As pretty as your logo is, your brand should be more than just great design. Building effective branding, either for your business or for you as a person, is about defining what you are, what you stand for and how you are different to those around you.
In reality, most brands are built by attributing many of the features we associate with people to a product or service. If you think about your best friend or partner; and the things that make you like them; their aesthetics may well be a part; but you are likely to talk about their personality, their values, the things they believe in and the elements that make them truly unique. We take these same areas and highlight them to build out a compelling brand story.
What should I be thinking about when building out a brand?
Before you start building a brand you have to get the salient facts clear; which can actually involve more toing and froing than you would think. This is a really important step in the process of brand building and acts as a foundation for future steps. Essentially you are finding out the essential truth of the day to day of what your business does, from identifying your target market (by the way, everyone is not a target market), through to getting clear on exactly what it is that you offer. Some good starting points for this are the below
Although these questions may seem simple, the deeper you go the richer the rewards.
What is your industry? | What is your target market?
Who are your competitors? | What do you actually do?
What makes what you actually do valuable?
Once you have the basics covered, think emotionally
Thinking again about the example of your best friend, look at the bare facts that are above and ask yourself how can I flesh out what we do and who we do it for in a rounded out way that explains how we are different from those around us. When pondering the questions below, ask yourself about how your competitors in the market express their values or beliefs. How are yours different from theirs? Or, if they are similar, how can your personality help differentiate you in a crowded market?
What tangible and emotional benefits does your product bring the user?
What does your business truly value? | What does your business truly believe?
How does your business express what it does? | How does your business expressit's values?
Using both of these sets of information you want to explain then
What is your business why?
What is the essence of your business?
What is it's mission statement?
Together all these facts will help you decide on future business decisions, including everything from how you visually express your brand. To how you build brand language, and the people you hire to build the culture that makes your brand live in real life.