How to Build a Strong Brand
A Branding Masterclass for Startups & Founders
Do not index
Do not index
First things first, branding is not your logo.
There are a ton of misconceptions about what branding is, but number 1 is that your brand is your logo and your slogan.
The truth is, branding is so much more than that!
In this article, we’re going to show you all the components of a branding strategy, why it matters, and how you can test your brand.
What is Branding?
Think of branding as someone’s gut feeling about your company or service. It’s not about what you say it is; it’s about what they communicate it to be.
Your name and logo only represent a small portion of your overall brand, like the tip of an iceberg.
Why does branding matter?
Without knowing much about who you are or what your mission is, consumers make decisions based on first impressions.
True branding is what’s under the water. We call this your brand strategy.
It includes your purpose, mission, vision, values, culture, customer journey, and more.
What does this mean for you?
As a leader in your company, it’s your responsibility to support a team so they can consistently make brand-informed decisions for your company.
Let’s look at the brand strategy components more closely, so you implement them in your own business.
A company's purpose is your “why.”
It should not have anything to do with money, it won’t change with the market, and it should feel big.
A purpose is not something you can accomplish in a day or maybe even a lifetime. Sometimes, company purposes can even feel impossible. Here’s what Tesla’s purpose statement is.
A vision statement is a visualization of the future.
Similar to purpose statements, these should also feel big. This is your company's vision for the future, it should be larger than your 5-year business goals.
Take a look at Microsoft’s vision.
Their vision statement was crafted at a time when computers couldn’t fit on a table in your home. So, they visualized a future where it was possible and then worked to make it happen.
Your values are your company’s core beliefs, which will ultimately guide what employees do and how they do it.
Values are often overlooked as unimportant, but they can have a major impact on every major decision your company makes, so we don’t recommend skipping this crucial branding strategy component.
You’ll regret it if you do.
Components included in visual identity are the things that come to mind when people think of branding–it’s okay to think about the logo now.
This is arguably the most important thing to get right. Why?
It’s incredibly hard to change your brand name once you’re successful without major implications for your business.
As a rule of thumb, don’t choose names that need to be explained, are difficult to spell, or are hard to remember.
When designing your logo, keep these 4 points in mind. Make it…
- Connected to your value
20 years ago, mobile devices weren’t in almost every hand across the country. Today, they are. That means your logo needs to be something people can easily see, whether it’s the size of an app or the size of a billboard.
Here are some examples of good and bad logos.
Good Logo vs Bad Logo
Your Brand in the Wild: Putting Your Strategy to the Test
After you’ve developed your branding strategy, it’s time to launch your website.
Your website is the first place you’ll get to test your brand on the wild web.
When a user lands on your landing page, you have 7 seconds to capture their attention before they hit the famous “back” button.
Follow these 5 steps to building a landing page that converts:
- Explain the value you provide in the title
- Explain how you’ll create that value in the subtitle
- Let the user visualize it with a video, photo, or some kind of mockup
- Make it believable by sharing social proof in the form of reviews or testimonials
- Make taking the next step easy with a strong call to action (CTA)
Watch the episode on Youtube:
Scott Bair is a Partner at Lunour Branding Studio + Founder of TimeWell. Scott has 15+ years experience in branding and design helping Fortune 500 companies to startups. Scott participated in the first cohort of Founder University with his startup Timewell.