Plan and build your brand for any type of business
When starting a business, regardless of the type of your business, there are some factors that all have in common and one of them is to establish your brand.
Your brand plays a very important role in your business, keep in mind that this is the one by which all your customers will remember you and also the one that will be used in the media when talking about your company, therefore, you must take all the time necessary to plan and create it, rushing in this process can be a serious mistake.
To establish your brand, you must have clear the theme and/or niche in which your business moves, also what products or services you are going to offer, therefore before creating your brand, you must have these points clear, since our brand will depend directly on them.
If you are still not clear about what your business is going to be based on, I have a guide that will help you to plan it and study the market to know if your project is going to be viable or not.
Our brand should basically consist of at least 3 essential components, a name, a logo and a theme, although it is not superfluous to plan some more, such as a slogan or even a video presentation.
It is essential to start with the name, it is the most basic and important, everything will revolve around our name so we will take our time to find a suitable name, a good brand name is characterized mainly by the following points:
- It is brief, a single word or two at most.
- It describes or creates the idea of the activity that the brand performs.
- It is eye-catching and easy to remember
- The name is not being used and does not resemble another brand name that performs a similar activity.
To achieve this, I always do the next step, I create a list of words that go according to our activity, as well as our audience, and the different themes we cover.
Once we have our list in front of us, we just have to start playing with these words, joining and dividing them, as if it were a word game and we create another list with the possibilities that we like, the more the better.
We must also take into account the tone of the words selected depending on our target audience, we will not use the same tone in a law firm oriented to adults and companies, than in a brand for an online gaming community oriented to a young and adolescent audience.
Once we have the list of possibilities, we must apply the following questions to each of them in order to rule them out:
- Does it describe or at least can you intuit the theme of your project?
- Does it sound good and does it fit with your target audience?
- Can you remember it easily after reading or listening to it 3 times?
If these 3 questions are affirmative, then we leave the words in the list as they are, if any of them is negative in any of these 3 questions, we can discard it, cross it out and continue with the next one until we finish the list.
Well, we already have our list of possible names, now comes the final step, and is to check on the Internet if this brand already exists, has ever existed or has a similar brand that resembles it, all this basically we can do by searching the possible names one by one in a search engine such as Google for example.
Take advantage of the Google search to try to translate your name in different languages and avoid it being translated or resembling an offensive term.
The ideal is to find one that has never been used, these will be easy to recognize as they will yield very few results in Google and with zero relevance.
If we find a trademark with a lot of similarity to an existing one or one that has been used in the past, it will be better to take some time to research the trademark before using it, we do not want a bad reputation for using a past name or having a name similar to another company with a bad reputation.
At this point you should already have the definitive candidates, it is only a personal decision, choose your favorite among them, if you still can’t decide, try to pronounce them and write them several times, you can also count on the opinion of people you trust.
I do not recommend you to consult for example in an online survey because if you like the name very much it is possible that someone registers it before you can do it and you will have to start this procedure again.
As an example, one of my projects that is a website about anime, manga and Japanese culture its name was established in “Nyakamii”, an abstract word without meaning created after the fusion of the terms “Nya” and “Akami”.
Both words come from Japanese culture, so despite having no meaning it creates a clear idea that the web has to do with something related to Japan, it is short and catchy, in this case clearly oriented to a young and teenage audience, but functional also in adults.
And no, it does not translate into “Cat red meat”, “Nya” in Japanese is an onomatopoeia of cats meowing, and to “akami” which would translate into “Fish red meat” I have removed the initial and added another “i” at the end, creating a totally abstract name with no meaning whatsoever.
Color palette and design
After a good name, comes the color palette and design, we must find a style suitable to what our brand offers, for example if we have a baby items store, we can use as background colors blue or pink in pastel shades, use soft edges and a rounded text font.
However if we are creating a brand for video game peripherals, we will use dark backgrounds with neon type main colors and more aggressive borders and fonts with angled edges, a good example of this is the RoG brand of ASUS.
In a natural products store, green and brown colors together with a light and relaxing background can not be missing.
Here if I have no trick or advice, it’s a matter of choosing the main colors and the rest to play until you find the right palette, you can use online generators like Colormind that besides displaying the palette, lets you see a preview applied to a simple web in Bootstrap.
As we already have everything, creating the logo should be easier, we must create a logo that represents our brand name and that uses at least the main colors of our palette.
If, for example, we are creating a logo for a mechanic workshop, we have several options, including a vehicle, some of its parts, a tool and a text that gives a feeling of speed (for example, the typical styles used in racing videogames).
However, for a Japanese food restaurant, we will be interested in including a dragon, a cat, a bowl of ramen, some anime style chibi… and a kanji or rounded text with soft kawaii style colors.
Actually with the logo there is no trick but to leave it for the end with a name and a clear palette, however if you need inspiration, I recommend you to take ideas from some brands that develop the same activity (eye, take ideas, not plagiarize) or you can even take them from some online logo generators, if you use this option, I do not recommend you to download them and use them as they are, take ideas and develop your own, as it is possible that another brand download the logo from the same site or end up being very similar to yours.
Remember that we are creating our own brand, so it must have a personal touch, take your time because it will be worth it.
The slogan is not usually necessary but it complements your brand and helps it to be easily recognized under a short phrase, if you are starting, you can leave it for later, but when you have some time I recommend you to plan it.
We only look for a short and striking phrase, that goes a little according to our brand but it is not necessary to have as much relationship as in the previous components, we have several examples such as “In search of incredible” by ASUS, “Impossible is nothing” by Adidas, “Just do it” by Nike, “Think different” by Apple ….
As you can see, slogans alone do not tell us much, but because unlike the name and logo, its function is not to be descriptive, but to link a short phrase, easy to remember and in most cases of motivational character, so that when you read it or remember it, it automatically comes to mind your brand.
Let’s say that the slogan itself is the easiest thing to create, look for a motivating and short phrase that has at least a little relation with your activity and you will have it, as well as the name, I recommend you to use the search engines before inserting it, since it is possible that it is in use or is used somewhere that we do not want to be related to and also avoid offensive terms in other languages.
To give an example, in the example of the natural products store above, we could use a slogan such as “Life is nature”, “Live in green” or “Think naturally”.
And with this we should have everything, at least the basics, before I go, let me advise you that once you have established your brand, try not to modify it too much, I mean, once your brand is known, both the name and the logo, as its slogan will represent your business and people will already recognize it by them.
Therefore, if we change them drastically, we can create a negative effect, even confusing people thinking that it is a different brand, you can make improvements in your logo progressively, as Google has done over the years, but never make changes that totally transform it from the initial idea.
I hope these tips will help you when choosing a good brand, although at first glance it seems simple, it is a very important and complicated process. I wish you the best of luck in your new business.
I would like you to present your brands (but real cases and without spam please), as well as if you have followed any additional steps or tricks when deciding, below you have as always the comment box.