Hello! I’m Clarice

a brand designer & watercolour artist from Toronto, Ontario. 

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How to brand yourself in 5 simple steps

I firmly believe, “Branding is an experience”.

Get it right, branding is much bigger than your pretty logo, business cards and website. Building a brand, requires time and effort. If done right, it can be quite powerful and effective. If you are taking this step to improving your company name/brand, know that YOU are going to need to improve as well. Because you ARE the brand. It is very important to make sure you are being authentic and representing yourself. Keeping up a charade is a lot harder and people recognize fake. If you are starting fresh – good for you! Doing it right from the start is the best decision you can make for your brand, from an economic and marketing stand point.
“In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.” — Howard Schultz

1. Have an Idea

Pretty self-explanatory. What is your revolutionary idea or service that you are offering to the world?

2. Vision, Mission & Goal

If you have an idea but no vision for it, your foundation is weak. Have a vision for your idea and after that, set a goal. Where do you want to take this? Or how far you want to go? Then write the mission. Set goals based on that.

3. Be better than the GAP!

I love this line from Crazy Stupid Love. Take time to think about how you want to position yourself in your market. Do some research. Check out your competitors. What makes you different from them? What makes you better? Focus in on that. Have your elevator pitch ready. You are nowhere if you cannot describe what you do in 10 seconds. An exempelory example of a visionary is Walt Disney- “I dream, I test my dreams against my beliefs, I dare to take risks, and I execute my vision to make those dreams come true.”

4. Know your Tribe?

In life, not everyone is going to like you or buy what you are selling. So instead of pitching to everyone, narrow it down to that niche that will love you and become your loyal brand followers. Build trust with these folks. Things to ask yourself when determining your target market;
  • Who are you reaching out to?
  • What age group?
  • Married or single?
  • Income?
It is best to know, #5 depends on this.

5. Brand Visuals & Voice

Determine what visual style suits your brand, because this is what you will be sticking with till the end of time. So if you don’t like pink, don’t use it. Hire a professional graphic designer to create this. If you go cheap, you will most likely end up spending more at a later stage. Rebranding after you’ve made a name in the industry can be expensive. Do it right from the start. Ofcourse, if you do not want to invest a large sum because your commitment to the project might not be 100%, then go the cheap route. Keep your logo super minimal. Something like a client once described, “type out the name in a nice font in Word”. Papyrus or Comic Sans is NOT a nice font. Have a copywriter do your text. To ensure brand voice consistency throughout social media channels, website and other print collateral. Content is king, especially where SEO is concerned (check SEO Services in Toronto by Thunderank, for more details). At the end of the day your brand voice is also consistent and that makes your brand reliable. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take time and really think about your brand and where it stands in these 5 points. Invest the time now so you can reap the benefits later. Here is a worksheet to get you started and thinking.

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