Time to shine: how to build your brand online
Updated: Jul 20, 2021
1.Take Stock of What You’ve Got
Before jumping feet first into building your brand, take a moment to look around at what you have already. Are you starting completely from scratch? Do you have a business that you want to expand, but no online presence? Perhaps you already have a brand that you want to revamp? Now’s the time to sit down and hammer out the key values, goals, and principles you want your brand to reflect. What’s at the core of your business? How do you want your customers to see, think, and interact with you? This is Google’s mission, which lies at the heart of its business. Once you’ve decided on your core values, you need to reflect them across every aspect of your brand. If you don’t have a business yet, that’s okay! It can actually be much better to start with your brand, and use that as a strong foundation to build your business upon. It means your brand is at the core of your business, rather than being lumped in as an after-thought. If you already have a business or brand, you can make use of anonymous surveys to learn what your audience loves, and work out what to leave behind as you move forward.
2. Do the Research
Once you’ve pinned down exactly where you’re coming from and where you want to go, it’s time to figure out your route. Luckily, there are others who have already done the journey, who you can learn some valuable lessons from. That’s right – we’re talking about good old-fashioned spying (also known as competitor research), and we highly recommend it. These are brands that have made it – they’ve been where you are, and got it right. And now they can (albeit unwittingly) help you get it right, too. Don’t just head straight for the biggest brands you can think of – there’s no point channeling Coca-Cola if you’re running an independent beauty store. keep it reach, and focus on brands you admire that are successful in your industry, or embody similar values to your own. Alongside this thrilling undercover snooping, you also need to understand one of the most important parts of your brand – your target audience. You can’t please everybody – it’s a fact of life. This means you need to narrow down your audience – who are you trying to reach? How will you engage them? Why would they choose your brand over your competitors’? It’s all very well saying this, but how do you research your future audience? Here are some ways to get started:
Talk to people – ask them about their buying habits: which brands are their favorites? Why? What’s missing for them in this category?
Put yourself in their shoes – if you’re running an online store, get shopping. If you’re a service-based business, request quotes. If you’re creating a personal brand, follow blogs or relevant Instagram accounts. What can you offer users that these brands can’t?
Get nosy – head to your competitors’ sites and do some digging. Check out any reviews or comments sections, and head to their social media accounts, too. What are their customers happy with or complaining about?
3. Invest in Your Brand
The main purpose of this step is to point out that you will probably need to spend some money to get your new brand off the ground. Yes, there are probably ways of creating a brand that are free – but the truth is, if you want a professional brand, be prepared to invest in it. There are some basic things it’s always worth paying for, including:
Your logo – nothing says shady like a weird, grainy, or downright ugly logo. It’s worth getting someone to design it properly! It doesn’t have to cost you a bomb either, if you use a site like Tailor Brands to design your logo. In fact, we even have an exclusive 25% discount code to use on any Tailor Brands plan. Just enter WBE25 at checkout to get 25% off!
Your website – whether you pay a developer or build your own using a website builder, your website is worth investing in.
Professional tools – upgrading to premium online tools can save you tons of time and stress down the line.
Remember, your brand is your business’s personality – it’s how people think about and interact with your business. Having a shoddy logo or website is like turning up to a business meeting in socks and sandals. But my brand is going to be chill and cool! That’s fine – your brand doesn’t have to portray a suit and tie kind of vibe, but it should ooze trustworthiness. And that’s where putting some money in really helps – chill doesn’t have to mean cheap, after all. Imperfect Produce is a company that delivers ‘wonky’ fruit and veg to cut food waste – you can see from its Instagram posts that it’s fun, but professional. Further Information
Investing in your brand doesn’t have to be expensive! Read our review of the Best Cheap Website Builders to find out how low your costs could be.
Investing in a professional logo and website will help boost your brand’s credibility. Discover 30 Factors That Influence Website Credibility in our helpful list, and learn how to create a trustworthy website.
4. Design Your Business
This is the really fun part, and also a crucial step for creating your brand. It’s time to decide on your fonts, colors, and logo! Our top tip here is to keep it simple. It’s easy to get carried away with the whole spectrum of colors and hundreds of fonts at your fingertips. Colors The trick with choosing your colors is not to be bland, but also not to throw every shade of the rainbow in there. Try to choose a primary color, and a complimentary secondary color. For example, Coca-Cola uses red as its primary color, with white as its secondary color. McDonald’s is famous for it golden arches, alongside its red and white signs. The world’s most famous brands, such as Coca-Cola, use their color schemes and logos as a central part of their business, marketing, and products. When you’re picking your color scheme, it’s worth taking a dip into the weird and wonderful world of color psychology. Certain colors cause certain reactions in us – for example, blue is calming and evokes a sense of trust, while red is powerful and energetic, but can also make people feel agitated. Fonts Fonts can also make or break your brand. You don’t have to stick with a single font for everything, but don’t go too overboard. Pick one for headings and one for body copy, and make sure they don’t clash. And whatever you do, don’t pick Comic Sans – you have been warned. Logos A quick note on choosing your logo design – it doesn’t have to be extravagant or complicated! When you think of the most famous logos, they tend to be very simple and easy to remember. Don’t worry if you’re not sure where to start designing your logo. Online logo makers such as Tailor Brands are a quick and easy way to get professional designs. You simply enter your brand’s name and choose which styles you like the best, and Tailor Brands creates a range of logos for you to choose from. If you’re including both a symbol and your business name in your logo, it’s worth also having one designed that just features the symbol, as this can be useful on social media or to cement your brand. You get social media logo sizes on Tailor Brand’s cheapest Basic plan – it looks more professional to have your logos optimized for different platforms, to avoid them looking squashed or stretched! Here’s our full logo, with the WBE symbol alongside the full name Website Builder Expert. Here we only use the symbol part of our logo, as it looks much cleaner on social media. Further Information
Not sure which colors to pick for your brand or your website? Check out our handy guide on How to Choose a Good Color Scheme.
Read our guide on How to Make a Logo for some inspiration on turning your design idea into reality.
Fonts can be tricky – avoid the pitfalls with our guide on.
5. Find Your Voice
The final step before actually launching your brand is to find your voice. This sets the tone for your brand, and will lie at the very heart of everything your brand produces – from on-site copy to emails, adverts and social media campaigns. Your tone, voice, and values need to be consistent and transparent across your whole brand. It’s no use having a friendly, informal voice on your social media, but then a dry, serious voice on your website. A great example of a brand with a strong tone of voice is Innocent, the smoothie company. Its consistency is impressive – everything from the lack of capital letters to the simple, informal language. The tone of its blogs, emails, and labels all work together to create a clear brand image. Innocent is a great example of how important having a consistent tone of voice can be for a brand’s image. Playful, friendly, sustainable. These are just a few things Innocent wants you to associate with its brand, and it succeeds through its consistent use of voice. What are the three words you want to reflect your brand? Top tip! If you’ll have a team of people writing for your brand, put together a style guide to help keep the tone of voice consistent across all your platforms. This can give guidance on tone – for example, “confident and friendly” – as well as grammatical things, such as how to write numbers or where to capitalize.