not the brand
In many cases – and erroneously – the terms ” logo ” and ” brand ” are considered synonyms and interchangeable , even if they refer to two different concepts . Although the logo represents the symbol of the brand , it is not the brand in its entirety and its development should therefore be considered only as one of the many steps necessary to create a brand from scratch.
However, when building a brand identity , the logo will play a crucial role because it will have the task of differentiating itself in a market that is global today and includes millions of businesses trying to emerge. It will therefore have to best interpret the identity of the business, its values, and the emotions that the company should arouse in users: in practice, it can be considered as its personality expressed in graphic terms.
Any example of a logo that works because it is perfectly in line with the values of the brand it represents? Coca-Cola , with its brand so powerful as to be the easiest of all to recall, or Nike , whose wave shape best interprets the qualities of movement, energy and vitality that are typical of the business.
You can find more great logo examples in this interesting guide from HubSpot .
The seven pillars to build a brand from scratch
Now that we’ve defined what exactly a business logo is , we can go back to the main topic and outline the seven key steps to building a brand from scratch .
Keep in mind that the final result will be a company with a name, a face, a style, a precise tone of communication and – ideally – a series of differentiating traits compared to its competitors.
- Research your target audience and competitors .
This is the preliminary step in creating a brand. Before choosing what you will do and how, it is good to analyze what the market is asking for and identify who is already providing the answer to those specific questions. Without a deep understanding of the as-is state of affairs and its possible development trajectories, your brand will have a lot of difficulty in emerging from the sea of offers already available.
So try to search online for the product or service you want to offer and observe the panorama: who will be your main competitors? How does their offering differ from yours? What are the improvement points of your product or service? What do your competitors’ target customers think of their proposition? How can you solve the critical issues that your competitors have not yet thought of? Which of the products offered by your competitors would you buy and why?
Asking these questions (and giving yourself honest answers) will be vital in moving to the next step.
- Choose the personality you want to communicate.
It is time to give life to your Brand Positioning Statement, that is the document that will be used to reclaim your place in the market segment that concerns you.
It does not mean that this is something that you will then have to include in your website: it could also be a document intended to remain internal, but this does not mean that it is essential to focus on the mission, vision, values and storytelling. of your business.
Who are you? What do you propose? How do you plan to achieve that result? What is the customer promise that sets you apart from all your competitors? The Unique Value Proposition is that detail for which you are competing: this is why it is important to identify it clearly, through the words that best communicate the message. These will in fact be the terms that your future customers will associate with you, almost automatically. Choose them carefully.
- The brand name.
Some customers or start-ups start with a name that has already been decided and established. Sometimes it is an excellent naming, in other cases it tells little about the real objectives of the company or its identity.
Whatever the sector of the market you want to position yourself in, the name counts because it tells about your personality, your actions, your approach and why it will have repercussions on the logo, web domain, any patents and, of course, on the marketing plan.
Our suggestion is not to choose a brand name that your future users could easily confuse with other players in the sector, but not a name that is difficult to memorize.
Better to focus on a short, impactful name that creates curiosity, suggesting the sector in which you operate. In these cases, it would always be advisable to turn to creative professionals.
- Define your tagline.
It is also called a brand payoff and is the slogan to be associated with the naming.
Also in this case, the rules that we have suggested in point three will apply: it is better to avoid copying slogans you have already heard, but also to go too far from the sowing by telling something of little relevance to your business. It is also preferable to avoid excessively long, hard to understand or hardly memorable taglines. If you decide to use a foreign language for your slogan, make sure the tagline is grammatically and syntactically correct.
Starting from a brainstorming with your consultants or collaborators could be a good idea: identify the words that best tell you, both in identity and in mission, and then try to play with them.
Also in this case, the support of creative professionals could prove to be the key to obtaining a result that is truly in line with your expectations.
- Colors and fonts.
Which colors and which typefaces best tell who you are? The choice of brand colors is not as easy as it might seem on the surface. Instead, it must be done with care, because it is one of the elements that your consumers will remember most. Also, remember that not only colors and typefaces define the look of your brand, but also the feelings you want to evoke with it and which must be consistent with everything you do from now on.
So ask yourself what these emotions are: innovation? Eco-sustainability? Penalty? Creativity? Trust?
Here are some tips: yellow is ideal for stimulating optimism, warmth and confidence (an example: UPS); orange is related to trust and friendliness (Amazon); red for courage, youth and vitality (Coca-Cola); purple to imagination, wisdom and creativity (Yahoo); blue / azure to strength, reliability and trust (Dell); green for health, growth and peace (Animal Planet); gray to balance, neutrality and calm (Apple).
As for the fonts, choose them carefully for your website: they must be two at most, one for the titles and the other for the body of the texts. They should be easily legible, understandable and in line with that of your logo / tagline. One tip: avoid Comic Sans.
- Make the logo.
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, your company logo will have to help differentiate you from your competitors and make you memorable in the minds of your future customers.
It is always the first thing that comes to the mind of a potential consumer when he thinks about a brand, so when someone doesn’t remember it, it means that something is wrong!
Our suggestion is to create something that is simple and identifiable, scalable without losing definition and that knows how to take into account every place and medium on which it will appear: from the website to social networks, from e-mail signatures to official documents, from signs to window stickers, from vehicles to products.
- Apply your branding to your business.
In this case, the goal will be to create a completely coherent story. This is how the “brand story” is defined, that is the story of your business, its values and what it proposes and which will define communication with your customers at every stage of the funnel, from initial consideration to loyalty and final advocacy. If logos, taglines, colors, fonts and brand positioning statements are not in harmony with each other, how can your target have a clear idea of who you are?