Branding 101: How To Brand Yourself And Your Business

In the previous post, we talked about how you can create a profitable ideal business and how your ideal business should be an intersection of ‘what you love’, ‘what you’re good at’, and if ‘people will pay for it’.

Assuming that you have identified the correct business for you, now let’s talk about branding and why it is important.

What is branding? In simplified-term, it only means an image and idea that comes to mind of a specific product or service.

“A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers” (American Marketing Association).

Although more of than the visual recognition, branding goes beyond what consumers see visually but what they feel (emotions) when they see your product or service.

Let’s take for example lingerie brands So-en, Bench and Victoria Secret. They all sell undergarments, and in one way or another, you might have purchased from all 3. But for sure, the decision to buy elicit different emotions and that emotion you felt is that company’s specific branding.

For some people, this is how they ‘see’ these companies:

So-en – inexpensive; for kids; value for money
Bench – middle-ranged price; fit for teenagers and young adults
Victoria Secret – sexy; sophisticated

However, for some, it might be a different perception:

So-en – cheap; poor quality
Bench – Bad quality for its price
Victoria Secret – expensive; for bitches 😈

Obviously, you can’t please everybody and you shouldn’t try. The purpose of branding is to set you apart from competitors. As the business owner, you will try to influence how customers see your company’s product or service.

  • Do you want your company/product/service to be seen as ‘value for money’ or as a premium brand?
  • Do you want your company/product/service to appear as young/hip/cool or elegant/demure/luxury?
  • Who do you want your company/product/service to attract (athletes/students/women/mothers/teachers, etc.)?

So you see, creating a brand should start with figuring out what you want your business to be identified with. And most of the time, for starting entrepreneurs, your brand is more or less something that reflects you as a person.

How do you create your brand?

There are so many factors that go beyond in creating a brand. Let’s discuss here the Top 4 that you can start with as a starting entrepreneur.

LOGO

I usually advise creating logos even for small businesses because of the psychological effect it does to you as a business owner. Having a logo seems to signify that you are serious about your business. It’s not just anymore a mom-and-pop shop that goes in and out of operation depends on your mood.

Do you need to pay someone to create your logo? Not at all if you can’t afford it yet. But I suggest do it with free logo creators available on the internet instead of the usual Microsoft Word and MS Paint. I have paid a graphic designer to create our logo and design theme for SLIAN NAILS. Although for TWP, I just used Canva.

NAME

You can use your name, create a made-up name or combine different words and use it as your business name.

A little bit of trivia: Have you noticed that SLIAN is read as NAILS in reverse? This is not the original name I thought for my nail salon (I think it was Glam Queen or something) but DTI won’t approve it and we keep on coming back and forth to submit different variations of Glam Queen. Until finally I gave up and just went again to my thinking board and tried to play with words. I’m glad that we went with SLIAN because it’s unique.

Please take some time in finalizing your business name and keep in mind to choose a name which would not conflict with your brand image. If you are planning to set-up a business and brand it as a premium company selling original luxury items then don’t call it “DIVISORIA LUXURY FINDS” because it’s totally not making any sense.

TAGLINE

“In business, a tagline is one phrase (sometimes two) that provides clarity, entertainment, or emphasis to help highlight a brand’s mission, purpose, or culture. Taglines help consumers feel more connected to brands.”

Having a tagline is also a great reminder on what to focus on your business. In defining your business tagline, remember that it should be short and sweet. Nike tells you to ‘Just Do It’; Disneyland is ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’; KFC’s chicken is ‘Finger Lickin’ Good’.

And you must use your tagline in as much advertising and branding materials as possible. Try to insert it on your logo (if it makes sense) or use it as hashtags. SLIAN NAILS tagline is ‘You Deserve It’. The Wealthy Pinay is encouraging you ‘To Live the Life You Imagined’. I always try to mention these taglines when I’m doing a blog post, making videos, posting on Facebook and Instagram.

IMAGERY AND COLORS

In creating a brand, it is important that the images and color schemes you use are consistent all throughout your platforms.

I know it’s tempting to throw in a picture of your baby on your business Facebook page because she’s cute and everybody needs to see how angelic she is. But unless you are in a business of personal branding (blogger, personal development, etc.) and you want to share your ‘personal side’ then I will discourage you to do it.

If you are in the business of selling luxury items then showing a photo of your baby carrying a Balenciaga bag on your Facebook page is appropriate. But sharing a picture of her while drinking milk in a bottle might confused customers why you’re showing it.

Also try to use the same color schemes. For SLIAN, I always use the same filter and stick to our color theme of pink and white. I would sometimes throw-in gold color but you won’t see blue or black in any of SLIAN’s imagery. For TWP, I’m using tiffany blue and various shades of light blue. I also make sure to stick to our defined typography. You might be tempted to use different fonts depending on your mood (Comic Sans because you’re cheerful today or Lucida Sans Writing to reflect your femininity this morning) I would advise you against it and instead stick to certain fonts and typography.

PRICING

We know that not everything inexpensive is value for money. The same way that expensive items don’t equate to luxury. How come Lacoste can sell their shirts more expensive than others? I read from one Quora forum that the manufacturing cost of a Lacoste Polo in India is around $9 and is sold for around $60. If for example, a local retailer sells the exact same polo for only $20, would you buy it? Maybe for some people, their logical side will kick-in and would just buy from local retailer. Others won’t care because on the onset, what they purchase is not the shirt but the brand.

Can you see now how positioning your product and branding it affect how your customers perceive it? You can set your pricing based on this perception. And you should be careful not to be the cheapest unless your target customers are Class c and D.

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The purpose of branding your business is to give your customers and future customers a reason to buy your product or service. You want them to remember what you are selling and let them feel good and happy with the ‘perceived value’ of your product or service.

And as you grow your business, make sure that your partners, employees and all stakeholders understand your brand. All your actions should reflect your brand. Disneyland will fail on their tagline as the happiest place on earth if you see Snow White or Sleeping Beauty frowning and irritated to kids. Everyone in your business should be aware of what you are trying to achieve and set the guidelines to make it happen.

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Now I also mention branding yourself and why is it important in your business. I don’t mean you have to fake it and pretend to be someone you are not just to be aligned with what you are selling but think about this, would you buy an authentic original Louis Vuitton bag from someone who also sells knockoffs? If your friend is selling fake luxury items, would you easily believe that the Prada bag she’s wearing is real?

My example above is superficial but I’m just showing you the reality of how you as a person can affect how potential customers perceive your business. Unless you distance yourself from your business and don’t want to have any association with it (except financially) then what you do doesn’t matter. But for the majority, our business kind of reflects us and how others perceive us personally can indirectly help or destroy our brand.

A product can easily be copied by competitors but a brand will always be unique.

Here’s the video I shared on Facebook on the same topic.

I hope these tips are useful and follow our Facebook page if you can. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter too for some insider news, tips, and tricks ❤️

Remember: Live the Life You Have Imagined

Live The Life and Business You Have Imagined!

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