Finding your style or brand can be the most difficult part of your setting up your business. It can be a major part in whether a customer identifies with you or not. It is also important to make sure you have got it right before investing in your display equipment such as pull up banners, table cloths, or posters and business cards as any tweaks or amendments no matter how small will be expensive to change throughout your entire business.
Your branding must match the style of your business, engage with your customer, and be original enough to catch people’s attention. If you are displaying your work at a trade show, you will be competing against several other businesses for custom, therefore your branding must be bold or interesting enough to achieve this, so you can then do the hard work and secure the sale.
Research the Market
To start finding what will end up being your brand, research is key. Not only can it help inspire ideas, but it can help you understand how others in your industry present themselves. Research branding over a wide range of industries to get a really good understanding of what it is you like, what you don’t and why.
Make a note of websites you visit where you feel the presentation, logo, and colour scheme work well. You can return to these later and really analyze what it is that makes the overall ‘look’ successful. Once you have had a thorough research of several websites, business flyers or business cards, you will also have a good idea of up to date graphics, and things you need to include such as social media links, or QR codes if necessary.
Really Identify What Your Business is about
Write down exactly what it is your business is about. Use key words to describe what you do and what images you want to emit, for example ‘fun, quirky, one off, designer.’ These words can be a good way to really understand clearly what sort of feel you want to give off to your customers so they know what to expect.
For example, if you are a designer who creates fun, bespoke, clothing, you will want to think about how you match this in your branding. You will be looking at quirky logo font and bright colours. However if you wish for a more serious appeal, clean, simplistic design with muted colours could be perfect.
If you are a whizz at Photoshop, really experiment with colours, fonts, images and generally play around with what works and what doesn’t. If you don’t feel confident using a computer to map out some rough designs, everybody is able to use a glue stick and scissors. Create a mood board, cutting out anything you see in magazines, then mix and match and see if any potential designs come together. At best you have a really good starting point for a designer to work with if you are going to approach somebody to design your logo or complete brand.
If you are lacking time, yet your budget will afford you professional help, make sure you research different companies gathering a range of quotes. Ask to see previous work, as some companies might specialise in certain industries. If you have taken time to understand what it is you are aiming for, and have gathered together a mood board, it will help your designer reach the desired design sooner saving hassle, time and money.
Branding can be a fun task as long as you remain clear and focussed on what you want. It is the time your business identity really comes together. If you get it completely wrong, it’s not the end of the world, re-branding is possible, and re-printing costs for your display and business cards can be done at a low cost, but make sure you don’t alienate your current customers and confuse them.
This is a Guest Post:
About the author: Kirsten works for whoishostingthis, but also has experience in design and setting up a sideline business. In her current role she works hard with new businesses making those first steps to get online.