Branding Basics for Your Small Business
By Megan Vaughan

Get Clear On Your Branding

So you can stand out at expos, tradeshows, and online.

Branding can be a huge pain in the butt, especially when you’re wearing 15 different hats and trying to keep your business running. Branding is important and does deserve your time – but I know how it goes. You don’t want to half-ass it.

So, to help save YOU time and hassle, I am giving you this Branding Starter Kit. It helps you determine the most important parts of your brand by asking you specific questions to get you the answers quickly and efficiently.

Branding is more than a logo. It is more than your fonts and colors. It is the experience your customers have when they interact with your business, when they get online and check out your website (if you have one. If not, I recommend you do. Contact me to learn more), or if they check your Facebook page.

If your business is a person, your brand is the entire being. It is the personality, the tone, the voice, the look, and actions of the person. The logo is just a part – much like an arm or leg is just one part of a person.

What do you gain from taking the time to develop your brand?

Clarity on WHO your business is and WHAT the purpose of your business is.

I know that you know who you are and what your business stands for. Translating that into a cohesive message that is easy to explain to a potential customer or client can be much harder. No one wants a 10-minute speech on your business. They just want the who and what.

Developing your brand gives you a clear direction on how you speak about your business and who you serve.

Clear idea of who you want to target

Yes, of course you want to help everyone. Your product or service is versatile. You CANNOT target everyone however. As the saying goes: When you speak to everyone, you end up speaking to no one.

In order to get your message heard, you need to speak to specific people. Figuring out WHO you want to speak to and how you are going to speak to them is half the battle. If you get this nailed down, your marketing, advertising, design (online and offline) will follow suit. It is the ground work for other projects down the line.

The foundation to build a style guide (or brand standards guide).

As your business grows, you may need to add more people. You may start developing departments and committees. Multiple people will be representing your company. Some may not even be in the same city or state (or country) as you.

How will you ensure that everyone is correctly and appropriately representing the business you’re working so hard on creating? Spending the time now to develop your branding will give you the tools to build a style guide. This guide contains all of the standards of your brand that are to be followed. It includes how the logo will be used, what fonts and colors need to be used and for what, sign and banner specifications, tone, messaging, and so much more. Typically, as the business grows, the style guide will grow as well and become more specific. Do the work now so that you don’t have to get 300 people on board with sending the correct marketing collateral.

So, if you’re ready to get started – download this brand starter kit now. If you get through this and decide you want to go a step further and create a style guide or a moodboard (a mini-version of a style guide) then send me an email at [email protected] to get started.

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