8 steps to starting your business brand

You have made the decision to start your own business. Well done and good luck! There is a lot of information about the practicalities of setting up, but what about your business brand? How do you create a business with Logo, Stationary, Website and a Social Media identity? One that will help you get noticed? As a designer I am asked this question a lot. Not only is it my business to know, but I have had firsthand experience setting up two design businesses.


There are 8 steps to get your business brand started, whether it is a service or a product. I am not looking at the practicalities such as finance, location or logistics. I am looking at how you get from your initial business concept to a marketable service or product.

1. Business Plan

I recommend a Business Plan to start. It helps focus your business and creates a starting point for all the work to come. You may already have one for example you have applied for a business loan. The Business Plan does not have to be long. I confess mine only covers 1 side of A4 and would be considered more of a Business Development Plan. However, every year I update this Business Plan as my business evolves. It keeps my core message consistent from my website, social media content through to face-to-face networking.


#designtip – tweak your business plan to work for your business. Keep to what is essential for your business to move you forward. I based my Getting to know your Brand post on my yearly plan review.

2. Choose a name

Your name is part of your brand and is of the upmost importance. It is how your customers identify and remember you. Some people have their business name before they have even thought of their business. For everyone else (most of us) choosing the right name can be a nightmare.


I would consider
 •  What message do you want to portray?
 •  What is your priority? Directly related to products and services? Unique?
 •  Length of name – long or short
 •  Company Name vs a Personal Name. This will depend on product/service, size and location
 •  Customers like names that they find professional and that they can remember
 •  Use a name and/or strap-line that conveys meaning


#designtip – make sure you Google the chosen name, check the domain availability and search the trademark registry in your country.

3. Logo

Now that you have a business name, the next step create your logo. A logo (or logotype) is the symbol used to encapsulates your brands message, and is used to identify your product/service to your customer.


There are 5 main types of logos and what you choose is up to you and your brand.



A typographical based logo which comprises of a few letters, usually the companies initials. Think IBM or BBC



A typographical based logo which focuses on the business name. Think Google or eBay


Pictorial Mark

This is a symbol or icon that represents that represents the business. Think Apple or Shell (both these companies have pretty much dropped their names from most marketing materials)


Combination Mark

This is a logotype that combines the Work Mark and the Pictorial Mark. Think Amazon Or Microsoft



This logotype consists of the business name within the design, usually a badge, seal or crest. Think Starbucks or Nissan


#designtip – you know I am going to say this, but please ask a professional to design your logo. A well designed logo and brand strategy may not cheap, but it is worth it as they will develop your identity to work in all instances.

4. Business Card & Stationary

Time to start applying your business name and logo. First port of call for many businesses is a Business Card which you will use to promote your new business. You may need other branded stationary; letterheads, invoices, with compliment slips, presentation templates etc. Think about what your business needs and how often you will use them. You might find you need pens, lanyards, usb sticks, diaries, swing tags etc which brings me onto…

5. Other printed matter

Every business is different so this is as long as a piece of string. I would list your essential items first and then the ‘would like’ items second. Producing branded items can be expensive and often cost prohibitive for many businesses. However, if you think creatively you can create cost effective options.


Most common items to consider are:


  •   Leaflet
  •   Brochure
  •   Signage
  •   Packaging
  •   Uniform


#designtip – talk to your designer. They will help you choose items that will target your audience, and may have creative ideas that you would never have thought of.

6. Social Media

For some this is their natural home, for others it is a terrifying maze of chaos. Do you need social media? What social media platform should you be on? Can you ignore it? The answer, like most things it depends on your product/service; and also yourself. If you know you will never go onto a platform and interact with you customers do not use it! There is nothing more frustrating than sending a message and not receiving an answer.


#designtip – choose your platforms wisely. If your business is just you with limited time, focus on one or two platforms and expand later when you can. Read my Which Social Media platform shall I use for my business? post to see which platform is right for you.

7. Website

A few years ago people were proclaiming the website was dead and you should only use social media. For many small businesses social media is often how they begin. Create a Facebook page and start promoting their product/service from there. However, social media only captures your potential audience attention. That attention then needs to be directed somewhere, and that somewhere is usually a website. A website introduces your product/service, tells your potential audience all about it, and then depending on the product/service either sells the product online or creates a funnel to the contact page.


So what sort of website do you need? Again this will come down to your business. If you sell a service your website may be relatively simple and depending on your skill you could create your own on Wix or Squarespace. However, these online website builders are not one size fits all and people often struggle to get their website working. It can be difficult to deliver your products or business message within the structure of the templates.


That where a website designer comes in. A website designer will consider the best way of portraying and selling your product/service and build you a bespoke website. They will also consider things like SEO and the integration of your social media.


#designtip – keep your website simple. Really think about the ultimate function of your website. Make sure it does that, and does it well.

I hope the above information has helped you set out to create your business brand. My goal is to help Start-ups and SMEs build financially, socially and environmentally sustainable businesses. If I can help you in anyway, please contact me for a chat.

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