Let's say you're starting a company. You've basically got two options for building a brand:

Hire an agency for $50k+


Learn what it takes to do it yourself with this guide.

Understand Your Target Audience

To build a brand, you'll want to start by understanding who your target audience is and what their needs are. This can be done by researching and analyzing the current market space and how you fit into it.

Once you know your target audience, try to understand what they want out of life. What are their hopes? Their dreams? How do they want others to see them? Yes, you must know your target audience intimately.

These questions will help shape your brand's message and identity moving forward.

Once you've figured out who your ideal customer is, it's time to take a step back from yourself and look at things from their perspective—what do they need from a product or service like yours? What do they hope for when using whatever service or product might be offered by this company? And perhaps most importantly: why should these people care about purchasing anything related to yours (or anyone else's)?

Choose Your Brand Character and Story

The brand character is the personality of your brand. It's the way your product or service makes people feel and think. The brand story is the story behind the creation of your product or service, which can be used to help guide decisions around marketing and new features.

For example, Apple's product design aesthetic has been a prominent part of its branding since at least 2010, when Steve Jobs introduced their first mobile devices. This focus on minimalist design has been carried over into every aspect of their products (and even their stores), both physical and digital. Their marketing campaigns are always clean and simple—which makes sense given that their products tend to be very expensive compared with other devices on the market so they must carefully consider how their ads will affect consumer perception before they spend millions running them across every medium available today!

Develop Your Brand Guidelines

What are brand guidelines?

Brand guidelines are the rules of your brand. They govern how your brand is used and applied and help you maintain a consistent tone for every piece of content. For example, if you have purple as a color in your logo, it probably wouldn't make sense to use red as one of your primary colors in other design elements—even if they're related somehow (like a purple website and an orange business card).

A good rule of thumb is to make sure that anything related to your brand should feel like it belongs together in some way; otherwise, it'll look like someone just threw up some random colors without any planning or thought behind what they were doing. Having a set of well-developed guidelines will help keep everything looking cohesive—and keep people from questioning whether or not someone had planned out their color scheme beforehand!

Design Your Visual Elements

Now that you've defined your brand's story and brand guidelines, it's time to start designing the visual elements.

Visual design is the most crucial element in building a brand identity. It can be so powerful that it can be used alone to create a memorable brand experience with minimal copy or messaging.

Designing for your target audience: The first step in creating a visual design for your business is knowing who you want to attract as customers. You should also know what products or services they'll want from you so that you'll know how best to showcase them visually on all of your marketing material and websites or social media pages.

Most successful brands have an identifiable personality or character that sets them apart from competitors by giving their company something unique and memorable about their business — whether it's funny quips made by an animated mascot on their website or catchy taglines taken from popular ads (like "Just Do It" from Nike).

Implement and Measure

Implementing your brand is just the first step. Now that you've developed your brand and polished up its look, it's time to put it on a pedestal and see how it performs. Do this by measuring how effective your branding efforts have been. It doesn't mean only looking at sales figures—you should also consider how well-known your company is in the marketplace, whether or not its reputation is growing, and if people feel that their experience with the company matches up with what they expect when they encounter their logo or slogan.

In addition to these metrics, though, there are some less obvious things you need to keep track of as well:

  • Did you successfully communicate all aspects of your business via visual assets? If so, which ones worked best? If not…why not? How can they be improved?
  • Are there any gaps between what customers think about something—such as their experience shopping online—and what they actually find out when using an e-commerce site? How can those holes be plugged so customers are happy every time they visit yours (or another retailer's) site?


  • Understand your target audience
  • Choose your brand character and story
  • Develop your brand guidelines
  • Design visual elements that communicate your vision of the brand to the world
  • Implement and measure

Brand development is a process that's ongoing. Once you've done your research, worked on your mission and vision statements and determined the needs of your customers, you'll need to continually update these aspects of your business as they evolve.