Branding Your Small Business: A Foundation Checklist
Before diving into logo design, web development and color palettes, there are some important aspects to consider when branding your small business. Think of these as the foundation for your brand.
Even though you’re not a mega-corporation, it’s still crucial that you lay your foundation correctly before addressing the visual pieces of your brand. When creating your brand, you can use the following list as a guide to help you develop a successful foundation for your brand before you tackle your brand visuals:
- Unique Value Proposition
- Mission Statement
- Vision Statement
- Brand Values
- Target Audience
- Brand Messaging
Unique Value Proposition
What is truly unique about your business? Before you can really dive into branding your small business, ask yourself: What insights, skills, or experience make you different from your competitors? If you can’t think of a single thing that is unique about what you do, you might need to reframe how you think about your business.
Example: K Design Co. offers high-end design and branding solutions for female entrepreneurs and small businesses that want to grow to become influencers and authorities in their niche.
Mission & Vision Statement
Most people know that having a clear mission and vision statement is a good starting point for their brand. Where many fall short, however, is in specificity. If your mission is simply to be ‘the best’, you aren’t describing who your audience is or how you are going to be giving them ‘the best’. If your vision is to change the world, then you need to be clear how you will achieve that. Being more specific can help you make tough decisions later on.
Example: K Design Co. exists to inspire female entrepreneurs in their businesses and equip them with the visual tools they need like logos and websites to be successful and gain industry visibility.
Without values, there are no defining principles to guide to your business or your brand. Define what matters to you and what drives you. What makes you wake up every day and say, “Yes, I want to do this!” You can also define each of your values with a small description to help make it more meaningful to you. Create a call to action from each of your values that will motivate you to live them every day.
- Purpose: Chase, inspire and celebrate the meaning and impact of your work.
- Passion: Love what you do. Have a hunger to make a difference.
- Wonder: Create solutions that amaze and inspire.
- Determination: Aspire to deliver the best, no matter what.
- Craft: Produce superior-quality work with great attention to detail.
- Stewardship: Allot and manage your time, skills and resources responsibly.
Who do you want your brand to reach? Who do you provide with products and services? Research how your target market consumes information, what they value, what they like and who they are. These insights will carry into every part of your business, from where you market yourself to the messages that you create.
Example: Our ideal customer is a college-educated female business owner who has a family and is a key decision maker for their business. She is active in her community and cares about leaving a positive mark on the world. She likes to attend things like farmers’ markets, festivals and charity events to engage in her community and market her own business. She values her time above all and likes to stay in her lane of expertise and leave the rest to someone else. She knows she is going places with her business, but needs some help and a vote of confidence to get her there.
If you’ve already developed the previous brand elements, (unique value proposition, mission, vision, values, and target market) crafting your message should be a piece of cake. Your message can take the form of an elevator speech, tagline or webpage title; but what is most important is that it speaks to your audience in your brand’s voice. Make sure to add some of your own personal flair, but do your best to also keep it professional.
Example: Are you a fierce and fearless female entrepreneur seeking a branding BFF? K Design Co. can help. Quit stressing about your brand and let’s partner up to help you create the gorgeous one-of-a-kind brand you know your business deserves.
Still, have a question about branding your small business or what it takes to create an awesome brand? Contact K Design Co. Or comment with your ideas about what you think it takes to build a brand. You might also want to check out 5 Smart Tips for Branding Your Startup Business.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brand Strategist & Design Consultant
I specialize in helping entrepreneurs and business owners bring their passions and dreams to life through branding strategy and design. While I have vast experience working with companies, agencies and organizations of all sizes, I especially enjoy working with female entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses. It’s my privilege to work alongside business owners as they launch, grow and maintain their business’ brands. I’d love to have the opportunity to help you with your needs as well whether that be branding, logo design, web design or something else. Let’s chat!
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