1. Look it up, Bro.
Who is your client ? What do they want ? How do they want it ? Why should they come to you ? Creating a brief with all this information is a great first step for a strong company foundation. Make sure to check out the competition. Put a client hat on and identify their unique points.
2. Man in the Mirror
What are your strengths, and weaknesses? Your audience needs to know who you are in order to assess if it’s a good match. If you are a small company then use that as a strength. People gravitate towards honesty because it provides security.
"Becky only buys natural products and she comes to find that her favorite jam uses high fructose corn syrup and other ingredients she doesn't want, even though the label design looks like it came right from a farmers market."
Nobody likes to feel cheated. I doubt Becky will ever buy from this brand again.
3. What Is The Mission, Captain?
When creating a brand you are developing a personality, something your clients will relate to and your employees will use as guidance.
Establishing the big picture, explaining the plan of how to get there and how to behave during that process will assure that the whole team speaks with the same voice. It will also weed out confusion while dealing with clients.
Having a vision, mission statement and goals will assure a client is a good match and will help you achieve your long term goals while you ensure the client will achieve their goals.
4. Cool Your Jets.
Getting too excited and overly embellishing style, typography and copy will only complicate things and, eventually, make your brand look dated.
Keep it simple, short and clear. Limit the color pallet and details to what really matters. If it has absolutely no use then remove it. Timeless brands are simple and clean. Make decisions based on your mission statement and long term goals. This will help trim out the unnecessary clutter.
5. You Are Not Just a Pretty Face.
Highlight the special things about your brand and your product.
Having a beautiful brand is just the begging. Show off your great content. Tell a story. People fall in love with personalities, not with businesses. Good content will keep your brand clear and keep the clients coming back.