Start here: Grow your online business with this free, actionable branding checklist.

Internal Branding (Strategy):

A. Brand Fundamentals

This is the reason why you exist beyond making money, where you’re going, and how you get there.

01. BRAND PURPOSE

Find the aspirational reason why your brand exists beyond making money. That is your brand’s „forever“. It stands for a drive that endures no matter what your brand does or how long it has been around. It serves as a north star to keep everything you accomplish in focus. Your business will run more smoothly if you pinpoint why you help your audience daily. Determine the primary goal of your business by performing some research. Try not to copy what others are doing since if your efforts to distinguish your brand are not genuine, they won’t have any effect.

02. BRAND CORE VALUES

Decide what your business’s core values are. That is your brand’s “right now”. These are the ideas that influence day-to-day decisions as they occur. By establishing core values, your business can demonstrate its shared beliefs and how it collaborates to achieve its goals. Always embrace your business’s principles, and be clear about what your company and brand stand for.

03. BRAND MISSION

Prepare your mission statement. That is your brand’s “today”. It is action-oriented and provides readers with information about your business’s activities and expected results. Your brand mission statement defines your objectives and strategy for serving your target audience. As the brand develops and its objectives are updated, this statement may change over time. State it in the present tense.

04. BRAND VISION

Specify the vision of your brand. That is your brand’s “one day”. It represents a future event that may happen eventually while still far off in the abstract. A brand vision statement is a one-liner (similar to a tweet in some ways) that is designed to inspire your audience and your team. It is a vision of where your business and brand will go in the future. Brand vision statements strive to influence the world for the better in some way. Although they are usually ambitious and bold, they are also approachable. Your vision statement may change over time mainly as your business develops and your brand meets its objectives.

Because the two are connected, several brands mistakenly think their vision and mission statements are identical. However, your vision differs from your purpose, identity, or mission. A brand vision reveals your company’s future direction and aspirations, whereas a mission describes what you’re striving to accomplish now.

05. BRAND STORY

Share your experience. Investigate the insides of your business. Retrace your steps and explain how you got started. Share moments from your business’s history that you are sure will resonate with and benefit your audience.

B. Brand Positioning

This is how you want to be perceived. It’s the reason people choose you over and over again.

06. BUSINESS NICHE

Identify your area of specialization. You can stay competitive in your industry by focusing your business on a single niche. You won’t just establish yourself as an authority; you’ll also have a structured approach to market research, product development, and advertising.

07. TARGET AUDIENCE

Understand who your ideal client or customer is. You can serve your target audience more effectively if you understand who they are and what they need from you. To interact with them more effectively, learn about their main challenges and the platforms on which they are most active.

08. Competitor Analysis

Understand your competitors and see if there is something you can learn from them. But be careful not to become sidetracked by gazing into another competitor’s lane.

09. Differences & USP

Identify if there is any specific feature that sets your company apart from competitors in your market. Consider the qualities that give your brand its particular value to customers to play to your strengths. When a potential customer first encounters your brand, their basic query is, “How are you different from the competition?” Your USP (unique selling proposition) addresses that.

10. COMMUNITY

Meet and participate in a group of people who inspire you. Building authentic relationships with your audience and engaging with them is essential for the success of your brand. Spend some time answering comments on blogs and social media. Join groups and leave comments on posts where you can contribute a little. Make online pals with people you’ve never met.

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External Branding (Expression):

C. Brand Persona

This is what characterizes your brand. It provides everything the information a customer may require about you, including what services you offer and how you interact with the market. In other words, your brand persona gives your company a human face and spins a tale that your clients can relate to. Though it should feel natural, creating a brand identity requires much strategic thought.

11. BRAND PERSONALITY

Define the traits of your brand. You will have more clarity when developing your brand’s core if you give it a persona. Your brand personality should be uplifting and draw customers who can relate to you and interact with you on a genuine level.

12. BRAND LANGUAGE

Improve the language used in your material. How you speak to your audience through your brand is essential. Your brand should deliver a simple and direct message to which your target market can clearly understand and relate. Never be frightened to be who you are. Every brand voice is original and will draw customers who connect with you.

D. Brand Communication

This is a set of strategies your brand uses to communicate with customers, such as advertising, social media, and reviews. Brand communication occurs when a prospective buyer or client engages with your brand. That could involve viewing your logo online or subscribing to your newsletter.

13. CORE BRAND MESSAGE

Make a list of words that have a similar vibe to your brand. Developing your core brand message will make it easier for visitors to connect with your brand. The core brand message is what your brand communicates through verbal and nonverbal messages to showcase its USP and personality. You may motivate them, inspire them, and eventually convince them to become loyal customers or clients if your core brand message is strong.

  • 13.1. Brand Keywords: Add keywords related to your brand for SEO. Create a collection of words and phrases you may use in your content, captions, et cetera. Your Google Ranking will advance as a result of this. Your brand is most closely associated with these terms, and it is through them that your audience will eventually find you.

14. Brand Promise

Decide what customers can anticipate from your brand throughout each touchpoint. A brand promise assures customers of what they will experience every time they interact with a brand. It is not always promoted. It is more of an internal motto shared with employees, investors, and partners in many situations.

15. Taglines

Develop a memorable message with a single, short sentence. The most effective taglines may stand independently and reflect a brand without mentioning it by name. Taglines go together with brand names and represent the brand’s primary purpose, viewpoint, and/or value.

16. Brand Storytelling

Think about the platforms you want to use to communicate your brand’s story. Brand storytelling is a growing marketing strategy that taps into the fundamental human drive to connect with others via stories. It’s a strategy that places your customer at the story’s center, not your brand. These relationships establish trust, raise brand awareness, and keep customers engaged with your marketing channels.

  • 16.1. Social Media: Create a strategy and choose your social media platform(s). Another powerful instrument for building trust is social media. Secure your social media accounts and attempt to establish a genuine customer base for your brand. Wherever your audience is most visible should be where you choose to use platforms. Your chances of being recognized increase the more frequently you post and how you interact with your audience.
  • 16.2. Website Content: Compose a structure for your pages and start writing. One of the processes that could take the longest is creating the content for your website. Always keep things clear. If you have the budget, you can always hire a professional copywriter to share your brand’s expertise with your audience and save you time.
  • 16.3. Blog Posts: Plan out your blog posts’ content and establish a posting schedule. Make the call regarding the types of posts you’ll create and the frequency of new post-publication. Start with as many as you can manage, and then progressively adapt your schedule based on your time and the expectations of your audience. Setting the pace for your brand through a blog plan can help your audience know when to anticipate new content from you.
  • 16.4. Portfolio: Share your best projects on your website. Potential clients can learn more about your interests and work through portfolios. They showcase your abilities, performance, and best qualities in addition to your work.
  • 16.5. Newsletter: Add a free offer and email list. Select a newsletter provider to gather email addresses for your blog or business. This feature is a direct line to your audience and gives you complete control to advertise your business and maintain contact. Create a newsletter design that represents your business well.
  • 16.6. Testimonials: Cherry-pick a couple of your top customers, and ask them to recommend your brand. One of the most valuable pieces of copy you can include on your website or in any other type of marketing communication is a testimonial. They build trust and encourage your audience to purchase your service or product. Testimonials are the most effective content you can put on your website to increase sales. They are 89% better at growing conversion rates.
  • 16.7. Reviews: Offer your customers some platforms for feedback. Create a google business account and a Facebook page for your brand. Customer reviews and testimonials are not the same things. Reviews are comments made by customers on your business’s website on their initiative to express their genuine opinions. They might be either positive or negative, depending on the situation. That is the main difference between a testimonial and a review.

Visual Expression

This is how you present yourself and what you want others to see. Through your brand’s visible components, your visual expression allows you to influence perception and make an impact. Because they don’t need words, visual elements are a very effective form of communication.

17. BRAND IDENTITY

Think about how you want consumers to perceive your brand differently. The visible characteristics of a brand, such as color, design, and logo, that identify it are referred to as brand identity. In a nutshell, it is the collection of all elements a brand creates to portray the right image to its consumer.

  • 17.1. Mood Board: Design a mood board for business. A mood board is a collection of images that portray your brand. To get a fast and easy idea of the look and feel of your brand, refer to this mood board.
  • 17.2. Logo Design: Get a unique logo. Your logo is just one of many elements that make up your brand. Use no more than three typefaces and three colors to keep your logo simple and clear. Always strive towards simplicity. The outcomes will be worthwhile, and hiring a professional designer will save you time and money in the long run. Creating your logo or getting a pre-made one might not be the most outstanding choice if you want to grow your brand. A unique, well-designed logo will enhance your brand’s vision.
  • 17.3. Brand Fonts: Choose fonts that reflect your brand’s personality. It is crucial because typefaces have many different characteristics. To establish the tone for your brand, look through different fonts. Choose two or three typefaces to buy, then use them consistently on your website, in social media visuals, and in other documents for branding. Some fonts are free to use if you’re low on a budget (open source font families).
  • 17.4. Brand Colors: Select a set of colors. Coloring impact the emotions you create in your audience. Your brand should have a unique look and inspire specific emotions in your target audience. Pick a color scheme that appeals to your feelings and reflects the type of personality you want to display.
  • 17.5. Brand Photography: Build a photo library. If you want professional brand shots, hire a photographer with experience or go online for royalty-free stock photos. As you extend your brand across various mediums, having a library of images related to your branding will help you maintain consistency. That is ideal for creating a theme for your Instagram account, including photographs on your website, or using them in marketing materials. Your brand will grow thanks to great pictures.
  • 17.6. Professional Headshots: Update your profile pictures and take new headshots. To reveal the person behind your brand, use a professional headshot. You can use this picture almost anyplace you have an online account. People use this to identify whether or not you are an actual person on social media. Self-portrait photos will personify your brand.

18. BRAND PRESENCE

Now it’s time to establish a strong brand presence. More consumers recognize your business across all touchpoints when you have a strong brand presence. Use a brand style guide for your website, all social media platforms, workspace, business email, and business cards.

  • 18.1. Brand Style Guide: Create a digital rulebook that specifies every aspect of the look and feel of your brand. A brand style guide is a how-to guidebook for presenting your brand. It includes the guidelines necessary to visualize your brand both internally and externally. You can share a brand style guide with partners, media, and agencies to educate them on how to professionally and consistently communicate your brand.

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