The Ultimate Branding Checklist
When creating your brand or re-branding your existing business, you will want to make sure that you remember all of the main branding elements.
We’ve created a branding checklist below, along with a checklist PDF that you can download and use when undertaking your branding activities, with more information on each section with top tips below.
Customer insights are the first place to start when looking at your branding or rebrand. In business, most things are ruled by who your customers are and how you can reach them, and branding isn’t any different. Analysing your customers will allow you to create a view of your customer, to understand market demand and how they feel about your brand. It can also be useful to create a handful of UX profiles – imaginary snapshots of your key demographics and their life, likes and dislikes.
Analysing your competitors will allow you to identify their weaknesses and use this for your advantages when creating your branding. It also allows you to view the colours and fonts that other companies use in their branding, so that you can ensure your own branding is unique and stands out from the rest.
Writing a mission statement will allow you to identify the purpose of your work and business, and understanding your goals will allow you to create a strategy that will help you to achieve them. It also allows you to identify what is important to you – whether that be colours that will be recognisable with your customers or a catchy slogan or tagline.
Creating and building your own brand personality will help you to make decisions on logos, colours and more. It will also help with creating the tone of voice to be used throughout your marketing, customer service and communication.
Putting together a moodboard of images and ideas of what you want your brand to look like and how you want customers to feel when they interact with your brand is a great place to start. You can find ideas from your competitors, online (such as Pinterest), magazines and other media, as well as jotting down your own ideas too. Referring back to your moodboard throughout your branding process will help you to stay on track and will guide you in making decisions.
A logo suite is the main element that people think of when they design their branding. A logo creates a strong impression with your audience, allows you to stand out from your competitors, and allows you to build brand loyalty. When creating your logo suite, it’s important to take into consideration where your logo will be used and which formats you will need a logo – for example, you would want a logo option that can be used on both dark, white and transparent backgrounds.
Choosing a colour palette is also an important part of your branding, and helps customers to build a connection with your business. When creating a colour palette, it’s important to think about how you want customers to feel when they see your brand, and which colours invoke these feelings. Always make sure to check your colour combinations for accessibility, a certain level of contrast is important to ensure visually impaired people don’t struggle with legibility.
Slogan & Tagline
Many businesses have a slogan or tagline that is synonymous with their brand – such as ‘I’m lovin’ it’ from Mcdonalds, or ‘Taste the feeling’ from Coca Cola. Slogans make your brand memorable, however many brands don’t have slogans nowadays so this is an optional part of your branding.
Fonts & Typeface
When creating your logo, you will also take into account the typeface and fonts to be used. It’s important to choose a main typeface and sub typeface that both compliment each other and can be used in various parts of your branding and website. For example, you may choose a cursive font as your main typeface, and a simple sans serif typeface for your subfont – that will be used as paragraph text on your website. When designing your fonts and typefaces, you should also take into consideration accessibility.
A brand guidelines document will group all of your branding together in one place. These are then rules that your business can use to ensure that your branding is communicated properly and consistently with the world and your customers. It is helpful for all aspects of your business to be aware of brand guidelines.
Your branding will influence the imagery that you take and create. Images are used throughout your business – whether you’re product or service based – and these images should convey your branding. Whether you’re adding logo marks, coloured filters, or thinking of backdrops and locations for your images, you want them to be consistent and flow with your other branding materials too.
You may choose to use illustrations in your branding – such as on areas of your website. This also ties well with custom icons that you use on your website.
Website elements such as images, icons and illustrations should flow nicely with your branding. When updating your website, remember to update fonts, typefaces and colours to ensure consistency throughout.
Social Media Elements
Your branding should take into consideration the requirements needed for social media, such as logos in certain formats or sizes. Your branding may also outline the tone of voice to be used on social media and with communications with customers online.