If you’re starting a new home inspection business, you’ve got a lot on your plate: deciding on a name, registering your business, creating a business plan, building a website, devising marketing strategies, and much more. Learning how to create a brand guide may not be at the top of your list. However, a style guide is absolutely essential if you want to start your business off on the right foot.
What Is Branding?
Every business has a brand, whether they intentionally created one or not. A brand is how people perceive and remember a business. Understanding the incredible value of a brand, almost all companies choose to invest in branding, which is the act of giving a company its own personality and identity through its name, logo, font and color choices, writing style, and more. Even small business owners should spend a little time on branding.
The Importance of Branding
Let’s explore just a few of the many ways that branding can improve your business and increase your likelihood of success.
- Identity: Creating a brand can help establish your business’s identity. It shows your company’s personality and can even convey its values. It gives you some control over how people perceive your business.
- Recognition: Your brand will help people recognize and remember your business, and it also helps you stand out in a crowd. This can lead to more loyal customers as well as word-of-mouth referrals.
- Self-Confidence: Within your company, a brand can make your business feel more established, which can boost your team’s confidence. It can transform your own impression of your business, turning a scrappy operation into a respectable, reputable company.
- Trust: Solid branding also gives potential customers a good impression of your business. You can build trust through good branding, showing your audience that you’re an established, professional, reliable company.
- Unity: Branding can help any employees you hire feel like they’re part of a team. This can be motivating and improve morale.
Even if you agree that all of the benefits above are worthwhile, you might be skeptical about the idea of a brand guide. Learning how to create a brand guide may seem unnecessary, but it’s essential if you want to communicate your brand effectively and consistently. It ensures that all employees keep your brand’s aesthetics intact across all touchpoints while also providing clarity and focus. And fortunately, it doesn’t require an expensive or time-consuming process.
How to Create a Brand Guide
Unless you have a particular interest in graphic design (as well as the talent and tools to turn your ideas into reality), it’s probably best to hire someone to help you with your brand guide. Not only will they produce it faster than you likely would have, but the quality of the work will be better, which is crucial for branding.
To get started, spend a little time thinking about your ideal branding and writing down your ideas. Ask yourself the following questions:
What adjectives would you use to describe your company?
For example, maybe you want your business’s brand identity to convey that you’re diligent and knowledgeable. Maybe you want to show that you’ve got a no-fuss approach and technological savvy. Maybe you want to convey that you’re friendly and helpful. Brainstorm words that best convey your company’s values and mission.
Do you have any preferred fonts or colors?
These will be incorporated into your brand identity and appear on your website, your emails, and other visual communications. Generally, people tend to feel that serif fonts look more professional and classic, while sans-serif fonts seem more casual and modern. Both are great options; it’s simply a matter of personal taste.
When it comes to colors, remember that certain colors can evoke different emotions and meanings. The following are some common associations:
- Red: Passion, strength, power, energy, luck
- Orange: Confidence, health, excitement, enthusiasm, fun
- Yellow: Happiness, warmth, vibrancy, intellect, optimism
- Green: Growth, freshness, harmony, luck, prosperity
- Blue: Peace, loyalty, trust, wisdom, clarity, freedom
All colors have positive associations, so don’t be afraid to simply choose your favorite.
Do you have any ideas for the logo?
When you think about your future logo, do any images or symbols come to mind? For example, maybe you want to communicate that you offer home inspection services by including a house, a roof, a magnifying glass, a checkmark, etc. Or, perhaps you want your logo to reflect your company’s name. Consider collecting examples of logos that you like to give the designer a jumping-off point.
Who could bring your ideas into reality?
Now that you’ve got some ideas, it’s time to find someone who can take your brand adjectives, font and color preferences, and logo inspiration and turn them into a solid brand identity that fits your company’s goals.
An ad agency is a great option, but keep in mind that it may be a bit pricey. You could also find a freelance graphic designer on a site like Fiverr or Upwork. Review their rating, experience, and pricing to find the perfect match for you. Or, consider using 99Designs, which allows you to hire a specific designer or start a contest open to the site’s entire design community. If you run a contest for a logo, you can purchase a brand guide as an add-on. Finally, you may be able to connect with a college or technical school to find a talented student willing to provide high-quality work at an affordable price. Often, professors will happily connect you with top students to give them real-world experience.
Once you’ve created a brand identity and guide, use it consistently to reap the benefits.
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