It all starts with customer data.
Once you know what your customers are looking for, you’re ready to build your brand.
1. How to choose the right brand archetype
The first key to creating a powerful startup brand is choosing a brand archetype that your ideal customer strongly resonates with
Why should this be the first step in marketing your company? In the words of Scott Jeffrey…
“Archetypes are at the core of effective marketing. They provide the most powerful way to attract the right customers. But archetypes are often misunderstood”Scott Jeffrey
If you wanted to know how I design and re-design startups for rapid growth, I start with looking at 1. Their customer data & 2. Their brand’s identity.
If you need help figuring out which data to look at, join this Masterclass (quick heads up, this Masterclass will show you what I use for all revenue generating business decisions, not just branding decisions).
The data driven decisions start with the archetype, which should depend partially on your founder’s core fascination advantage (take the FREE quiz here) and partially on your target market’s psychographic segmentation. So let’s dive in to how you can choose an archetype that will fuel the growth of your startup… Sparkol has, what I believe is, the best explanation of the 12 brand archetypes; which is why I embedded their video for you, right here #feelLoved.
If you do not know what a fascination advantage is, check out this FREE workbook, or watch the short playlist below.
2. How to choose the right company name
The video below will run you through a few simple steps to help you create a short-list of names. Don’t just pick one, create a list of at least 10. I’ll explain why after the video.
We live in a digital age where brand names are no longer a quick & easy choice. Why? Take your list of brand names over to NameChk.com type in the first one. The statistical likelihood of that name being available across all of the platforms you need to be on, is extremely low. Continue to type names from your list into the Namechk search bar until you find the one that has the most platforms available. Once you’ve found one, quickly grab ALL of the relevant URLs & usernames on those platforms.
When I was in college I had a buddy who would squat on domain names and social media usernames to make money. Yes, this is one of the many ways that others make money by becoming your startup’s next obnoxious obstacle. To prevent this, grab your domain from NameCheap.com the second you find a good one, then run around to get all of the social handles. Block off an hour to do all of this in ONE sitting, you won’t regret it.
3. How to choose the right company colors
The “magical ratio” is 60 – 30 -10.
If you’re sitting at your desk with your jaw dropped to the floor right now because you just realized that rapid startup growth is an obscenely calculated science: from the color ratios, to the ever changing social media algorithmic rules, you’re not alone. It took a decade for me to learn all of this, and now you might have a better understanding of why people are willing to pay $1500 an hour to learn just what they need to hit their next goal. If you want the same help so you can focus on running your business, while my team & I make sure the thousands of tiny boxes are checked to prime for your rapid growth, click here to learn more about working with MD9.
If you’d rather DIY, let’s get back to the riveting discussion of company colors. 60% of your color scheme should be a neutral color like #f3f3f3 or #ffffff (if you don’t know what those mean open this link & drop those hexadecimal codes in), 30% should be your brand’s main color (checkout this Pinterest board to find the easiest color to help you quickly build trust within your industry) and 10% should be your highlight color (the color you use on your buttons).
If you are looking for a few tools to help with your next color choosing project, these are a few of my favorites: To start, I recommend checking out the Pantone Color Intelligence Trend Reports to see the trends for this past year (yes, this is a growth hack that can slash your customer acquisition costs). Next, I suggest browsing palettes that contain the recently trending colors at one of these sites: Coolors, Material Palette, LOL Palettes, UI Gradients, Color Hunt Palettes & https://flatuicolors.com/. Then, play with individual colors using Coolors, Paletton & 0 to 255.
4. How to choose the right logo
There are countless opinions on what constitutes the perfect logo design. As someone who looks for the path to the fastest win, I don’t really like to spend loads of time building brand awareness and trust for an elaborate design, when I can choose a design that follows this strange list of things that make people trust a new brand faster:
- As I mentioned in the last section, your “30-color” should be in the same arena as the rest of the companies in your industry. Checkout my Pinterest board on the Psychology of colors for help.
- Choose a simple or symmetrical logo. For whatever reason, we humans, trust simple and symmetrical logos faster than complex and a-symmetrical ones. Aside from this, they’re also easier to print and easier to make embroidered & vinyl cut outs with, if you like to DIY.
Don’t be embarrassed of DIY, I do my own vinyls and embroidered work sometimes too. Let’s be honest, after several intense hours on the computer it’s amazingly relaxing to do something with your hands for a change.
If you want a pro to design your logo for you, I like this company because they save me loads of time designing the logo, business cards & all business related stationary for me.
PS: they have an option to include your first batch of business cards.
5. How to choose the right fonts
Quick side note: using Pinterest boards like the one above, have made working with an ever growing remote team exponentially easier for MD9.co. Feel free to use them as a reference with your own remote team.
So, if you decided to choose your own font sets, here are the general rules I follow:
- I don’t use custom fonts. You need to invest time into making sure that they load across every type of browser & mail client and when they do load, they can have a negative impact on your SEO as they impact your website’s load speed.
- Pick one font that is great for main headers.
- A second, thinner font for sub-headers.
- A third one that is easy to read, for body text.
If you want a bit more guidance, here’s a video on “how to choose fonts” created by a graphic designer who worked with big brands like Budweiser.
Tools to help with this:
- Test, compare, select and design with over 2800 web fonts at Type Tester.
- Here is “A Pocket Guide to Master Every Day’s Typographic Adventures”
- If you are hell bent on making more work for yourself, you can find custom premium fonts over here.
- If you’ve got enough on your to-do list and want to keep this simple, here is a list with samples of the 80 best free fonts for designers.
- Checkout & bookmark Google Fonts & Font Squirrel, you will most likely use both quite a bit throughout your entrepreneurial career.
BONUS: If you’ve decided to design your own business cards…
The last item I’d add to your task list is the standardization of your company’s business cards. Some people like to treat them like that cheat sheet you were allowed to bring into exams in middle school. JUST BECAUSE IT ALL FITS ON THE CARD DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD PRINT IT LIKE THAT 🤦♀️
The Logo Company has the great bundled offer I mentioned earlier, they will design your logo and business stationary all for you.
But if you are committed to designing your own business cards, Envato Elements (my favorite design & plugin platform), has a few hundred templates to help you get started. If you’d like to browse a mood board before you decide, checkout this Pinterest board.
Regardless of who designs your cards, this list of general rules should be followed:
- The logo NEEDS to be on the cards
- If the target market is over the age of 50, the font should NOT be smaller than 20px and the colors are light & neutral (this rule doesn’t apply when targeting a younger demographic).
- If you want people to connect on LinkedIn or perform some other action, drop a QR code onto the back of the business cards.
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