Branding basics: Building your brand

graphic By Mirella Marie

Building a brand is one of the most important parts of business, yet also one of the most overlooked. For a brand to be sustainable, it must evolve with a business’s life cycle and meet the changing needs of its audience.

Here are five things to consider to when building your brand:

  1. Vision

A strong brand starts with a vision. If you’re unsure what yours is, ask yourself the following:

  • Who do you want to serve?
  • What are your brand’s values?
  • What is your “why”? (Meaning, why do you do what you do?)

Once you identify these points and present them in a clear way people can understand, you’ll start attracting an audience that shares those values and relates to your “why.”

  1. Credibility

It’s natural that people will wonder if you can really deliver what you say you can, so having a quality designed brand identity and website is the first step to instilling trust in your audience. Testimonials, case studies (where applicable), and high-quality photos of your work will also help alleviate doubt, convey professionalism, and establish your expertise. Credibility by association is another way to positively shape people’s perceptions of your brand, so make an effort to align your business with leaders in your industry (and others) and people who are smarter than you.

  1. Authenticity

There is no shortage of pretenders on the Internet, which is why being authentic is so important. While many businesses might have a tightly curated Instagram feed, people want to see what goes on behind the scenes because it’s more relatable. For example, showing sketches of your latest design will give people a look into your creative process instead of just the final product. Being true to yourself, knowing your brand, and injecting your personality into it will help you stand out in your competitive industry and attract people who resonate with you.

  1. Visibility

Your brand needs to be visible in order for people to recognise it. Positioning your brand in front of the right people in the right places at the right times will keep your brand front of mind and help it become memorable. For example, if there’s an event your audience will be attending, find a way to promote your brand to them through that event. The more it is seen, the more likely people are to remember you when they need the products or services you offer. Never give people time to forget about you.

  1. Consistency

As with anything, consistency is key to achieving results, and your brand is no different. Being consistent shows that you’re reliable; in turn, people will know what to expect when dealing with you. For example, having the same imagery across all your communications will encourage trust and brand recognition. If you’re consistent with when and how you communicate, your brand will grow sustainably.

Remember, your brand is one of your business’s most valuable assets and building it is an ongoing process that takes time, work, commitment, and passion to be successful.

Mirella Marie is the owner and creative director of Vertigo, a Melbourne-based graphic design studio specialising in brand identity and design. She is also a contributor for Women of Graphic Design, a project examining the work of female designers around the world. Join her on Instagram at @studiovertigo.