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Business Branding – Everything You Need To Know To Do It Yourself

In this post you’ll learn exactly what branding is, why it’s so important for the success of your business or blog and how you can brand your business or blog step by step to make it a strong and successful brand

When I started my blog almost two years ago I wanted it to reflect my personal style and that it should be aesthetic and easy to use and that my {future} readers will want to spend as much time as possible reading it. As a beginner blogger, everything was very preliminary to me – I always liked blogs and read them from an early age, but I had no idea what it meant to start a blog and what was involved in setting it up and running it.

One thing was clear to me – I wanted to create a place that’s completely mine and turn it into something beyond just another website on the Internet.

{If you clicked on this post, I guess that’s exactly what your feelings about your blog or business are 🙂 }

 

Haven’t created a blog or a website for your business? My guide will help you create an independent website in less than 15 minutes!

Business branding for small businesses

From the first moment I decided to create the blog “Hedonistit”, I knew that I didn’t want it to be just a hobby, but a business that I could really invest the best of me into. As such, I knew that I not only had to differentiate it from other sites, but also had to create a “persona” based on certain values that my target audience could easily connect to. I chose the name of my blog based on this persona, and after creating the blog with WordPress, the next natural step was to think about what the site itself would look like – the colors, the fonts, the logo and, of course, the site’s design.

The entire process was very intuitive for me, and only with time I discovered that this process I started from the beginning was the exact way to successfully do the branding for a business.

Over the past two years I’ve refreshed the site with a new logo and an upgraded design template, but the initial branding remained basically the same as I had planned when I first created the site. And what can I tell you – I keep getting compliments on the branding of Hedonistit, so I’m pretty sure I did it the right way 😉

Whether you’re a blogger or a small business owner, this guide will take you step by step and will show you how to correctly and qualitatively brand your “baby” to differentiate you from competitors and attract readers or your ideal customers.

 

WHAT’S BRANDING?

Branding is one of those vague marketing terms that can be a bit confusing at first.

So before we understand exactly what the word “branding” means, it’s important to shatter the biggest myth about branding – branding is NOT just a logo, it’s NOT just the brand’s color palette and it’s NOT just the design.

Branding is far beyond all these.

Quality and successful branding should be first and foremost based on the set of values ​​you want to be identified with your business. Branding actually combines the perceptions, feelings, experiences, and expectations that you want your potential customer to experience when meeting your product {whether it’s a tangible product or service}.

All the design aspects – the logo, the colors and the other visual characteristics – are, in fact, only the products obtained from the branding process.

 

In order for a business, large or small as it may be, to be successful, it must be based on a uniform and unique branding that’s based on the values ​​of the brand and that’s reflected in the way it looks and the atmosphere it conveys.

WHY DOES A BLOG NEED BRANDING?

Okay, so you understood why every business needs successful branding… but why does a blog also need branding, even if it’s a hobby and not a business?

Although “branding” is perceived more as a business term, creating a quality and cohesive brand is also very important for bloggers.

Consistent and proper branding leads to trust, which forms the basis for the growth of a community of committed and loyal readers. The values ​​that stand behind the blog should be expressed consistently through the tone of speech you communicate with readers on all the platforms where you are present {blog, newsletter and social networks}, and also through the visual characteristics of the blog {logo, colors, photography style, graphics, etc.}.

In the end, your readers should be able to identify your unique branding even if they encounter it outside the boundaries of the blog.

Business branding

The Perfect Guide To Branding A Business / Blog

Before you start reading this branding guide, I recommend you take a few hours and sit with a paper and a pen 🙂

This isn’t something you should rush with.

 

Step One – What Are The Brand Values And Who Is The Ideal Customer

The first step in correct branding is to start with the brand strategy, that is, to examine the values ​​on which the brand will be based on and who are its ideal customers.

There are several ways to find out what values ​​you want to be identified with your brand :

1. Ask yourself questions that will make you dig deeper into the heart of your business or blog and allow you to truly understand the values ​​that stand at the base of your business {you can find sample questions in my free branding workbook below!}.

2. Visualize your blog / business as a tangible place– How would you like someone entering this place to feel? What would they see? What feelings would they experience? Write down all the things that came up from this exercise because the values​​you want to instill in your brand are at their base.

3. Visualize your blog / business as a person– What’s his style? What’s his tone of voice? Which features are most prominent? What are his values?

4. List of associations– Write on a paper all the words that come to mind when you think about your business. Not all words will fit into a particular category, but at the end of the process you can choose the ones that best reflect your brand.

The next part is to define the “persona” or personality of the ideal customer with certain criteria. This definition describes the target audience of your business or blog. It’s important to remember that you’re branding a business or blog is for the target audience and not for yourself, so you need to think about it from the customer’s point of view.

Psst…want my “Step One Branding Workbook”? It’s a free download you can get by clicking the button below.  It’s a great asset to have when working on your branding. In the workbook, you’ll find all the questions you need to ask yourself before you move on to the next step 🙂

fill in the form below to subscribe to my newsletter to receive regular updates, killer tips, guides from me & get instant access to the FREE step I branding workbook!

At the end of this brainstorming session you’ll get a very clear picture of your brand values and target audience.

 

Step Two – Create An Inspiration Board

After you’ve decided what will be the base of your brand it’s time to get creative!

The most important thing to do before designing visual materials for a business {for example, a logo} is to create a cohesive inspiration board that will help you understand the atmosphere and style of something that doesn’t actually exist yet. This inspiration board is actually a collection of images that convey the style and atmosphere you want your brand to have.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you probably won’t be surprised if this is where my favorite tool comes into the picture – Pinterest!

Pinterest is an amazing tool for inspiration and therefore will serve you a lot in building the visual side of your brand.

If you haven’t started using Pinterest and have no idea how it works, you should read this post before moving on 🙂

Now, what you need to do is open a secret board on Pinterest and “pin” around 30 images that you’re attracted to and that can inspire your target audience. You should select pictures from different niches, even if they don’t directly connect to your business {like landscapes, home decor, makeup, inspirational quotes, food}, and color combinations, fonts and logos you liked.

After that, examine in depth the pictures that you “pinned” – is there a recurring motif of colors, textures, font style? If so, select 5-10 images you connected with most and download them to your computer. If you didn’t find a recurring motif, continue to “pin” with all your power 🙂 I promise you that you’ll also find your motif.

We’ve reached the moment of truth – create a collage of all the images you’ve saved using software such as Photoshop or CanvaYour cohesive inspiration board is ready for work! 🙂

This board will give you the atmosphere of your brand and the direction of the colors, textures and fonts that will suit it.

Here are some great inspirational boards I’ve found in Pinterest {Clicking on any of the pictures will take you to the source in Pinterest} :

Step Three – Select The Colors, Textures, And Fonts

Once you’ve created the inspiration board, it’s time to choose the colors, textures, and fonts you’ll use with all your branding materials. These will be the visual markers that over time will be identified with your brand.

A. Colors – Choose 4-6 colors that will make up your brand’s color palette. Decide which ones will be the primary colors and which should be the secondary colors. Find the exact color code for each color and save it so you can use the exact same color throughout the whole branding process.

B. Textures– Adding textures to business branding is optional, but it enriches the visual language of the business. The textures you choose can be used as backgrounds for graphics that you’ll create for your business / blog and for backgrounds for photography. Greate textures for isnpiration can be found in this link.

C. Fonts– It’s recommended to choose permanent fonts that will accompany the business in its branding materials. A large selection of free fonts can be found here. Additionally, using the Google WordPress Plugin, you can use the fonts you chose in your WordPress site, and not just on your graphics 🙂

 

 

Step Four – Create A Logo

After you’ve chosen the colors and atmosphere of your brand – it’s time to finally talk about the logo! The logo is actually the trademark of your brand, so it’s important to choose a logo that matches the atmosphere you created in the inspiration board in the second step.

Here you have two options –

1. Design a logo yourself using Photoshop or other design software.

2. Contact a professional graphic designer who will create a logo for you.

Hedonis-Tip : You can find graphic designers on ETSY who can create a custom logo at a very reasonable price according to the inspiration board you’ll give them 🙂

I designed my first logo using Photoshop and when I refreshed the site I decided to upgrade and turn to professional graphic designers who managed to accurately achieve the vision I had in mind 🙂

My logo evolution - Hedonistit.com

Step Five – Design The Branding Materials That Will Accompany The Business

It’s time to think about the branding materials that will accompany your brand apart from the colors, textures, and logos you chose in the previous steps.

These branding materials can include the permanent graphics that will appear on the site, a minimal logo for water stamps for photos and graphics for social networks, in the case of blog branding, or brochures, business cards, price quotes, etc. in the case of any other business.

This is also the time to think about the style of the pictures that will accompany your brand. Whether you’re using pictures you take yourself or whether you prefer to use pictures from different sources, you’d better decide what atmosphere you’ll get from the pictures. You should ask yourself – what is the colorfulness of the pictures? Is it uniform or not? Which consistent filters do you want to use?

Step Six – Branding Board

Once you’ve created all the visual elements that will accompany your brand, it’s a good idea to create a brand board that will combine all of the trademarks of your business in one place. Also in this case I recommend using software like Photoshopillustrator or Canva.

 

Here are some great branding boards I’ve found in Pinterest {Clicking on any of the pictures will take you to the source in Pinterest} :

Step Seven – Choose A Template And Match It To Your Unique Branding

That’s it! We made it to the last step – choosing a design template for your blog or business website 🙂

 

 

In this guide I explained exactly what criteria you should pay attention to before purchasing the perfect template for your site.

After purchasing the template, simply adapt it to your brand’s colors, insert your new logo and permanent graphics {if there are any} and start dancing all over the house – you did it! You’ve branded your business like a pro!

Have you already branded your business or blog professionally? If so, leave a link in the comments – I’d love to see!
If you liked this post, share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest! ♡

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14 Responses

  1. Totally agree with you on your attitude towards brand building! You’re doing such a great job and your brand is super strong! Kisses, Mieke

  2. This post is absolutely FAB! Thanks for sharing all this information! It’s so important to get your branding right 🙂

  3. Wow!

    Great guide with lots of knowledge about branding.

    This shows that a brand is much more than simply a name and a logo, while still easy to read and understand.

    Thanks

  4. I can’t even begin to tell you how helpful your post has been. I started blogging a couple of years back before going on a long hiatus. I want to go start again but this time I want to do it as a business rather than an amateur hobby. I never realized all the technical work that went into having a well-rounded blog.

    Can you please explain step 5? I didn’t quite understand it.

    1. Hi Areen! I’m super glad that you found my branding guide useful 🙂

      Regarding step no. 5 – this steps talks about designing branding materials, such as business cards & Pinterest graphics, that will have a cohesive look with the rest of the branding you did for your blog. Does that make sense?

      T

  5. Thank you for this post,
    It was an inspiring read, and I am very interested in your branding workbook, but for some reason, I do not seem to get the email. Not sure if it is because I am already subscribed.

    1. Thank Roxanne, so glad you found it useful 🙂
      Check out your inbox again, I’ve just sent you the branding workbook again.

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