A step by step branding process for your small business

The Path to Creating a Business Identity:

So many new entrepreneurs get lost in creating a brand for their business, often putting too much money and thought into how a logo or website should look, but not focusing enough on what impact that logo or website will have on their audience. Answering the questions below, and then doing the exercises at the end, should help you quickly create a solid business identity that is affordable, professional, and one that compels people to take action.

The first step in creating a brand is to determine your business landscape. What is your industry? What is your role? What other businesses are in your industry. How do they present themselves on the web, with their logo, and as personality types?

Industry Analysis:
  • What is the title of your industry?
  • What is the title of your business role?
  • List 5 other great websites that are also in your business industry
  • What makes the websites great?
  • What are 5 keywords that define your role and your industry?
Get a full picture of your core audience. Who is your core audience and what are their interests, both in general and those interests your business will address.

Intended Audience:
  • Audience profile (demographic)
    • Potential clients (Profile/demographic)
    • Potential collaborators (Profile/demographic)
  • Audience self-identity (what would they say about themselves?)
  • Specific persona (similar to values snapshot, describe a single fictional (or real) person who is your perfect client: include behavior patterns, brands, goals, diet, income, family history, hobbies, personality, etc.)
  • What are 5 keywords that identify your business with your audience?
Core Audience Desire:
  • What is the common, core, value held by your clients?
  • What is the common, urgent, Problem driving clients to you?
  • How is the core value blocked by the common problem?
  • What 5 keywords connect your business with audience desires?
Personal Values:
  • Discover how you are seen now: Ask your community who they see you as now, what gifts you bring, and what style they see you presenting. Don’t focus on what they think your brand should look like, instead just find out what they see today.
  • Values: List 5 simple reasons WHY it is good for the World that you are in business.
  • Essence: What is the single MOST valuable thing you do as a business person?
  • Keywords: What 5 keywords best define your business identity, values, and essence?
What role do you play for your Clients?
  • Sample Desired Testimonials
  • What will you mean to your clients
  • How will your audience describe you?
  • How will your offer be seen as a solution?
  • What 5 keywords define the role you play for your clients?
Your Offering’s Solution:

Describe, in one sentence, how your offer removes your clients’ urgent problem and how that will allow them to fulfill their core value. What 5 keywords embody the solution your business offers?

  • The single proof point (The evidence of your key value)
  • Credibility point examples (Testimonials, awards, history, standing, etc.)
  • What 5 keywords prove your value to your clients?
Intuitive Call to Action:
  • What statements and images will call people to action.
  • Apparent Differentiation (How will the audience see you as the best solution?)
  • What 5 keywords distinguish your business from the crowd?
Forging Your Identity

Consistent Selling Concept Steps:

List all the keywords you generated in the steps above into a single list. Organise them into:

  • Industry
  • Audience
  • Audience Desires
  • Personal Values
  • Role
  • Offering Solution
  • Evidence
  • Call to Action
      1. List 5 ways potential clients see their urgent problem as insurmountable
      2. List 5 common compelling desires of your audience that are blocked by their insurmountable problems.
      3. Using your keywords, create 10 phrases that express your offering as a solution to your audience’s urgent problem, including how their desires will be met.

Imagery Steps:
List all the keywords you generated in the steps above into a single list. Organise them into:
      • Industry
      • Audience
      • Audience Desires
      • Personal Values
      • Role
      • Offering Solution
      • Evidence
      • Call to Action
  1. Do a Google image search on interesting combinations of those keywords
  2. Identify compelling, consistent, and unique icons within the image results
  3. Collect a creative image deck, which along with your content.
  4. Notice and collect common, unique, or compelling elements that turn up in your Google searches. This collection will help you and your graphic developer generate your identity.

Specific Content Package Requirements:
  • Create a list of required identity environments:
    • Website
    • Facebook page
    • Business card
    • eBook format
    • Letterhead
    • ...etc.
  • List the required components of each environment
  • Note the purpose and value of each component
  • Capture exceptional examples within your industry
  • Define those characteristics providing excellence

Website Specific Identity Development:

The Business Identity
  • The consistent selling concept
  • Keywords
  • Business Name
  • Slogan
  • Theme
  • Logo
  • Icon
  • Color
  • Font
  • Associated Collateral

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