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Boise Logo Design Tips for Small Businesses

Boise's small businesses are growing rapidly in number and scale, so they need a strong brand identity. Learn how to create one that reflects your company's values!

Boise's small businesses are growing rapidly in number and scale, so they need a strong brand identity to stand out. After sponsoring Boise Entrepreneur Week, it became apparent to me that there is a gap in resources for bootstrap businesses in Boise. This article covers the basics of building a business and brand in Boise.

Grid of Pink boxes with orange bands and words that say "Brand" and "Name" on the sides.
Boise Brand Building Tip #1: Pick a Brand Name that Works.

Choose a Brand Name That Works.

A brand name should reflect who the business is and what does, but should also take into consideration the growth aspirations of the company. For example, a company named Local Boise Hair Studio might perform well in search results, but isn’t poised to grow beyond the city limits. This comes from the old adage of naming a business with “AAA” at the beginning to show up first in the phonebook—while similar strategies might work in an online environment, consider how the brand name will come across and its potential for national and global growth. 

The brand name should be memorable, easy to spell, and not overly complicated. Think of some of the latest companies to explode in popularity: AirBnb, Uber, Amazon, Facebook, Apple. Each of these is simple, to the point, and more amorphous than “Photography by Katie Lynn” which isn’t a scalable business model. What happens when Katie can’t show up or wants to grow into associates?

Pink 3D rendered box with the words "Mission & Values" in white.
Boise Brand Building Tip #2: Nail Down Brand Values and Mission.

Nail Brand Values and Mission.

Any new business owner probably knows what it is they are going to sell, create, or service. What’s more important when building a brand is being able to articulate why the business does that. If a company knows what it produces or offers as a service, ask why it produces that. Then, ask why that reason. Then ask why about seven more times until only a pure idea remains. 

For Nike founder Phil Knight his company started selling shoes. If asked, “why?” once, he might have responded with his Master’s Degree in Business Administration answer that China was able to produce shoes more cheaply and he thought he could sell them in America for a profit. If asked, “why?” a second time, he may have responded that it was because he had always loved running and felt it was a doorway to understanding more of life. If asked, “why?” one more time, he probably would have responded with what has been Nikes long term belief that “Every Body is an Athlete,” and Mr. Knight just wanted to make sports accessible to everyone. 

Brand values and a strong mission statement can propel a brand forward. It also serves best at getting other people to follow along. The biggest supporters of any brand are the ones who believe what the brand believes, so brand values and mission are a paramount step in building a brand.

Develop a Logo and Visual Language.

Developing a logo is perhaps the simplest part of the brand process if the values and mission phase is done well. Hire a good designer who understands the first few steps of building a brand, and then make sure that they have a body of work that gets the kind of results the business is looking for. 

Building a visual language on the other hand is a much more arduous task. A visual language is a set of graphics, colors, fonts, and image treatments put together in a certain order that is unique to a brand. Just like Ernest Hemmingway and Lin Manuel-Miranda both had access to the same set of words, each of them put those words together in very different combinations. The same is true of a visual language. With millions of businesses all over the world, there's a slim chance that there is still a unique color or a font that isn’t being used, but there are plenty of ways to put all the components together in a new and unique way.

Build an Online Space and Presence.

An online presence is essential to any modern business. Whether the business sells products or services, having a website will help build credibility with potential clients. Think of a professional website like a net used in fishing. A brand can lure in huge catches, but without a proper net, they’ll slip right through. 

A website is also the best place to build authority and show a brand's expertise. Through short and long articles, images, and graphics, a brand is able to aggregate all the information surrounding its subject in order to be seen as an authority in its marketplace. Great content begets visits and customers, so build that net to reel in the leads!

Promote the Brand.

With a brand name that resonates, strong values and mission statement, a recognizable visual language, and a growing online presence, now is the time to promote the brand. Marketing is the last step of building a brand. For small businesses with tight budgets, all the other work that comes first is meant to elevate the impact of marketing efforts. 

It can be a waste of money to invest in promotion if a logo is going to change, if the mission doesn’t connect, or if the website isn’t set up to accept customer checkouts. That’s why we save promoting the brand for last. With all the previous steps completed, promotional marketing efforts have a brand to point to, have a brand customers will recognize and believe in, and a brand that will grow into the future.

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