Branding is crucial for all businesses where it sets you apart from the competition.
Branding goes beyond logo and colors. It also includes your brand’s values, beliefs, tone and more. In a way, it represents your brand’s personality. A memorable brand identity will thus connect you to your audience and build customer loyalty.
Whether you’re creating a brand identity from scratch or planning to rebrand your business, here’s a step-by-step guide from my own experience that I hope is valuable to you.
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1. Figure Out The Branding Assets You Need
The first thing you need to do is analyze your business. Depending on the products or services you offer, there might be some branding assets that are crucial to you.
For example, if giving out flyers is an effective marketing strategy for your business, you might consider hiring a professional flyer designer.
However, there are some branding assets that are essential for all businesses like
- Logo Design
- Color Palette
Note down the branding assets you need and the budget you’re willing to spend.
2. Get A Complete Branding Package Or Just Get The Branding Assets You Need
A branding package includes a full suite of services and deliverables
- Brand Guide
- Logo Design
- Color Palette
- Website Design
- Email Templates
- Business Cards
You can browse a few branding packages to get an idea of the variety of branding assets that you can get.
If your brand is well-known or if you have a high budget, you can consider getting a branding package.
But if you’re just starting out, I highly recommend that you just get the branding assets you need. By using only a small portion of your capital for branding, you can invest more budget into developing your products or services.
Do your research and shortlist a few services that meet your needs and budget. You can also search for freelancers on Fiverr or Fiverr Pro who specialize in logo design, web/mobile design, print design and more.
Remember to communicate with your designer. Share your ideas but also listen to your designer’s ideas and explanation. Also, be specific in your feedback. You can check out my blog post on how to communicate with your book cover designer (You probably won’t hire a book cover designer unless you’re an author like me. But I feel that the tips are still applicable, no matter which type of designer you hire).
3. Update Your Website
After you’ve received your branding assets, the first thing to do is updating your website.
You probably should also update your physical store, such as signage and point-of-sale displays. But I’ll focus mostly on digital collateral since I don’t own a physical store (and thus, have no experience in updating physical collateral).
Logo, which is probably the most important branding asset, should be updated as soon as possible.
Simply update your logo under Theme Options.
You’ll also need to update the site icon. Open Theme Customizer then click on General Settings and finally, Site Identity. Remember to use a square logo for your site icon.
Some websites display the logo prominently in the header while others choose to hide it.
To hide your logo image, you just have to open Theme Customizer. Click on Header & Navigation then Primary Menu Bar or Fixed Navigation Settings. You can apply this to all devices or customize to hide for certain devices (desktop, tablet & mobile). For example, I chose to hide my logo for fixed navigation settings so that the logo doesn’t appear when I scroll down the page.
You can also hide your logo image for mobile. After opening Theme Customizer, click on Mobile Styles then Mobile Menu.
Tagline tells people who you are and what you sell. It’s usually succinct, catchy and memorable. A good tagline will thus help customers identify your brand and keep your business top of mind.
Go to WordPress Settings and click on General. You can then update the Tagline.
Another way would be accessing Theme Customizer. Click on General Settings then Site Identity and update your Tagline.
If you installed Yoast SEO plugin, you can update the homepage SEO title to include the tagline.
Colors invoke emotions in people and hence, we need to be strategic about the colors that you use in your branding.
For example, some brands like Coca-Cola use red as their brand color as it evokes passion, dominance and energy. On the other hand, green which symbolizes nature, peace and health is mostly used by healthcare and food companies, such as Starbucks. Blue which evokes trust is used in the brand logo of Twitter and Skype.
Go to the Theme Customizer and click on General Settings then Layout Settings. You can then update the Theme Accent Color.
Under General Settings, you can also click on Typography to update the Body Link Color.
If your WordPress theme has color settings, you can also update this. For instance, my Divi Lover Girly theme has many color options which I adjusted based on my brand color.
Likewise, you should edit the color settings of your WordPress plugins too. I did this for my table of contents plugin so that the link color is the same as my brand color.
The perfect brand font should communicate your brand personality.
For instance, Serif is classic and traditional while Sans-Serif is modern and minimalist.
However, bear in mind that your website font needs to be legible, readable and accessible. Some fonts require paid font licenses while some fonts might be hard to read. Check out my blog article on how to choose the perfect font~
To update your website font, head over to Theme Customizer, click on General Settings and finally, click on Typography.
About page, one of the most frequently visited pages, is where visitors get to know more about your brand.
This is an opportunity for you to introduce your brand personality and highlight the products and services you sell.
You can share the inspiration or motivation behind your products and services. Or even problems and challenges you face.
Hence, do remember to update your About page with your latest branding assets.
In fact, I added an Author Branding milestone on my About page. I wanted to share this significant event with the visitors who want to know more about me.
4. Update Your Social Media Profiles
The next thing that you need to update is your brand’s social media profiles.
You can update the profiles with your latest logo so that it’s consistent across all channels. This way, people can easily recognize your brand.
Using a well-designed logo for social media will boost brand awareness and establish trust.
Here are some social media channels
There might be other channels too based on your industry. As an author, I also updated my logo on Amazon and Goodreads since my target audience frequently visit them.
Do also consider updating your WordPress Gravatar if you frequently blog or comment on WordPress.
5. Update Your Email Signature & Templates
Email marketing is one of the most important ways to build relationships with prospects, leads, current customers and past customers. It allows you to speak directly to them by sending emails to their inbox. They can then read your emails at a convenient time.
You should be using an email marketing software like MailerLite or MailPoet to segment your subscribers, send engaging emails, build workflows and automate a series of welcome emails.
The first thing you should update is your email signature.
Showcase your brand logo and build brand recognition when communicating with your contacts.
Next, you need to update your email templates.
This includes announcements, weekly updates and even automated welcome emails.
Whether you’re branding for the first time or rebranding, you need to align your email templates. This way, your brand experience will be consistent across all marketing touchpoints.
6. Update Your Collateral
On top of the abovementioned digital collateral, you’ll also need to consider other physical and digital collateral.
- Business cards
- Presentation slides
- Packaging labels
- Product catalogs
- Price guide
Just look at the things that you usually use or send to clients. Or take the time to brainstorm and create a list of collateral to update.
7. Announce To Your Customers
After you’re done updating all your collateral, you need to announce your new branding to your customers.
Since branding is about creating a brand personality and identity, it is crucial that you convey this to your customers.
The announcement could take the form of a blog post or news article where you discuss the inspiration behind your logo and tagline or the challenges faced during the branding process.
You can take a look at my branding article. I talked about the obstacles faced as well as my experience during the logo design process.
And of course, I sent an email to my newsletter subscribers and posted it on my social media channels.
Optional: Update Featured Images On Your Website & Social Media Graphics
Last but not least, you can choose to update the featured images on your website and social media graphics.
Do note that this might take a while, depending on how many blog articles you have on your website and how many social media channels you use.
Since Pinterest is the largest traffic source for my website, I only updated my pins. I also updated the featured images in my blog posts (though I don’t think I’ll be able to do so if I’m rebranding; there’ll be too many blog posts by then). Due to the newly created pins, there was a surge in Pinterest traffic during that month 🙂
Now It’s Your Turn
How did you go about branding or rebranding your business? What steps did you take to update your website, social media accounts and more? Did you face any challenges?