A guide to building the perfect brand from the ground up

Words by Maeve Kerr Crowley
Images via noissue

So, you want to start a brand.

You’ve got a great idea and a can-do spirit, and you’re ready for world domination. But the question is, how do you get started?

Before getting your endeavour off the ground, there’s an awful lot to think about – establishing a brand identity, designing your logo and producing eye-catching packaging, just for a start.

We know that all sounds a little overwhelming, so we got some advice from Ben Hamm Conard, head of marketing at personalised packaging company noissue. With his help, here’s our guide to successfully designing the perfect look for your brand. 

Where to start

Before you can sell other people on your product, you have to know it like the back of your hand. This is all about planning, planning some more, then throwing in some extra planning. The most important thing to consider is what Ben calls your ‘key pillars’. Think about what you’re selling, why you’re selling it, and what you want your brand to represent. He poses the question, “What do you want to show off?” Once you know what’s special about your product, it’s a lot easier to figure out how to market it.

How to build the right team

Very few brands can survive as a one-man-show, and finding people to help you achieve your goals is crucial. At the branding stage, it’s especially important to have a great designer on your team. That could be you (if you’re creatively inclined) but we’re not all blessed with those particular skills. With that in mind, noissue has established its Creative Community – a collection of designers and illustrators ready to be connected with brands in need.

Of course, the people who really make a brand successful aren’t the creative or marketing experts. The make and break for any company is how it’s received by the general public. To give yourself the best shot possible, Ben suggests seeking feedback at every opportunity. “Take everything to the people you trust in your life and let them tell you what they get from your choices,” he recommends. “Then figure out if those are the impressions you want people to have.”

Making the big decisions

The biggest branding choices you face won’t always seem that big. Things like font and colour choices could be dismissed as unimportant details, but they can actually be used to say a lot about your product. Your logo, for example, is essentially the face of your brand. The font, colours and design elements you choose will appear on everything from business cards and packaging to your website and social media profiles. “You want your customers to know if something is yours and not yours,” Ben reminds us.

Since you’ll have to look at it a lot, it’s worth choosing a design you personally enjoy. But there are other, more practical factors to consider as well. When looking at things like colour, Ben says to think about how they’ll be used. “Will they print well on a variety of media? Cardboard? Paper? Will it look good in print and online?” Making the right decision from the get-go will save you a whole lot of regret in the future.

How to stand out

A memorable product has to catch people’s attention, and the best way to do that is to offer something nobody else can. Remember that special brand edge you thought about earlier? Capitalise on it. Double down on that idea in your design, packaging and marketing.

It’s also important to keep the human element of your industry in mind. People tend to remember experiences more clearly than they do objects, and fortunately, your brand is capable of offering both. “It’s about nailing the basics,” says Ben. “Things like customer service – making an impression with how kind, polite and helpful you are. That’s the best way to get referrals, build a name for your brand and garner positive coverage.”

The importance of packaging

How good does it feel when you buy something online and it arrives in beautiful, thoughtful packaging? Something as simple as customisable branded tissue paper from noissue can give your customers the sense that a lot of thought and care has gone into getting your product to their door.

Personalised packaging is also a great opportunity to reinforce your brand identity. “In a space that otherwise wouldn’t have advertised your brand, you can now make an impression,” explains Ben. He also points out that, whether you’re an influencer or not, very few people can resist showing off exciting new purchases on social media. Every time a customer photographs and shares your nicely wrapped product, it’s your branding that’s being broadcast to all of their followers.

Thinking about your impact

In this day and age, starting a company without considering your environmental impact could be a death sentence. With consumers pushing for greater ethics and transparency in every industry, thinking about your design and manufacturing processes is just as beneficial for your brand as it is for Mother Earth.

But don’t stop with the sustainability credentials of the product itself, as the way you package your goods has the same potential to be environmentally unsound. Using the wrong materials can very quickly undo all your hard work establishing a great brand identity. Luckily, it’s not difficult to find quality, eco-friendly packaging options. The tissue paper produced at noissue, for example, is made from sustainably harvested wood pulp, while the brand’s mailbags are 100% home compostable.

To get started on your branding journey, visit noissue.co

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