If you need help, click that pineapple logo below to go to MD9’s website to schedule a call. If you’re on a tight budget, we just started offering 500 Fridays, a solution to help small startups like you #feelLoved.
Disclosure: Below, I share some of the tools that I use and love. If you find a tool that works better for you, please share it with me via LinkedIn. I have used affiliate links for some of the resources on this website. This means I might earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. This is at no extra cost to you and it supports this website, as well as the composition of future posts, which means I can spend more time writing content. I genuinely recommend everything linked to via this website. You can learn more here.
It all starts with customer data. If you don’t know what will draw your customers in and make them feel safe to buy from you, schedule a call me by choosing speak or meet with an advisor at MD9.co, or clicking on the image below. If you’d like to do it yourself, check out my customer data checklist here.
Once you know what your customers are looking for, you’re ready to build your brand.
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 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, you can view my customer data checklist here (quick heads up, this is the checklist that I use for all revenue generating business decisions, not just branding decisions).
The data driven decisions start with the archetype, which should depend on your target market’s psychographic segmentation. So let’s choose an archetype that will help to 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
In addition to embedding that video, I’ve created archetype mood boards on Pinterest to help you understand each of the brand archetypes. Click the image below to check them out, again #feelLoved 😄
Next we choose your 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 below the video.
We live in a digital age where brand names are no longer a quick & easy choice. Want proof? 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 name 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, people make money by becoming an obnoxious obstacle for you. Don’t let them. Grab your domain from NameCheap.com the second you find a good one, then run around to get all of the social handles.
After the name, we choose your 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 more than $1000 an hour. 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 us for another rapid growth run, head over to MD9.co or click the image below.
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 #fff(if you don’t know what those mean open this link & drop those 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).
To browse through color palettes before you decide, I’ve created several color boards that you can access by clicking the image below.
If you’d rather have a pro design your Company Logo before you pick your colors, here’s how I’d do it.
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 symmetrical logo. For whatever reason, we humans, trust symmetrical logos faster than 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. I do my own vinyls and embroidered work sometimes …. 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 be designing the logo, business cards & all business related stationary for me. PS: they have an option to include your first batch of business cards.
Last, but not least is the font.
If my recommended vendor did not design your business stationary, then it’s time for you to choose a font set… and yes, I also created a Pinterest board that is dedicated to fonts. Btw, using Pinterest boards like the ones mentioned through this guide have have made working with an ever growing remote team exponentially easier as MD9.co continues to grow. 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.
Lastly, 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.
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 a board to go with this, checkout this Pinterest board and checkout the list of general rules I follow:
- My logo NEEDS to be on my cards
- If the target market is over the age of 50, the font isn’t smaller than 20px.
- Again, with older target markets I stick to light & neutral colored backgrounds, saving dark colors for the fonts (this rule doesn’t apply when targeting a younger demographic).
- If the company is B2B and business card owners frequent networking events, I keep the back of the cards plain. This allows the recipient of each card to write notes on the back.
This post was brought to you by Adi Soozin of MD9.co. If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more like this, consider using the affiliate links we include in these posts. They allow us to occasionally earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. This is at no extra cost to you and it supports this website, as well as the composition of future posts, which means we can spend more time writing content. I genuinely recommend everything linked to via this website.