3 things to know before designing your small business branding -

3 things to know before designing your small business branding

One of the biggest misconceptions about designing small business branding is that it’s all about making things just look good. And of course, when we think of branding as such a surface-level and superficial thing, then we push it to the side and focus on other stuff. 

But designing a branding identity for your small business is not superficial. In fact, investing in a professionally designed brand and website from the get-go can have huge benefits in the long run.

Think about it, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Nowadays, every industry is packed with competition from other online business owners, so we need to differentiate ourselves from the rest. On top of that, using branding to position yourself correctly in the market can allow you to charge higher prices. And, who doesn’t want to grow their income? 

But this post is not about the benefits of professional branding and websites, but rather, what you need to know before you design the visual aspects of the branding for your small business. A designer wouldn’t just go full steam ahead picking colours and fonts. So what are the first steps?

Your business mission, values & personality 

Think about your business as a person. If you’re a solopreneur, chances are your brand is going to be very heavily influenced by you and your own personality. 

Describe your brand with 5 adjectives.

Is it cheerful, energetic & modern? Or cool, contemporary and fresh? Maybe classic, sleek and elegant is more your style. Whatever it is, have this at the front of your mind when designing your brand visuals. Do the colours, fonts and imagery you’re using fit with this description?

Again, with your brand values, if you’re an entrepreneur it’s likely that your personal values will infuse into your business. What do you stand for? What is important to you? These values should be communicated clearly to your audience through your social media content, on your website and of course, your behaviour. 

Did you know 83% of millennials buy from brands whose values align with their own?

5WPR’s 2020 Consumer Culture Report

What is your business mission? Why did you start your business and what does it do?

Figuring this out can be great for coming up with a tagline for your company. A short, snappy statement which grabs people’s attention is fab to use on marketing materials. 

Your target audience, their problems & their transformation

Who do you enjoy working with?

To identify your target audience, this is a key question. A lot of times, we also tend to gravitate towards helping those who are a few chapters behind us in their story. This is because we have successfully manoeuvered ourselves through a problem and come out the other side, whereas our ideal client is still stuck on that issue. Who better to help you solve an issue than someone who has lived it themselves? 

This idea of searching for someone to guide us is talked about in one of my favourite books by Donald Miller, Building a Storybrand. I recommend it if you are working on your small business branding! 

We also need to know exactly what our target audience is feeling. What problems do they have that they cannot solve themselves? Who would they be if they didn’t have these problems?

We all have an aspirational identity, a better version of ourselves that we want to be, right? So you want to know exactly how your business helps take clients from A to B. From that before stage where they are struggling to that after transformation where they’re better than ever before. 

Emotions & feelings associated with your branding

How do you want your audience to feel when they come into contact with your brand? For instance, if you want them to feel like your business is warm and welcoming, you shouldn’t be using a bright purple or icy blue. 

Take the time to research colour psychology rather than picking your favourite colours. Just because you’ve used a colour to paint your living room or for your new dress, doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for your brand.

Saying that though, I do think that you should like your branding and it has to reflect your personal taste too.

That’s what a professional branding designer will help you with. As an outsider, they can take into account not only your personal tastes, but those of your ideal clients and merge the two to create a visual brand identity which connects with you and your ideal clients. 

It’s not only the colours that can influence how people perceive and feel about your brand. There is also font psychology which tells us how certain typography impacts customer’s behaviour, feelings and thoughts.

See, branding really is not just about “making things look good”?

One last thing I cannot fail to mention is imagery. The types of photos you share will, again, have an impact on your potential customers’ perception of your business. 

The importance of brand photography

When you go to a spa’s website, for instance, you’ll see pictures of a calm pool with plants and trees, with not another person in sight. Why? Because they want to show you their spa is the perfect place to come for peace and quiet, somewhere you can disconnect and relax. 

Whereas, a hotel throwing Saturday afternoon pool parties is going to show a very different type of photo of their pool. There’ll be crowds of people, cocktails in hand, dancing and having fun. You can imagine the music and the atmosphere just from the photos. 

Take this into account when planning your brand photoshoot so your photos fit with your brand image and evoke the right emotions!

Now you’re ready to design the branding for your small business

Taking these three things into account before designing your branding will be super beneficial. Then, you can attract the right clients and being perceived in the way you want to be by new potential customers.

For more brand strategy & design tips, follow me on Instagram @mistdesignco

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3 things to know before designing your small business branding

Sarah Holmes

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I’m a British-born, Spanish-based Brand Strategist & Designer. I help you build an online brand that stands out from the rest and is adored by the right people, so you can not only reach the right clients, but more of them.

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