In this 5th episode of Shopify Compass series, I’ll dive into the brand foundations to find out how to start with this important step, and how to create your own brand.
Let’s start with the Minimum Viable Brand building. It should not be crystal clear, and at the first step it could be raw, that’s ok.
“What is your company mission?”, asks Stephan Peralta, the Shopify Plus Expert at the beginning of the first video. Ideally, your goal should be more than a standard sell-offer thing, it should be able to cover a wider area of values and meanings than just “sell this to those people”.
For example, the mission of the legal firm could be: “to support and provide justice for the corporate clients in the complex corporate bankruptcy trials in Rome and its suburbs.
“Value proposition (also known as a brand promise)?” is the second open question to you. Respect your customers and try to put yourself into their shoes, to find the root of your brand value, that you gonna sell as the expectation to your customers.
As for the brand promise, for the legal firm, it would be: “as a client, I will get the professional legal support in my complex corporate case so that my goal is achieved right in time, with realistic expectations from the very beginning”.
“What is your brand personality? What are your brand pillars?”. It should be described in a form of human characteristic attributes, referring to your brand, with a description of how you gonna deliver those values to the customer. Those attributes should represent your audience’s values as well. Each of your endeavors, like the new design, new products, marketing campaigns should be connected to your brand pillars.
Again, for the legal agency, it would be: “trust, high professionalism, delicacy, effective problem solvers”.
Stephan Peralta suggests using Mood board as an inspirational tool for the brand identity process.
“A mood board is a type of visual presentation or a collage consisting of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition”, says Wikipedia.
There are 3 key components in Mood board, that you will definitely use in you branding:
- Color palette
You can start building your Mood board even if you outsource your design. Try to connect your bran pillars to these 3 key components.
For the legal business those 3 key components can be:
- Color palette. Perhaps this stage should be done by a professional designer.
- Fonts. Some modern sans-serif captions. No strict serif letterings because it will be too official. Again, the designer should handle this problem.
- Photography. Photos of lawyers of the firm with emotions of “trust, high professionalism, delicacy, effective problem solvers”, photos of the whole team, maybe some stock corporate images.
Use unique stand out name, which will be easy to spell, to tell and to understand. Your band will be searched through the Google, will be typed into Facebook search etc., so get your brand name ready for it.
At this stage, you will need to get on with your logo. What Shopify suggests is that you should go to https://99designs.com/, https://upwork.com/ to hire a designer.
For example, on 99designs you can start a contest with the query “I need logo and identity”, starting from US$599. You will go through a small brief and will choose the winner at the end of this contest.
Your logo should be simple, catchy and have a similar vibe as your brand pillars.
If you have no money on this step, you can try your luck with the Shopify Hatchful logo maker.
At this point, you should have a precise vision of your branding. You should have your brand pillars, a key-value proposition that will lead you to your brand personality.