how to make your own brand? Branding tips for startup

Branding. How far up your priority list would it be if you were starting a new company? Where on your Gantt Chart would it appear? Are you even that bothered now about your own branding?

Your brand carries more weight than you might think.

94% of customers say they’re more likely to be loyal to brands who offer complete transparency. So don’t lie or purposely hide information. Pretty basic rule to work your business by, right?

Branding shouldn’t be a headache. It should be one of the fun parts! Your brand is what unites your business to your market and tells them who you are and what you do. It gives your future customers an idea of your values or what you hope to achieve. And of course, it sets you apart from your competition.

So what makes up your brand?

Well your name for a start. Are you using your own name or a variation like Adidas named for the founder Adi Dassler. Or after what you do like British Airways or The AA? Brands such as Apple or Amazon just took a word out of context. And if you’re feeling REALLY adventurous you can just make up a word as Google and Häagen-Dazs did.

Your persona. If your brand was a person what would they be like? What would be their character traits be? Based on human behaviour, brand personas typically fall into 5 different categories and a great place to start if you’re new to the process.


This nurturing persona is empathetic and kind. Think Dove or Flora.


This persona is an influential leader that can help users or sway them to act. Microsoft or Volvo are great examples.


This spirited persona is happy to do just about anything and embarks on adventures with ease. Disney or Coca Cola are iconic excited brands.


A tougher and athletic persona. A lot of sports or explorer brands like The North Face but also clothing brands such as Levi fit this category


Exudes elegance, style and prestige. This encompasses more of your luxe brands like Rolls Royce, Tiffany’s or Macallan.

Think of it another way, who would you rather hang out with from the examples above? These all evoke differing emotions when you think of them which is exactly what your brand must do.

Now you know who your brand is, let’s get creative! Your brand design is a further extension of your personality and values. A toy company is going to have a hell of a different looking brand to an undertaker, isn’t it?  This is the fun part, pick your font and colours. Did you know colour can increase brand recognition by up to 80%i? If you’re not sure which colours or hues to opt for, Adobe Kuler and Pantone Studio are both aaaaaamazing for this.

Don’t get stuck on your logo design too much. Create a few and get a vote on it, a fresh set of eyes will always help you make a decision. This is exactly what we do when designing for our clients. Take a look at a few examples we brought to Refresh Dental.

All pretty different, but still reflecting the same brand persona. The team at Refresh wanted to bring a fresh, modern approach to dentistry so starting with the brand we spent some time developing this along with looking at how this may look throughout all the marketing material and corporate communications.

But what if you’ve done all this and you’re not happy with your brand anymore? You can change your name, your logo, your colour scheme, just about anything. But make sure it still fits your brand. Here’s a few or our favourite rebrands over the years.

Founded over 150 years ago as a luxury outdoor attire, Burberry even developed a first if it’s kind, breathable and waterproof fabric Gabardine. Fast forward to the 21st century, a rise in counterfeit goods and the brand had become synonymous with gang and hooligan culture. Some venues even banned anyone wearing the famous Burberry check pattern. At the height of this association, the former majority shareholder GUS divested its remaining interest in the company. From what we can only imagine was several frustrated meetings, the brand began to reclaim its main value – heritage. By redesigning their product line to include a mix of modern and classic items, employing high profile celebrities with a loyal following such as Emma Watson and Cara Delivigne the brand began to transform. Sales rose 27% and the Burberry has pretty much shaken the gang association.

Instagram underwent an image rebrand in May 2016 and was met with much criticism. Gone was the old school camera we all knew and loved and in its place was this simple icon over a weird orange purple gradient (wtf?!). We all laugh now as so many other apps followed suit – just check out the iPhone pre installed apps. Oh and Tinder, sexy new gradient for you too 😉.
Instagram did try to cushion the blow with this explanation and fancy wee video.

“The Instagram community has evolved over the past five years from a place to share filtered photos to so much more — a global community of interests sharing more than 80 million photos and videos every day. Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become.”

We can’t mention rebrands without talking about Opal Fruits – I mean Starburst. Opal Fruits burst onto our confectionery stands in the UK in 1960 followed by a US introduction in 1967 as Starburst. The name change of 1998 in the UK was to align the product across the globe and meet the world branding trend. Though after loving the mouth-watering sweets for almost 40 years as Opal Fruits some of us in the UK still stand by that name. Quite uncharacteristically stubborn of us Brits isn’t it…?

Want to talk about your branding? Get in touch with our Digital Agency Glasgow team to build your persona or design some killer logo and graphics.

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