Starting up a business involves endless tasks and a bunch of hard work. Sometimes all of the daily commitments can almost make you forget why you wanted to start a business in the first place. But you can’t neglect the bigger picture–it’s crucial to define your company’s identity, and the branding process can help keep you focused on exactly that.
I recently read a great article that lays out the five basic building blocks for branding a startup. Here are a few of the highlights:
Define Who You Are.
This is best achieved with one simple descriptive sentence. The best way to communicate your brand is with brevity and clarity.
What people want to hear is why your thing is better than the other things out there.
Avoid the Helicopter Mom Syndrome.
Delegate tasks to other people in your organization. Micromanagement slows down the process and diminishes the quality of work. Instead, focus on the organization as whole.
Existential Anxiety Is Normal.
Understanding this will help when you’ve spent so much time strategizing, brainstorming, and planning that you start to question the validity of what you’re doing. It’s healthy to take a break now and then and get some perspective from someone outside your organization.
Craft a Visual Identity.
Once you have sorted out the more existential facets of the brand identity you can start sorting out a visual identity: logo, website, fonts, colors, business cards, and letterhead. The great thing about design is that if applied correctly it can make your business instantly emit the values you want to communicate like; trust, gravitas, innovation, quirkiness, luxury, whatever your brand identity dictates.
However, do not attempt to design your own brand. It almost never works. Hire a professional who actually knows what he’s doing. It will pay off.