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Branding 101: The Art of Crafting a Killer Brand Identity

Part 1 of 2: Creating a brand identity & leaning into your uniqueness and quirks.



Are you tired of being told to play it safe and conform when it comes to Branding? Well, let's make some noise! At Stickerbook, we believe in embracing your quirks and leaning into what makes your brand truly unique. Because let's face it, we're all a little odd in our own way, which makes us unique. So, ready to break the mold and create a killer brand that stands out? We'll be your personal branding sherpas, guiding you through building a solid foundation, defining your strategy, and crafting a messaging that genuinely represents the unique and wonderful brand you are. Let's make waves together!


 

Brand Identity and Visual Branding go hand in hand, but they're not the same thing.

Identity involves determining the core elements of a brand that convey its purpose and personality, such as its mission, values, messaging, and name. It also includes research and analysis of the target audience and competition to ensure the brand stands out and resonates with its intended audience.

On the other hand, visual Branding focuses on the visual elements you'll be presenting, such as its color palette, typography, imagery, and logo. It also includes applying these visual elements to various marketing materials, such as the website, social media, packaging, and advertising.


Below you'll find part 1 of our mini branding course - Want the worksheet? (click here!)


When you've put in the hard work to craft killer branding, you'll leave your audience in awe saying, "Wow, that's so them!"

Mission & Values: Know who you want to be and who you don't

As a small business owner or creative entrepreneur, it's crucial to ensure that your brand's mission and vision align with your personal values. After all, it's 2023, and authenticity reigns supreme. Customers, Clients, & Fans are carefully putting their money where their heart is and love to support brands that fit their personal values. They are backing away from large capitalist conglomerates and leaning into supporting small businesses. Here are our tips to help you make sure your mission and vision are in sync with who you are:

  1. Get introspective: Take a step back and reflect on your values, beliefs, and passions. What do you stand for? What do you care about? What drives you? Examples: sustainability, community focus, accessibility, affordability, customer service, inclusion, or empowerment.

  2. Write it down: Putting your ideas in writing will help clarify your thinking and make it easier to communicate your mission and vision to others. Think about what phrases best communicate your ideas.

  3. Be Honest: When developing your mission and vision, be honest with yourself and your target audience. They must align with your values; otherwise, reaching them and turning them into customers will always be a struggle, if not impossible! They can smell inauthenticity a mile away.

  4. Take a stand: Your mission and vision should reflect who you are and what you stand for, so don't be afraid to take a stand on important issues. Your customers will appreciate your authenticity, and it will help you to build a loyal following.

In TL/DR, aligning your brand's mission and vision with your values will make you stand out from the competition and make you


more passionate about your brand. You'll have a better chance of reaching & inspiring loyalty from your target audience.



Defining Target Audience: the who, the where, the feelings

Finding your target market as a small business owner or creative individual can be like finding the perfect apartment, partner, or best-fitting jeans (is that even possible.) Still, with a bit of detective work, you'll be able to zero in on the perfect audience for your brand. Here are our tips to help you find your target market & get them in your orbit:

  1. Get to know yourself: We just covered this above, but it bears repeating! Understand your own values, beliefs, and passions and how they align with your brand. This will help you to identify potential target markets that share your values.

  2. Know who your audience isn't: After defining who you are, it should be pretty easy to figure out precisely what audiences to avoid - this is a super important step and should not be skipped as it will prevent wasted time and dollars in the future. Don't throw money at something you know won't stick!

  3. Do your research & be a bit of a stalker: Gather data on your supposed audience and competition using tools like Google Analytics, SEMrush, and Answer the Public to get a better understanding of your target audience demographics, culture, behavior, and interests. Visit your competition's store or website, and take notes on the customer experience, pricing, reviews, and products. Keep track of what you think is working and what isn't. How could you do it better?

  4. Get social: Look for your target audience and competition on social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter, and see what they're saying and sharing.

  5. Show empathy: Once you start interacting with your audience, show interest in who they are, listen to their problems and needs, and try to be understanding of their point of view. Show them you care, and you'll be able to build a loyal following.


TL/DR, finding your target market is like dating; you must take the time to get to know yourself, your audience, and your competition and use that knowledge to find the perfect match for your brand. And remember, showing empathy and caring is the key to building a loyal audience.

Tip: Make a spreadsheet of all your data - or use a brain map if you're a visual thinker.



Strategy and Presentation: Developing a Unique Name, Crafting a Compelling Story, and Telling it Effectively.

Finding your target market as a small business owner or creative individual can be like finding the perfect apartment, partner, or best-fitting jeans (is that even possible.) Still, with a bit of detective work, you'll be able to zero in on the perfect audience for your brand. Here are tried and true measures to help you find your target market & get them in your orbit:

  1. Give it a Name: Take the time to develop a name that is memorable, easy to pronounce, and aligns with your brand's values and mission. Think about how it will work visually and how you'll make it work in search engines. Make sure you run any variations of your name thru the Trademark OfficeTESS Database, social media platforms & streaming services to avoid any legal blunders or, heaven forbid, having to rebrand and scrap everything. This process is about being unique - don't start with someone else's name! If you are unsure about using a specific company name, contact an attorney.

  2. Craft your Origin Story: Who are you? How are you different? Why do you exist? What problem(s) do you solve? How do you make your audience's lives better? Make it compelling!

  3. Tell it Effectively: You'll need a Mission Statement, a Vision Statement, an elevator pitch, and much more. So, where do you start? First, start by identifying the language and method of communication your target audience prefers and use it to communicate with them in a way that feels comfortable. Remember, you will also use your website, social media, and various mediums like videos, infographics, and presentations to communicate your brand's story engagingly and memorably.

  4. Test and Refine: Test your branding strategy and messaging with people who fit your target audience and make adjustments as needed to ensure it resonates with them. If writing isn't your strong suit - hire a writer! Your story is essential to your success.


TL/DR, Finding your target market is like finding the perfect fit, but with some detective work, you'll score big. Nail your brand name after confirming it isn't already in use, craft a compelling origin story, communicate effectively in your audience's language, and test and refine to ensure it resonates.

Tip: To register your business entity, follow this link to find your state's Secretary of State offices (click here). You can also apply for brand and product trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark office. Make sure you check the trademark database not only for proposed business names but also for specific names or phrases you'd like to use for particular products or marketing - someone might already have exclusive rights. Again, always reach out to an attorney if you are unsure how to proceed.

 

And there you have it, Folx, the essentials of creating a solid brand identity that sets you apart from the competition. But the fun doesn't stop here! In our next blog, we'll delve into the exciting world of Visual Branding, showing you how to create a knock-out look for your brand, whether you're going DIY or partnering with a professional. Trust us; you won't want to miss it! So grab a pen and paper, and start brainstorming. The next step in your branding journey is just around the corner. Are you ready to elevate your brand game to the next level?


 


2023 Priscilla K Priebe | Visit Our Website!

Do you have a topic you'd love us to tackle in our next blog? Email us: hello@stickerbookcollective.com



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