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The Beginner's Guide to Branding

When starting your own business, branding can be a challenging aspect to figure out. For many new entrepreneurs, branding is more complicated than it seems at first, but branding can mean the difference between success and failure. Branding isn't that complicated if you take the time to learn about what it is, how it impacts the consumer experience, and how to reach your target market most effectively. This guide provides all that information plus more on how to get started with branding for small businesses through DIY methods and how to hire designers or agencies as needed.

What Is Branding?

A brand is a set of expectations, thoughts, and stories that, when combined, account for a consumer’s decision to select one company over another. In other words, brands are more than just logos.

How Is Branding Used?

There are many kinds of branding, but the three that typically impact business growth are logo design, business cards, and website design. Social media content and print collateral, such as brochures and posters, are also on this list.

How Does Branding Affect Consumer Experience?

A strong brand gives customers a positive experience that triggers positive associations and encourages loyalty. A powerful brand allows control over an entire image — from a logo to packaging design. Branding is something people can connect with and trust; it tells consumers a story and prompts thoughts of your company and products in distinct ways. Branding can make your company and products more memorable as well as respected among your consumers.

How To Identify and Reach Your Target Market

A whole market of people may love your product or service but have no idea it exists. How do you find them? The answer, in part, is customer research. Discover as much as you can about your target audience, how its members behave, and how they use your product, then use what you learn to promote and reach them through digital channels, such as blogs, e-newsletters, and social media.

Research Your Competition

Before starting your branding project, research examples of successful brands in your industry. Look for commonalities, color use, the tone used in social media messages. Try to understand which kind of logo looks right for your product or service.

Do You Have To Hire a Professional?

Business branding is an area of expertise. If you're someone who has never branded anything before, you probably don't want to make a DIY logo. Hiring a professional saves you time and money in the long run. Consider hiring a freelance designer who can create custom graphics for less than what an agency charges.

When communicating with a graphic designer, it may be necessary to compress JPG files for emailing, but you may lower the image quality this way. Instead, convert a PDF to Word to make any adjustments before sending the file. 

Your Company's Essence

Branding tells consumers what to expect from you and ensures they feel welcomed when engaging with your products and services. By creating a strong brand, you gain consumer trust and brand recognition to earn repeat customers.

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