This week's theme is all about how branding and brand photography go hand in hand. Today's guest post is by Madison at Grace + Vine Studios and it's brimming with excellent branding advice! Thank you for sharing madison!
Strong branding is the key to building a business that is timeless and will speak for your business. Learn how to build strong branding that will lay the foundation for your business to be built on!
One huge mistake I see people make is that they assume that branding is only about a logo design.
So many times people start with the logo design and skip past SO many other important brand building steps. When you’re building a brand you have to pause on designing a logo before you do the work to build the foundation for your business.
This is not to say that the visual side of branding is not important. A strategically designed logo and strategic brand photos are hugely important.
But without putting in the work to build the foundation, you’re just creating a pretty picture and hoping it might resonate with someone.
Here are 5 ways you can build strong branding:
- Do the work to build a foundation for your brand.
For my clients, this means going through my five page branding questionnaire. This not only helps them to get clarity on things like their ideal audience, their core values, business goals and mission statement but it also helps me as their brand designer to be caught up to speed and learn about their business.
Thinking about your business without worrying about fonts or colors first, can help you to make strong choices when it comes to your branding. These font and color choices will be such powerful parts of your business and won’t just be something that you like or is trendy.
- Do your research.
Another part of my branding experience with my clients is doing research on the industry competition. Here are a few things I’m looking for:
• What is “normal” for this industry?
• What icons, fonts or color palettes are overused?
• What language is being used in this industry?
• What are the business names within this industry?
Knowing the competition will help you to build a brand that stands out from the rest of the crowd, but will also help you to be sensitive to what the norm is for your industry.
Figure out your brand style.
Sometimes people immediately know which brand style they fit into most. Other times it’s a complete mystery!
• Romantic & feminine
• Timeless & classic
• Strong & bold
• Bright & fun
I recently created a quiz just to help out with this. Take the brand style quiz and get your brand style results.
Another mistake I see a lot is that my clients immediately go to other logos for inspiration. There is a time and place for seeking inspiration, but it is honestly SO difficult to stay authentic when all of your ideas are coming from other designs.
Start first with an inspiration board.
Find images that look and feel like what you want your brand to feel like. Refer back to your brand style. Search for those types of images on Pinterest and pick out what speaks to you. Try to avoid logos as parts of your inspiration at this time. Images that might have one word in a certain font are okay, but be sure to not just choose other logos as inspiration pieces.
Then you can build an inspiration board to help guide you as you begin building your branding.
Work with a brand designer.
As I’ve grown as a business owner, I’ve realized that there are certain parts of my business that are not meant for me to handle. When you’re just getting started, you have to wear a lot of hats. Sometimes you have to purchase a pre-made branding package or DIY it. That’s totally okay.
But when you’re ready to put in the effort and build a strong brand, it makes sense to work closely with a brand designer to bring that vision to life. When looking for a brand designer, be sure that they are also putting thought into the brand and paying attention to more than colors and fonts when building a logo.
If you’re looking to build your business foundation with a strategically designed logo, let’s chat! I’d love to serve you and help you build that foundation.