The basics of branding

The Basic Principles of Branding


28 April/Posted by Brianna Bines

When most people hear the word brand, they immediately think, “boom, my logo”…right? WRONG! Branding is much more than a logo, it’s much more than the visuals. Although those are important elements, that isn’t the only thing you need to keep in mind when you’re building out your brand. Read on to gain insight into the basics of branding. 

Killer branding is more than good imagery. It is the tone of voice, your mission, vision, core values, and consistency.

Finding Your Brand Voice

Good copywriting is key! In order to attract your ideal clients and get them to buy into what you’re selling, you need to be able to communicate successfully. Nothing makes me feel better than when someone who I would consider an ideal client contacts me after stumbling upon my website and appreciating my work. Social media is a major part of my business and allows me to showcase our creative work and give people a good idea of what we’re all about. Is your brand’s voice cohesive with the vibe you’re trying to get across?

Think about a few brands you love and think about how their copywriting makes you feel.

I personally love Urban Outfitters, so I’ll use their brand as an example. Urban Outfitters has consistent and cohesive branding; it’s an all-around millennial, hipster brand.  

Check out the voice on the Urban Outfitters homepage below:

Urban Outfitters Branding

Now, check out Zara, a completely different brand with completely different messaging. Zara is a much more modern, conservative and sophisticated brand. They give off a more chic vibe and it’s obvious, based on the copy, that they’re targeting a different customer in comparison to Urban Outfitters. Take the time to think about your ideal clients and consider what kind of copywriting would engage them. Should you sound super-professional and intellectual? Swear like a sailor? Come across as budget-minded? What kind of style would the people you want to appeal to relate to?

The Basics of Branding

Whatever voice you decide is best, stick with it! You never want to confuse your potential customers by using conflicting voices in different blog posts and pages. Not cool.

Your Mission Statement

What is the cornerstone of your business? Would your audience be able to grasp the concept of it? Think about how you want people interacting with your brand to feel. What feelings do you want to evoke for people interacting with your brand?

When it comes to my business, I want everyone I consult with to feel understood, confident and safe. Essentially, my business makes people feel confident and capable of achieving a strong brand identity. I want them to see me as their business bestie. Someone they can come to with no judgment and who allows their vision to become a reality. Again, communication is key to a successful client relationship, which is why I make an effort to follow up and check-in with my clients. I always want business owners who interact with me on any level to feel important and valued.

Write down a mission statement – it doesn’t have to be a whole 5-page analysis, it can be a sentence or two for starters, but then you eventually will expand on those first few thoughts. The best mission statements define a company’s goals: what the company does for its customers, what it does for its employees and what it does for its owners. Some of the best mission statements extend themselves even further than those questions.

Once you’ve got your mission in check now you can bring in the marketing tactics to make your target audience feel special. Think of ways that you can do the most and impress your potential client/customer. Making your clients/customers feel special is part of the impression your brand is making on them. A giveaway or some type of freebie always piques my interest as a customer. 

Regardless of what your business is, it’s always important to take the time to interact with people who reach out to you. This is why so many brands have millions of followers via social media. Customer service is everything. How well you rectify an issue, the grace you show, what you do to exceed expectations – THOSE are long-lasting impressions that people will remember. Aim to always make your mission a focal point, and don’t rest until you’re making everyone you interact with feel exactly the way you want them to!

Consistency is Key

Inconsistent branding is a total nuisance. If you’re going to have an edgy, youthful, modern vibe, it won’t make much sense to have a powder pink website with neon green text. It just doesn’t work. People should be able to recognize your brand in every aspect of your business. From your social media accounts to your email signature, your flow needs to be on point. 

Also, keep in mind, your branding is about your target audience. Just because you personally like a certain style and color doesn’t mean your website should reflect those styles.   Yes, you should like what you put out there, but you need to find a balance between what you like and what the people you want to attract like.  

Not sure where to start? Download my free branding checklist to help you make sure your branding is consistent across all of the areas we discussed and more. 

Posted by Brianna Bines

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