Business Designs Unlimited

How to Build a Successful Brand
By Lisa Willis • Vice President, Business Designs Unlimited

Thinking about starting a business? Now is a great time to build your brand properly.
Your brand elements need to be created properly and remain consistent as to put your best forward and avoid brand confusion.

What Makes a Successful Brand?

A great brand makes people want to take action. It makes them want to try the latest fashion, beverage, or car. To visit a new restaurant, support the panda bears in China, or give to a children’s care at a specialty hospital.


A successful brand includes these elements:


What is your brand? How do you tell others what your brand does?


What does your brand do? Does it make clothes clean or windows sparkle?


How does your brand feel? Is it young, old, happy, professional, or personal?


What is the story behind your business? This is often overlooked. Having a story about your brand is critical for others to resonate with it. Make sure that you create your brand history, and your staff knows how to tell it.


How does your brand resonate with customers? What do they think of? Here are a few great examples: Coca-Cola is a classic. Downy is soft. Tesla is electric.


The greatest success of a brand may not only be represented in sales, but in the recognition of the brand and how the name is used. A great example is Uber. Since its inception, Uber has given millions of rides around the world. It has replaced taxis and other public transportation. Sure, there are other rideshare companies, but Uber has stood out.


So here is my question to you, when you talk about rideshare, what do you call it? Uber has become a noun and a verb in the English language. You “call an Uber” or “Uber over to the store.” Other examples of a brand becoming a powerful noun and verb include “Xerox” for copying, “Google” to search online, “Chapstick” for lip balm, “Band-Aid” for an adhesive bandage, and most recently “Zoom” for online meetings. 

Elements of a Brand

Brand imaging has multiple components. Starting simply with the logo. Other components include the name, look, colors, voice.


Many times, people confuse brand with logo, when the latter is an element of brand. Your logo should be original, simple, and memorable. It should represent what your product or service does.  A logo needs to be able to be used for many things. It needs to work on paper, packaging, merchandising, clothing and online. It also needs to work when sized differently. If it is too complex, it will not work well if sized small. It needs to hold up in color or black and white. When creating a logo, remember that it will be updated every so many years as to keep up with the times. However, that does not mean that the logo should be completely rebuilt. So, it needs to be built right the first time to avoid brand confusion. For more on logos, check out our blog post on logo design.    


Your brand name must be memorable and timeless. It will also need to be meaningful, distinctive, accessible, protectable (trademarkable), and visual.


Your look will tell shoppers how to think of you. Are you contemporary or classic? What age group is your target audience? Are you stiff and highbrow or fun and playful?


Colors create an emotion. The right use of color will make or break a brand. Some will make the consumer feel warm and fuzzy, and others create a sense of power. Example: Red encourages appetite. Green is associated with tranquility and health. Men love blue. Black is associated with power and authority, and white is associated with purity, cleanliness, and safety.  Which to use? Click here to learn more about brand color psychology.


Brand voice is how you share your personality. It needs to speak to your target consumers. Would you buy a pair of jeans from a company whose brand voice sounds like they are selling banking products? Conversely, would you buy an expensive house from a company who sounds like they sell hamburgers? It is that important. Sprout, a social media engagement platform says this about brand voice.


Once you have all of these components, you will want to document and protect them. Trademark your logo. A brand standard ensures that your staff will not go “off brand” and cause brand confusion.

Bottom Line

Before you start your company, you will want to put significant attention toward defining and building your brand. Already up and running? It’s not too late to rebrand and get on the right track. If done properly, you can lead an industry, a movement, or become a significant component of the English language.

Let Business Designs Unlimited help you to build your brand! We have the tools and talent to make you stand out and be successful.