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​​Your brand is more than just your logo. Your brand is the entire experience of what it’s like to work with you or buy your product: it is how people feel when they think about you and what people say about you.

This makes branding one of the most important pieces in business today, alongside marketing and advertising. Why? Because it can make or break a company! That’s why these five steps are essential for creating a strong brand identity that sets your company apart from others.

1. Complete a Brand Audit

You have to know your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats before you can build a solid brand. A complete brand audit will give you the information needed for this process. Once you’ve completed an audit, you’ll have the data you need to continue to truly develop your unique brand and offering.

2. Establish Messaging with Your Unique Value Proposition

When people decide to work with or buy from you, they’re investing in time and money. They need to feel like that’s a smart move by investigating your past successes and how you’ll solve their problems. Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) will convey what makes you different from your competitors. It determines why someone should choose to invest their resources in working with you.

3. Develop Creative Elements

Your visual elements (your logo, color schemes, typography) and your auditory elements (sounds and music) should all work together to reinforce what you’ve established with your messaging. This will be the first impression people have of your business, so it must be consistent and compelling.

4. Establish Your Brand Identity

Your brand identity is how your customers, clients, and prospects will remember you. This includes your tone of voice (in writing), social media strategy, customer service attitude, community work/philanthropy efforts, signage, and exterior design of the office building.

5. Implement and Refine

There’s no such thing as perfection, but the closer you follow these steps, the better off you’ll be. Don’t worry about being a branding guru; just focus on having a great product or service and going out there and doing what you do well!

Follow these steps, and you’ll create a brand identity that will be easy to remember and, most importantly, easy for potential customers or clients to find and invest in.