What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “brand?”

Perhaps you thought of a logo, a color palette, or a general look or aesthetic. While these are obviously key elements of your brand, there is so much more involved to create a brand that truly resonates with your most profitable target market.

“[The branding process] is about creating something magical, something that creates an emotional connection between you, your business, and your customer. It’s about tapping into the overwhelming majority of customers who buy with their hearts, not their heads. It’s about inspiring you, letting you see the possibilities and getting out there to make things happen.” – Fiona Humberstone, How to Style Your Brand

So, roll up those sleeves, girlfriend. We’re sharing the most common components we evaluate when we work alongside our clients.

Ask yourself, “When someone interacts with my brand, how should they feel?” Consider how your clients or customers typically find you. From your website and social pages to the initial interactions they have with your team, your brand tone should feel intentional and genuine, and consistently deliver the brand essence you’d like every single one of your customers to feel whenever they’re interacting with your business.

Jot down a list of descriptive words that emulate the essence or tone you’d like your target market to feel when they are working with you. Then, begin incorporating those words – or synonyms of them – into your content. Going one step further, review these words with your team and encourage them to keep this tone top of mind within every customer interaction.

From a graphic you create for your social channels to an ad in a local magazine, the colors, typography, patterns, and your logo should all be consistent. We encourage clients to do an “identity audit.” Lay out every piece of collateral you have on the table and make sure that everything uses the same identity elements. Consider:

  • Business cards
  • Brochures
  • Pamphlets, folders, or handouts
  • Social page design

When we work with our clients to refine their brand strategy, we leverage a psychology-backed approach to uncover the styles of fonts, shades of color, and all supporting elements that best portray the overall brand essence.

Again with your brand essence in mind, consider how to style your photography. Pops of bright light and white space emulate feelings like energy, approachability, and youthfulness while, alternatively, intense shadows and darker filtering may feel grounded and serious.

Whether you find a preset through a tool like Adobe Lightroom or use editing tools within social channels, determine a defined look for your photography, and utilize that across all marketing channels for a consistent, purposeful look.

We’ve touched on this a few times throughout, but one of the most impactful – but often overlooked – things you can do is ensure that your brand is cohesive and integrated across all marketing channels that you implement for your business. From the tone of your messaging to all the identity elements that you’ve refined, every marketing piece should look and feel the same and work together to share the story about your business.

Now, this doesn’t need to happen overnight. Simply make a checklist of items that need to be updated, and when it comes time to reprint those business cards or create a new ad for that local magazine, begin to implement the brand standards you’ve defined for your business.

Together with building a strategic plan for marketing efforts, developing an impactful brand that resonates with your target market will instantly elevate your business and allow you to confidently tackle the goals you have for this incredible thing you’ve built.