How to Build a Brand the Smart Way

How to Build a Brand the Smart Way

ZeBrand's 3-Step Branding Approach: Define, Design, Deliver

So you have an amazing idea for a new business. You know it has great potential and you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get this idea off the ground. Now comes the fun part, building your brand from garage startup to household name!

There’s an art to creating a brand. It takes equal parts of smart work and relentless determination. If you’ve got the boldness to launch your big idea, we’ve got the brand experience to grow it!

Here’s how we teach companies across the globe to start a business, build their brand, and make it successful.

How to Build a Brand Part I: The Logistics

Create a business plan from the ground up

The first step in building a successful brand is to get clear on your business plan. A business plan is a formal document that describes what type of business you’re launching, how it works, how it generates revenue, and what its long-term goals may be. Here at ZeBrand, we call it the Brand DNA.

When you’re ready to grow your team or attract investors, it’s important to have this plan in hand to help them clearly understand your business.

Depending on what type of business you’re launching, now it’s time to do a little paperwork. Note: you may choose to consult a business lawyer for help in determining the best business structure for your idea. They can also assist in completing the necessary forms to make your idea a real, legal business.

In the United States, the most common type of business structure is a sole proprietorship. It’s simple to set up and requires little paperwork. But if you’re looking to expand your business significantly, or add team members, you’ll need a more formal structure.

Another common business structure is a Limited Liability Company. While exact rules and guidelines for this type of business vary by state, in general, this structure is a great fit for small to mid-sized businesses with employees.

The required paperwork and detailed business structure information can be found on the Internal Revenue Service website. And when in doubt, contact a business attorney.

Claim your website domain

Once you’ve registered your business name and completed the necessary paperwork, you can launch your new website! Start by visiting a website domain service like Squarespace or Google Domains. You can browse available website names, purchase your favorite, and begin constructing your website right away.

Tip: ZeBrand's Standard Plan comes with a website and blog template included.

If you’d like to use a professional email address for your business communications, now’s a good time to create it. Google Workspace allows you to make an unlimited number of business email addresses for you and your team. The per-address fee is small, and it comes with access to helpful resources like Google Docs, Slides, Calendar, and Groups.

Gather your brand team

Now that the structure and logistics of your new business are in place, it’s time to start forming your brand. You can start building your brand using branding frameworks and modules built by trusted brand strategists here at ZeBrand.

How to Build a Brand Part II: The Look

Your business’ look and feel define how your future customers will relate to your brand. Here’s how you can put your best looking brand-foot forward:

Start by creating your brand strategy

What’s a brand strategy? It’s like a business plan for your brand. It keeps every element of your brand on track and well-defined. In short, it keeps your business from looking like a cobbled-together mess! We have an in-depth article about developing your own potent brand strategy here.

Your brand strategy will include components like your mission and vision statements, core values, origin story, and more. And once you’ve written these elements, they should guide everything your brand does moving forward.

What separates strong brands from those that get lost in the background is a consistently executed strategy guiding every business move - from content creation and product development to customer service and marketing.

Define your brand DNA and cultivate a powerful brand identity

Your brand DNA consists of all the pieces that make you, YOU! It’s your messaging, the words you put out into the world. It’s also your positioning, how you define your product or service and how it fits in the world. What's your brand inspiration? What do you think of yourself? These elements come together to create your unique brand identity.

Every powerful brand identity has a tangible personality. Because brands aren’t just logos and fonts, they’re full of life.

If you choose to work with ZeBrand, compiling your brand DNA and identity into one set of uniform brand guidelines will be one of the most important steps you’ll complete together. These guidelines will be the foundation for everything else you create.

Design your logo and compelling brand visuals

Are you funny and bright? Laid-back and sophisticated? Outdoorsy or glamorous? Once your brand identity has been defined, you can begin making compelling visuals that tell your story. A logo, fonts, colors, photography, and all the visuals you need flow out of your identity.

With your visual brand in place, you can begin designing assets for your business. Use the colors and typography in your brand guidelines to create your pitch deck, presentation slides, website pages, and more. When you stay on-brand, these assets fit together seamlessly.

ZeBrand's Branding Approach

Your brand strategy, brand guidelines, and brand story work together to create a tangible personality for your business. Once you define your strategy and DNA, you can design the visuals that represent your brand, and deliver those compelling visuals through every piece of content you create.

And lastly, these quick tips make a brand successful:

  • Always use your brand guidelines. Your robust brand guidelines help your teams stay consistent and aligned. The most successful brands have a uniform look and feel across their teams, content, products, and customer communications.

  • Keep your brand assets handy. Download your brand assets, including brand guidelines, social media profile and cover images, content templates, and presentation outlines. Save them in one quickly accessible folder for easy reference as you’re doing business. Tip: these downloadable resources are available through ZeBrand for just $38/month. Learn more here.

  • Get brand coaching. When it comes to scaling a brand from startup to worldwide, brand coaching is invaluable. You have enough on your plate already! Why not leave branding up to the experts? At ZeBrand, we help startups get through the growing pains with 1-on-1 monthly brand coaching sessions. Meet with a world-class brand strategist to make sure your business is on track for success. Start here.