When Should I Start Branding?

creative direction & styling by us

creative direction & styling by us

I’ve been getting this question a lot lately, and I figured it’s about time we chat about this!

I love how one of the questions was phrased:

Is building a brand like wine, which we marinate and form over time, or should we establish a solid foundation for our brand from the start with a clear strategy?"

If you’re reading this, I’d assume that you’d agree with me saying, what' you’re working on is a business, not a hobby. So, you need a strategy as early as today.

The first thing to get clear on, is that Branding includes all 7 Brand Element: Brand Purpose, Brand Mission, Brand Vision, Brand Story, Brand Positioning, Brand Values, and Brand Personality & Voice (read this post to learn more). All these make up the foundation of why your business exists, your short-term and long-term goals, who you’re serving, and how you can stand out, etc. So how can you build a business without answering all of these crucial questions?

This is exactly why branding should be done earlier than later. Branding goes beyond just the visual elements like logos, colors and fonts. It’s tied to the purpose why you exist, why people need your services or products. This is the what smart businesses do because good branding helps businesses stay focused, consistent, and stand out from the crowd. So why would you defer something so important?

Now, if you choose to start your business first and believe that you’ll figure out a clearer brand voice at a later time, I’d like to point out that this is nearly impossible. And I say this out of love, my friend.

If you were to starting a fresh voice, a new brand from the start, you’re possibilities are endless. However, if you’re trying to correct people’s pre-existing perception of you after several years into your business, it’s simply harder and more expensive the longer you wait. Rebranding is possible, but it’s more difficult, requires more time, and it’s more expensive. And if you’re confused with what your brand stands for and what your voice is, your audience is for sure just as confused, and reaching your dream audience would be nearly impossible because they’ll never know to come looking for you.

Now, I don’t want you to be overwhelmed, and we can totally do this one step at a time! You’ve got this.

First thing first, start noticing the power of branding. This is what makes us choose what to purchase on a daily basis.

Next, spend one hour a day to define and refine your 7 Brand Elements: Brand Purpose, Brand Mission, Brand Vision, Brand Story, Brand Positioning, Brand Values, and Brand Personality & Voice.

Remember to discuss these with your family, friends and your team. It can take a few weeks or months to finalize these, but you’ll get clearer than ever on how to best serve your people after!

brandingAnnie Chang