Branding is what will take your business or blog from being just a simple hobby to being a lifestyle through which you can make a living. It’s all about what people say + think + feel about your brand. Here I give you the steps to branding so that you can create a business capable of transforming your life.
In Part 1 of How to Brand Your Business, I talked about the importance of branding. You see, branding is what will give you clarity on where you want to go. It’s what will differentiate you from everybody else. When done correctly, you can help form the perceptions around your business/blog. Not only that, but branding will make you look professional which will build your credibility and trust. Branding is based on three different pillars: Your brand’s foundations (which we talked about in Part 1), your brand identity and the brand experience.
I made this guide, Brand Your Business, specially for you. It will guide you in building your own brand. You can download it here:
The Second Pillar: The Brand Identity
So, by this point you have already defined the foundations of your brand. You already know the mission behind your business and why it’s so important to talk about the value you’re creating for others through what you’re writing about. You have also defined what makes your business 100% unique and different from everyone else’s. Now it’s time to determine how your business look on the outside.
Your logo is the first impression you give about your brand. It’s the visual representation of what your business is all about. Logos are, without a doubt, one of the funnest things to make for me. I love researching, doodling and coming up with ideas that really represent what a business is all about.
Now, when defining your own logo, remember that it doesn’t LITERALLY have to show what you write about. After all, one of the biggest computer companies in the world has an Apple in their logo. Not a computer. However, what IS important is that your logo is capable of showing your personality and essence. Your logo is something that will be seen everywhere: your business cards, social media icons, webpage, email signature, newsletter, packaging….
the list could go on and on. So, you really want to make sure it is strong enough and capable of reflecting who you are.
Who you are as a brand starts with understanding the personality behind it. Carl Jung, a Swiss Psychologist determined that human beings tend to put things into categories which we group depending on what we’re like. We group things in order to understand better. The same thing happens in terms of brands, and in this case, these different categories are called Brand Archetypes. Each of the 12 varieties has a different set of characteristics, traits, strategies and communication styles that define brands + businesses. Of course, like with everything, no brand is 100% one personality. Rather, we’re a mix of different things that make us stand out as a whole, but with one archetype that tends to be more dominant than the rest.
Brand Archetypes have a huge power behind them. They really are capable of representing who you are and the strategies you can use in the future. I use Brand Archetypes a means of designing beautiful logos. You see, they guide me in understanding how a business should look on the outside too.For example, my client Nicole is a woman’s coach that’s a mixture of a hero + sage. That means she empowers women to be strong and competent. Her strategies involve encouraging women to challenge rules and lead authentically. Her logo then makes sense with her brand. It’s about opening your wings, just like a bird.
Another client of mine, blogger Mia Mommy writes about life as a mom of 3 girls. Her archetype is being a regular gal and her strategies are to connect with others through her stories. Her logo contains 3 hearts, each of which represent her daughters. The font used looks like chic children’s writing. This represents her blog’s personality style. You can check out her complete Case Study here.
Brand Archetypes are incredible and you can actually find strategies and goals to follow depending on which one applies to you the most!
You can find out your Brand Archetype right here:
Color is a wonderful way of telling a story about who you are as a business and what your personality is all about. Yes, there are studies that show that certain colors bring about different emotions (you can see those in the guide, by the way). You have probably read that red is attached with passion, green with being down to earth, blue is trustworthy, orange is warm and yellow is friendly.
However, there’s something that goes beyond the emotions that each color brings. It’s more about the personality behind your brand. So, for example, with big brands such as Citibank and Twitter, each of their logos is a similar shade of blue. If blue has to do with being trustworthy, that’s something that might make sense for a bank, but how is Twitter trustworthy? The truth is, that’s it’s more about the personality of your blog. How your brand is affected by what you want to say. So, in this case, the use of a similar shade of blue might have to do with looking young and targeting millennials even more.
I love how color is capable of bringing out different emotions for who you are and what you want to convey. For example, I developed the branding and logo for Sip Tales. They have a really cool business concept. It’s a social place where friends gather to drink wine and paint. However, it’s geared toward a high-end customer. There are other similar businesses around, but the big difference is that Sip Tales is more luxurious. Through color, you get an immediate sense that this is a chic, high-end brand immediately, right? If the logo for example were a bright green, it would tell you something completely different about their personality. In the case of a logo like Yarel Ramos,’ her colors tell a different story. Yarel is a very well-known Mexican-American TV Host. Her personal brand is all about being relatable and fun, while at the same time bringing out her Mexican culture. The colors used for her brand represent precisely that. Not only are they fun, but they also are colors that are very connected with the Mexican culture.
In the case of fonts, you want to make sure that the ones you use really make sense with what your brand is all about. One of the most important things is that you start being very consistent with the fonts that you use. So, if your body text is Raleway (like this one), every material that you put out there should have Raleway as well. All of these things will be essential in building a brand that is cohesive and truly stands out. Fonts, like color, bring about different feelings as well.
Serif fonts are more serious and are used for businesses that want to build credibility and want to be seen as trustworthy. Serif fonts have little lines at the end of each letter. MCQ Group for example, is a roof construction company that works directly with their local State government. So, as you can imagine, it was important for their logo to give a bold statement.
A Sans Serif Font is used to give a more chic and modern look. Sans Serif fonts are the ones that DON’T have the little lines at the end of each letter. A great example of this the logo I created for a clothing boutique in Caracas, Venezuela. You see how the lines are straight and thin? They look to give a very cool look.
Handwritten fonts on the other hand are great for personal brands. They’re used to show character and personality. I love using handwritten fonts for coaches because it brings out who they are to the table. Sandra is an image and personal branding coach, and her logo brings out who she is as well.
Finally, script fonts are used to show elegance and class. I used a script font for Rococoa’s logo because they were trying to give this very nice Parisian feel to their brand while looking chic and interesting. Did that make sense? You see, fonts are also great at telling stories and bringing YOU out. Having established the foundation of your brand and understood your personality; fonts will go hand in hand with the strategies you have already set up in place for your brand.
You can see more info about fonts in the guide I created for you. Make sure to download it here:
Every single one of these elements that I talked about so far, will define what your brand looks like, and they should come together in your website. So, obviously your logo has to be at the top of your site, the colors should be consistent throughout, and the fonts should be the same. Having too many things going on will only confuse your audience and do a poor job in building your brand. It’s really important that your business has a coherent communication style with what your mission is all about, and that the logo, colors and fonts that you use are capable of truly representing what you’re about.
So, for example, in the case of Mia Mommy (which I showed you above), her website look is consistent with her brand. The colors, fonts, and use of the logo is in tune with the brand.
The same concept should apply to your website as well. Another case where I worked in the colors, fonts, logo and communication style is for Rococoa Café + Bistro. You see how that works?
The most important part of building your brand identity? Consistency and coherence. On one hand, you really want to make sure that your brand is consistent everywhere that people can find it. On the other hand, it’s important that your identity is coherent and makes sense with your brand’s foundation. On part 3 I will get into the consistency part when talking about the brand experience. On part 1 I went over the coherence part when talking about the brand foundation.
In the free 15-page guide, you will get the whole picture of the 3 pillars of branding. Don’t forget to download it here: