By Natasha Romanelli
Branding yourself and your business or project is just one of the things you’ll have to do in order to get noticed and differentiate yourself from your competition. And here’s how.
Understanding what a brand is:
When beginning to build a brand, it’s important to know that it’s not just a logo. A brand becomes one’s overall impression and experience with your customers and audiences. You do that by creating emotional connections that directly relate to who they are.
Start with why:
Understanding what makes you unique — your personality, the differences you bring, who you are and WHY you’ve chosen to start a business in the first place, are all key to unlocking your brand and how you will be sharing it with the world.
“People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”
Author of ‘Start with Why’
Before you start sharing yourself with the world, you really need to understand the importance of why you’re doing this in the first place. This task can be challenging, and you may find yourself having to go back, revising it several times. It’s very common to change your ‘why’. After all, we are human and have evolved over the years. So, too, will your business and its model.
THE 3 V’s to building your brand:
What’s the 3V’s? Let’s break ti down with a creative process that I like to call, The Three V’s. By understanding these V’s and answering them the best that you can, you’ll be sure on your way to creating a memorable and unique brand that others will come to love and admire.
Note, You can easily speed through these steps, but I recommend that you take your time and really dig deep. People can sniff out a fake a mile away so it’s always best to stay vulnerable and be authentic in your answers.
Step 1: What’s your Value?
V = VALUE // What’s your belief system, what do you value, your morals, why are you doing this in the first place? Once you’ve answered this in detail, then do it again and again until you feel that you’ve really brought yourself and your business to life on the page.
Step 2: What’s your Voice?
V = VOICE // How do you share your beliefs, your values, your truth to your tribe (your demographic)?
To discover who your tribe is, ask yourself. Is it a Man or a Woman? What are their ages? What type of education do they have? What would be their yearly income? What keeps them up at night? What are their desires?
By gathering these key insights you’ll start to understand how you can share your voice with them so that you can relate.
Once you’ve finished that, begin to write down how you would like to communicate to your tribe, and make sure that it’s written in your voice, your tone and manner. Make it sound just like you.
Start up Tip: To get clear on your tribe, chances are, they’re just like you but only a few steps behind you.
Step 3: What are your visuals?
V = VISUALS // Now that you’ve master how you want to communicate with your tribe, you need to think about how are you going to visually communicate with them?
This is the fun creative part.
Now you get to design your brand identity, your logo, make font choices, choose colours, photography and design style. This logo and design will become key to all your marketing tools and executions, such as your website, business card, FB business page, Twitter page, flyers, posters, etc…
Building a brand is just like building a home, just for you!
The foundation is your VALUE.
The structure/walls is your VOICE.
The decoration is your VISUALS.
If you don’t have a structurally sound foundation, your home is in jeopardy. Which is why it’s important to develop your brand in these steps; The Three V’s.
Building Brand equity:
Once you’ve developed your brand, you’ll have to sustain it to start building an emotional connection with your tribe. This is called ‘Brand Equity’. The more consistent you are with your Values, Voice and Visuals, the more people are going to jump on board with whatever product or service you are selling and they’ll be
sure to stick around.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, it’s in our nature to evolve, and as time goes on so will your brand. That said, you don’t want to start changing things up every day, week, or month on who you or what services and products you are selling. It’s going to confuse your
tribe/ community that you’ve worked so hard to build. People will leave.
People love consistency and familiarity, especially when it’s with their favourite brands.
ABOUT NATASHA ROMANELLI:
Natasha is an international award winning Art Director and Graphic Designer. Having worked in advertising for over a decade, Natasha became an expert at bringing her clients’ brands to life, through multiple mediums and platforms. She currently resides in Georgetown, ON with her husband and two beautiful boys. To visit her and sign up for more branding tips go to www.natasharomanelli.com