Focused woman in a vibrant green shirt working on a computer in an office space adorned with illustrations, symbolizing the process of building a brand.
Starting a business

How to build a brand: A beginner’s guide to building your brand story

What is a brand?

A brand is a unique and distinct identity associated with a business, individual, product, or service. It represents a business's image, reputation, and value to customers. Your name, logo, colors, fonts, and messaging are some of the things that make up your brand.

There’s a lot to sort out when you’re starting a business. One of the most essential tasks is deciding on your brand and visual identity to set your business apart from the competition. Your branding should be memorable and capture the essence of your business.

OK, yes, that’s a lot of pressure. But don’t panic yet!

In this guide, you’ll learn how to build a brand in eight steps, including understanding your target market, creating your visual identity, and keeping it consistent throughout your business.

We also created a template to guide you through the process of building a brand, which you can turn into a presentation deck to share with your team.

Woman in a yellow shirt working on a laptop displaying a color palette, indicating the process of creating a visual identity while building a brand.
Guide on 'Building your brand in 8 steps' with various icons representing communication, research, target audience, writing, individuality, and naming, indicating a comprehensive process of how to build a brand.

Step 1: Research your target market and competitors

Before you can create a brand for your business, you have to first understand who your target market is and who your competitors are. This can help you tailor your brand to those most interested in your business and what it offers and appeal to their emotions, needs, lifestyle, and budget. 

Research your target market by: 

  • Figuring out what they’re looking for
  • Understanding their interests and what they buy 
  • Analyzing what they talk about and how they talk 
  • Finding how they respond to different tones and personalities 

From there, start building buyer personas to paint a picture of your ideal customers. The more specific you get, the better you’ll understand how potential customers want to see your brand. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and pinpoint their shopping habits, buyer journey, and what they look for in a brand. 

Next, analyze your competition—both direct and indirect competitors. Consider their strengths and weaknesses, their value proposition, and what works and what doesn’t with their branding. Then think to yourself: How can I differentiate my brand and make it stand out from the competition?


A small business that sells natural skincare products shouldn’t target everyone looking for a new facial moisturizer. Instead, they should target customers who want are mindful of organic ingredients as well as sustainable businesses.

Step 2: Establish your brand positioning

Once you understand who your audience is, you can focus on your brand positioning. Pen down what you want your brand to stand for and what unique value and benefits you offer to your customers to create your value proposition

Your brand positioning helps to tell your business story, which will be part of your messaging and how you describe your brand. To develop your brand’s positioning, consider asking yourself: 

  • What is our mission statement?
  • How can we describe our brand?
  • What words do people associate with our brand?
  • What do we want to accomplish?

These questions will lead to a more specific brand positioning that you can carry through the rest of your branding journey. Then try to summarize your brand positioning in one or two sentences that clearly describe who your business is and what it offers.


The brand positioning for a natural skincare company might look like: “We help eco-conscious individuals who want to elevate their beauty routine by providing natural skincare products that contribute to a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle.”

Step 3: Pick a brand name

Whether you have a name in mind or you’re still brainstorming ideas, the next step is to choose your brand name. Choosing the right brand name can greatly impact how people view your brand. 

You want people to remember your brand whenever they see your name or logo. Your brand name also affects your marketing, so choosing a memorable name is key to a cohesive brand image.

Here are a few ways you can choose your brand name

  • Find words that describe your brand: Look at your core business values and attributes that are important to you.  
  • Base it on your story: Consider your business story, history, and why you started your business.
  • Think about the image you want to portray: Get inspiration for how you want your customers to see you and what sort of image you want your business to carry.
  • Make it easy to remember: Consider how your brand can stand out from your competitors.
  • Keep it easy to pronounce: Choose an easy-to-pronounce brand name so it’s easy for your customers to pronounce and talk about your business.
  • Be unique: Avoid generic words or choose words that resonate with your brand.
  • Use acronyms and abbreviations: Consider acronyms for what your business stands for, or abbreviate or shorten and be creative with a word that describes your business. 

Before making the final decision on your brand name, conduct a thorough search to ensure the name is unique and not already used by other businesses. You should also look at available domain names and social media accounts, as that can limit you when building your website and social media profile. 

Feel confident from day one

You're never too small, and it's never too soon to know you're on track for success.

Step 4: Create your slogan 

Ever catch yourself saying a word that automatically reminds you of a famous brand? A catchy slogan can help people recognize your brand even when they’re not thinking about it. 

Create a slogan for your brand that resonates with your values to bring awareness to your brand. Here are some ways you craft a short and catchy slogan: 

  • Wordplay and rhymes: Come up with a play on words, rhyme, or alliteration related to your brand or purpose. 
  • Emotional appeal: Connect with your customers and evoke an emotion, such as addressing their pain point. 
  • Highlight benefits: Capture your brand’s essence and values in one statement. 
  • Call to action: Encourage action from your audience by making it your slogan. 
  • Differentiation: Highlight what sets you apart from your competitors and why customers should choose your brand. 

Your slogan should effectively communicate your brand’s identity and purpose while still being memorable. Be creative and play around with different combinations of words until you find one that aligns with your business. 

Remember that many brands have changed their slogan over time, and you can too. Your slogan can grow with your brand and change as your business develops.


A catchy slogan for a natural skincare brand could sound something like: “Nature’s secrets, your skin’s delight.”

Step 5: Define your brand personality

Do you ever look at a brand and imagine it as a person? Whether they remind you of a trusted friend, a comforting family member, or a leader who inspires you—brands have a personality too. 

Your brand personality is another important part of building your brand and can help you stay consistent through all your channels—including your website, customer service, social media, and products.

Woman reviewing a paper with the title 'How to bring personality to your brand' and questions about self-description, behavior, and interests, indicating a guide to infusing personality into brand building.

Building a brand personality requires thoughtful research, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. Start by jotting down some adjectives you’d like people to use to describe your business.

Do you want them to think of you as trusted, respected, and knowledgeable? Or maybe approachable, colorful, and quirky? What about groundbreaking, sleek, and modern?

It can be helpful to look at some examples to get some ideas about what might fit your business. Take a look at what other businesses are doing, such as those in your industry or any type of brand that appeals to you. 

Then develop your unique brand personality. Write down your voice and tone, things you’d say and wouldn’t say, and how you want to portray yourself in your business's industry. 


A natural skincare brand might describe itself as the older sibling you look up to. They have a fun and nurturing personality, they empower you, and you can trust them.

Step 6: Write your brand story 

You can now start crafting your brand story to help customers relate to your brand in a more personal way. They’ll know why you started, how you got there, and your brand values. 

Here are some steps to writing your brand story: 

  • Identify your mission statement: Have a clear vision of your business’s values and goals so you can keep it aligned with your brand story. 
  • Craft a compelling story: You use a captivating hook or anecdote, a powerful statement, or an intriguing question to grab attention from the start. 
  • Introduce your brand: Give an overview of who you are, what you do, and what sets you apart. 
  • Share your journey: Share your personal journey and how your business came to be. Describe the challenges you faced and the passion that drives you. 
  • Highlight your values: Hone in on your value proposition and emphasize your values. Explain why these values are essential and how they shape your business. 
  • Describe your process: Explain the creative process behind your product or service and how you plan to provide value to your customers.
  • End with a call to action: Finish your story with a powerful call to action to encourage people to support your brand.  

Once you’ve crafted your story, you can share it across your website, social media, and marketing materials to help tie all the elements of your brand together and build a loyal customer base.

Step 7: Design the look of your brand 

Your font, colors, and logo are core elements of your brand identity. You’ll use them in many different places including your website, business cards and letterhead, social media graphics, and promotional materials. These details play an important role in how people perceive your brand.

Brand infographic showcasing QuickBooks' elements including a green color palette symbolizing prosperity and profit, and the Avenir Next font, indicating the look of a modern and contemporary brand.

Create a color palette for your brand that’s consistent with what you want your customers to perceive when they see it. For example, red can indicate excitement, energy, and passion, while green evokes nature, money, and freshness. The colors you choose will elicit certain emotions and perceptions, whether or not people are consciously aware of it.

There are also seemingly endless fonts to choose from, but the majority will fall into one of three categories: 

  • Serif fonts: trust, respect, authority, and formality
  • Sans-serif fonts: straightforward, modern, trust, sophisticated, tech-focused, cutting-edge
  • Script fonts: elegant, sophisticated, fancy, creative, happy, traditional, personal, whimsical

This breakdown provides a good starting point for determining which type of font accurately captures the reputation and personality you want for your business. Consider using only two fonts throughout your channels—one for headers or big text and one for subheadings and body copy. 

Once you have your colors and fonts set, you can create a logo for your brand—which will be the face of your business. Create a logo that’s unique and memorable but also consistent with your brand. Think about where you’ll have to place your logo, such as your website, packaging, and social media.


The logo for a natural skincare brand could be a nature-inspired symbol, such as a leaf or flower, with clean and elegant typography. For the color palette, they might choose something to symbolize nature and elegance, like soft greens and earthy tones. To bring a balance between simplicity and elegance, they might go for a sans-serif font.

Step 8: Apply your branding

The last step for building your brand is to apply your branding across your business and assets. Keep it consistent across all channels, including your website, social media, packaging, and any other customer-facing touch points.

It’s also worth creating a style guide document that includes the details about your branding, such as color palettes, fonts, story, personality, and slogan. This helps your team and customers stay connected and ensures your branding is consistent across all areas of your business. 

Remember: Your branding can evolve with time and likely change as your business grows and changes.


A natural skincare brand would make its branding consistent by applying its design style to websites, social media, and marketing materials, as well as, using a consistent voice and tone.

Benefits of building your brand

Building a brand can take significant time and resources —especially when starting a business from scratch. But setting aside some time to focus on your branding can be beneficial in many ways.

Infographic on why you should build a strong brand with symbols of trust, recognition, environmental friendliness, and attraction, and statements about the benefits of brand building, including loyalty, differentiation, trust, competition, consistency, customer bonding, and message delivery.

Here are some benefits of building a brand: 

  • Customer loyalty and recognition: A strong brand can create instant recognition among customers, which can increase customer loyalty and repeat purchases. 
  • Competitive advantage: A well-established brand differentiates itself from the competition, helping you stand out and attract more customers. 
  • Trust and credibility: Branding helps customers trust you and improves your credibility, increasing the chances that they’ll recommend your brand to others. 
  • Emotional connection: Strong branding can build an emotional connection with your customers, making them feel more attached to your brand.
  • Consistency and clarity: Well-established branding plans bring consistency across all channels, such as your website, customer service, and advertising. 
  • Attract the ideal market: Branding focused on your target audience can help you attract the ideal customer base.

As you can see, investing your time and resources into building a brand can yield a wide range of benefits, effectively increasing your competitive advantage and customer loyalty for years to come. 

Start your business with confidence 

Building a brand is a lengthy process that requires big decisions, but it’s important to do—the right branding can help you attract loyal customers and build credibility. Now that you know how to build a brand, you can use your creativity to develop the right brand story and personality for your business. 

Remember that a strong brand can attract more customers and drive sales. Once you have more sales coming in, consider a payment system that allows you to manage invoices, bookkeeping, and recurring payments all in one place.

FAQ about how to build a brand


QuickBooks Payments: QuickBooks Payments account subject to eligibility criteria, credit, and application approval. Subscription to QuickBooks Online required. Money movement services are provided by Intuit Payments Inc., licensed as a Money Transmitter by the New York State Department of Financial Services. For more information about Intuit Payments' money transmission licenses, please visit

Recommended for you

Mail icon
Get the latest to your inbox
No Thanks

Get the latest to your inbox

Relevant resources to help start, run, and grow your business.

By clicking “Submit,” you agree to permit Intuit to contact you regarding QuickBooks and have read and acknowledge our Privacy Statement.

Thanks for subscribing.

Fresh business resources are headed your way!

Looking for something else?


From big jobs to small tasks, we've got your business covered.

Firm of the Future

Topical articles and news from top pros and Intuit product experts.

QuickBooks Support

Get help with QuickBooks. Find articles, video tutorials, and more.