How to design your brand in 4 steps?

What is a brand?

A brand is an apparent image that incites an emotional response. It isn’t easy to define because it’s intangible. The brand is the image attached to a name, design, symbol, or any other features of an organisation’s offering.


Here’s a better definition offered by Seth Godin:


A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter, or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection, or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.


It is paramount to understand that it has nothing to do with the actual product. It exists in the minds of customers only, as a brand is a perceived image.


From your company’s perspective, your brand is the promise you make to your stakeholders. Due to this important fact, branding is a major deliberations for businesses. Surprisingly it frequently gets forgotten among the many other things that go into launching a business. As a matter of fact brands outlive the products a company presents. Well, it does take a great deal of attention to create a remarkable and memorable brand.

how to design your brand

Phase One – Market Research.

To communicate with your target audience, it is paramount to know them well. As Branding occurs inside their heads, you ought to know what exactly is happening there.


By creating a customer profile that best describes them, you could get to know your target audience. This exercise would help you describe your ideal customer. An important decision as this would be done based on a market research and never based on a guess work.

The data you’re looking for would ideally include:


  • Demographic facts about your customers such as age, gender, income level, family state, geographical location, etc.


  • Psychographic facts such as their attitudes, fears, self-image, problems, etc.


  • Shopping routines. What are their favourite brands, what other brands do they opt for? Do they shop impulsively or have a habit of saving? Do they spent a lot or are they careful with spending?


  • Are there any other products or services which they would like to see in the market?


  • Do they feel that the products currently available can be made better with additional features to serve them better.


Start doing market research with your existing customers or if you are starting a new business there are different ways for small businesses on a budget to conduct a market research.

Make a questionnaire, go out in the market, show product samples and ask questions such as, what interests them about the product?, whether they would purchase the product? , how much are they willing to pay for the item? , what extra features need to be added to the product or service so as to get desired benefits? etc. Use the data from the market research to create your profile.

market research

Market research methods consist of the following:


 Questionnaires. Create short questionnaires which could be online or offline, that ask very precise questions to help you collect the data you need. A great tool to do online questionnaire research is Survey Monkey.


Interviews. Interview people, in the course of which you ask them for specific information you require to build your profile.


Focus Groups. This is where you bring together a group of people to talk over their opinions, perspectives, and beliefs on a certain product or service.


Online Forums. Be part of online forums where your customers and potential customers spend time having discussions.


Blogs. Blogs are good for gathering data as they are updated frequently. Search for blogs about your industry and read what they post.


Social Media. Link with your target audience on social media and observe their conversations. This is a very useful tool because you can also communicate with prospective customers.


Keywords Tools. Use a keyword tool such as “Google Keyword tool” to see how many people are searching for products such as yours. Decide on keywords that are pertinent to your products. In other words, if you would search for this product, what would you type into the search bar? The volume of searches should give you an idea about how popular the products are.


The Competition. A great sources of data is your competitors. Find competitors who offer something similar to what you offer. If possible, look at sales data to see how your target market shops. Keep an eye on your competitors’ websites, blogs, newsletters, and any social media properties. 


Business Trends. Read industry journals and websites to find out the latest trends related to your business. “Google Trends” can give a good idea about the trends for a particular product during different months of the year.


After creating your profile, you can shape your brand so as to appeal to your ideal customers and communicate why they need you.


Based on few of the market research methods mentioned above, consider the details of the demographics you are trying to reach.

Phase Two – Outline Your Brand.

outline your brand

Once you have a profile that describes your “ideal customer”, it’s time to outline your brand. It is that feeling the prospects should get when they come across your brand which could be something like, great quality, reliable, innovative, reasonable price, speed at which you operate, remarkable customer service, socially responsible etc. which would be tantamount with your brand.


Having mentioned all that, it is always good to keep in mind that a brand should not be “all things to all people”. There has to be a target audience to whom the brand can communicate. Create a Unique selling proposition (USP) or a Unique value proposition (UVP), which is actually the promise you convey to your target audience. This short sentence tells precisely what make you unique and declares to prospects the reason to buy your brand vis-a-vis another one.

To come up with a USP, it is good to brainstorm with your team by asking questions such as , what makes your offering different compared to the ones available currently?, Are there any areas your brand is superior to competitors?, Is there a gap in the market currently serves by competitors?, what ultimate benefit does your brand intend to offer customers? etc.

Phase Three – Logo Design.

The logo is an important element of a brand’s communication tool to the world. The moment anyone sees it via any mediums so many emotions pass through peoples’ minds. So it is challenging for a brand to make those emotions really beneficial for them.

It is always good to spend time in learning the logos that stand out or the popular ones. Spend some time brainstorming about few logos that make you connect. What do you like about them? How active were they at communicating the message? etc.


As you would see around, logos come in different layouts and designs which actually has no firm rules. Generally three types of logos can be found which are text logos, image logos and abstract image logos. It could also be a mix of these three types of logos.

A text logo simply represents the name of the company such as Google, ebay, CNN etc.

An image logo shows an image related to the company’s offering such as apple, twitter etc.

An abstract logo is where an organisation’s offering is exemplified through an abstract sign such as Nike.

logo design

Logo Colours.

You would have noticed that most popular brands use only one or two colours which in most cases would be blue, black, red or white. Studies have shown that colours stimulate definite connotation in peoples’ mind.

Blue – dependability, calm and strength

Red – attention grabbing, energetic

Green – reliability, security, honesty, natural

Black – sleek, hi-tech

White – Pure, simple

Now discuss about the colours used in the logos you brainstormed in the above steps where you could see patterns.

Keep in mind that when it comes to logos simple ones are the best that convey the message at the first look. It should also be easy to get printed on various marketing materials of the company without unnecessary expenses.

Phase Four – Your Distinctiveness.

branding distinctiveness

The distinctiveness for your brand is the appearance you’re conveying to your target audience. For the most part it would include the visual features that is predominantly used in the organisation’s marketing when embarking on brand communication activities.

Along with the logo there are few other visual elements to consider which are –

  • Products, packaging ,stickers , cello tape etc.
  • Marketing materials such as e-books, pamphlets, flyers, websites, etc.
  • Signage
  • Online communications such as email newsletters.
  • Employees’ uniform.
  • Office supplies the company uses.


As a matter of fact these graphical essentials should be a part of everything the organization does. Accompanied by that could also be a unique jingle in the ads, smell when entering your premises, or anything really unique that you can associate with your brand.

Tryout these graphical elements along side your USP and examine if they convey the message, you intended.