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You know that branding is important – that consistency is essential for trust, and differentiation is a must in an over-saturated, internet-connected world. But I’m often asked: “Where do I even start with my branding?”

My answer is this: choose three words.

These words should represent how you want customers (potential and existing) to feel when they interact with your brand. Do you want them to feel inspired? At ease? Energetic? Youthful? Do you want to come across as experienced and established?

Most people would say yes to all of these things, but it’s really important to choose just three to get started. What are the three MOST IMPORTANT feelings that will set you apart from others in your field?

This is step 0 in your branding. I say step 0 because it’s the forgotten step. Everyone wants to dive straight in to their logo, or their colors, or their image library. But if you don’t start with your three words, you will more than likely get lost in a haze of hodge-podge, stitched together branding that doesn’t sell your expertise on a foundation of consistency and trust.

So choose your three words first so that you have your core foundation to come back to during every step of your branding process. When you choose your color palette, what emotions do you want to evoke? Come back to your three words. When you develop a logo, what message do you want it to subconsciously convey? Come back to your three words. As you choose a theme for your graphics and build an image library, come back to your three words.