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Day 3 – How to Start a Brand When the World is in Chaos – BRAND IDENTITY

As part of a special series we have partnered with The Six Day Business to help you start your brand. Read the Introduction and Part 1 & 2 first. You’ll need a pen and paper to fill out this section. Each question has two parts – the description and the question that you need to answer. 

DAY THREE – BRAND IDENTITY

“A brand is a reason to choose” Cheryl Burgess

Day Three is when you create your first brand for your business. Don’t worry if you’re not creative, we have some hints and tricks to get you through this.

DAY THREE – BRAND IDENTITY

  • I’m wearing a…
  • I just bought a…
  • I only work with…
  • I need another…

Just reading through the list above I’m sure names came to mind. A brand identity is how your target consumer views your business. A number of elements make up a brand: logo, name, tagline, typeface, and tone of voice. Together these indicate the value that your business will bring to the consumer. Each of these elements is important, but for today we are going to focus our attention on the name and logo.

3.1 – CREATING A NAME

The name is one of the first things a customer will hear about you. This makes it important, and this is why many people get stuck trying to find the perfect name—trust us, in the past we’ve taken weeks to come up with a name. We don’t want you to overthink this. The name needs to mean something to you—after all, you’ll be seeing it the most! You can easily develop both the name (and an eventual tagline) once you have a better idea where you want your company to go.

Key points when choosing a name:

  • Memorable, easy to pronounce and specific.
  • Not taken by another company—search on Google or local business agency to see if it already exists. –
  • Check Godaddy.com to see if the URL is available. Even though you won’t be setting up a website at this point it is good to check. You might find a competitor with the same name—that wouldn’t be good!
  • As a bonus—it helps if it’s not so complicated that you have to explain the thought process behind it

If you’re struggling to think of something, look at a Thesaurus (did an episode of Friends come to mind? No? Nevermind), and find synonyms for words that resonate with your brand. You can even think about a play on words, or even an anagram. 

Through the years we have named businesses after pets, streets and randomly chosen words from the dictionary. Right now we have a business named for Andrew’s Grandpa’s middle name, a stylised version of the word ‘curator’ and something called Small Blank Books, because well, the first books were small… and blank. 

Sometimes we have spent more time on the name than the business and needless to say, not all of these businesses still exist.

Use this table to jot down any words that come to mind when you think about your business. This is a great brainstorming exercise to align the name you choose with your goal as a business.

3.2 – DESIGNING A LOGO

After driving for hours, you see a golden arch that gets larger and larger. You start to feel hungry without realising it. You know what it stands for, even though you didn’t read the full name. You didn’t need to.

At the most basic level a logo is a combination of text and images to help us identify different brands. Right now a logo will help you look established and eventually it could mean so much more—it can be the foundation of your whole brand and will help your customers relate to what you value, what you do and who you are. To portray all of this in an image can seem like a big responsibility. 

If you are struggling for inspiration you could use a service like Pinterest.com to spark your creativity and give you some ideas. 

Let’s Talk Symbols And Colours

Colours

Colours can create strong associations with different moods. According to studies, some colours are associated with anxiety, others are known to induce calmness.

Knowing the basics can help you decide what associations you want for your brand.

  • Blue is the colour of sky and sea and is often associated with depth, stability, trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith and truth.
  • Red is the colour of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination.
  • Green is the colour of life, renewal, nature, and energy is associated with growth, harmony, freshness, safety, and environment and is also associated with money, finances, banking, ambition, greed and jealousy.
  • Yellow is the colour of joy, happiness, intellect, and energy and produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness and stimulates mental activity.
  • Black is the colour of power, seriousness and strength and indicates prestige and elegance. 
  • White is the colour of goodness, purity and light and is considered to be the colour of perfection.

Symbols

A similar principle applies when determining the meaning of different shapes:

  • Circles show unity and friendship.
  • Straight edges show practicality and stability.
  • Triangles show power.

For stories behind the most recognisable logos in the world search “most recognisable logos of all time”online. There are some fascinating stories out there for those who love branding!

Now it’s your turn:

3.3 – NEED HELP DESIGNING THE FINAL LOGO?

It is important to have a logo because you will want to use your logo in the marketing you create and then again when you ask for feedback on your idea in Day Five. 

If creativity isn’t your cup of tea you can find a freelancer online[1] and have a logo made quickly, easily, and cheaply. You will be able to find freelancers that will work with your ideas and come back with a simple logo within a day or two, for the price of a few coffees.

To help the designer you should send them the drawings you’ve created (you can take a photo of the pages) plus examples of logos and brands that you like. When working with someone for the first time try to be as clear as possible with what you want. This will save time and money and help the designer understand what you are after. 

As with anything, you are going to get what you pay for so don’t expect Michelangelo on a shoestring. If you decide to take this business further you can spend more to get a professional brand made for you.

Editor’s Note: All these small expenditures will add up, so if you decide to continue with this business you will want to keep all expenses as low as possible. For the first few years this logo might work fine!

[1] FiverrFreelancer.comUpworkGuru or Peopleperhour

AT THE END OF DAY THREE

Finishing Day Three means you now have an idea of what your business will do, an awareness of competitors, have an initial prototype and a brand! Day Four will be testing your creativity further by diving deeper in to marketing.