The First 4 Easy Steps To Build Your Startup A Brand!
7 May 2020 - phnompenh

When you do marketing for your startup, especially in this digital era, branding plays a very important role in it to make your business success. Branding is a marketing tool to build your startup identity in the market, attract and convert your audience to be your customer and also bring the value and building trust with your customers.

Branding is more than just having a logo in a poster. It is how you present and address yourself or startup by the look and how you interact with your people.

Here are some points you should know when you start building your brand.

1. Know What You Want

The first step to build your startup a brand is to know what you want. You can start by answering these three questions:

  • Why are you doing marketing/ communicate with a brand? What are the messages do you want your customer to know? (Objective of the brand, for example, to gain engagement or to increase sales)
  • What is the call for action in your marketing? (Do you want your audience to communicate back, to buy your product or to share it around?)
  • Who are your customers? (Their demographic, interest, etc)

List all the answers you can have to these questions to understand where your marketing and your brand come from and which direction your brand can/should go.

2. Build Your Brand’s Tone of Voice

The tone of voice in branding and marketing is how the character of your business looks/sounds/feels like when you communicate with your audiences. It can be in the written, spoken and visual form of expression. It is the way you communicate and the impression it makes on your audience who sees, reads and hears you.

We need then to build up the character or personality within the brand. Use the answers you got from step one to help you build up the right tone. For example, if your business is related to wellbeing, you may consider using a tone that present calmness or helpful. If your target audiences are youth, and you want them to engage back with you; you might consider using the youthful, approachable or fun tone.  

The tone lies in the visual design you use, the way you speak or write to communicate with your audience.

Here is a list of questions you can ask yourself If you are not sure what tone you want to use in your communication.

  • Again, who is your customer?
  • What is the character of your product/service?
  • What tone that your customer might want to hear? Example: if your customer is youth, you can use an informal tone or fun words in your communication.

Note: Whatever the tone you are using (funny, playful, calm, serious, formal or informal), be respectful.

3. Chose the tools that fit the tone of voice

Now that you know your objective, your people and your tone of voice, it is time to make it happen. Here are some tools you should not miss:

  • Colors:
    • Choose the colors that fit with the tone you want to communicate.
    •  Learn about the color’s meaning and scale from playful to serious.
    • Chose the primary colors ( maybe less than 3) and a few secondary color if needed.

Avoid the mistake: when there are too many primary colors, it can be hard to keep the consistency or to make the image stand out and unique. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. 

You can use to study more about the color wheel, the meaning of the color and to chose the colors for your brand. 

  • Fonts:

    Again, chose the fonts that fit the tone. There are many types of fonts you can use. When designing especially, you can play around with more than one style of font but make sure that they go well together.  Some font will give the impression of seriousness, bold and energetic, or fun and chill, etc.

    • For headline or highlight: You can use display font to highlight the most important information and set the tone of voice right away.
    • And the text font that helps explain more information in the longer texts but needs less first impression attention.

You can use display font as the bold font from the same family as your text font (Open Sans Bold Vs. Open Sans Regular) or chose whatever that will go well together as they complement or contrast one another (just like the picture above).
You can explore the font combination on Canva here

  • Image:

    Besides making sure that images carry good quality, they also should carry the tone of voice as well. From the colour of the image ( the effect or filter) to the picture within it. For example, if your brand tone is friendly, youthy and fun, then the image that you use can feature the people who are smiling or giving a sense of fun and friendly within it.

Avoid the mistake:
Don’t use pictures with copyright mark on it.
Don’t smash the pictures, keep the dimensions.
Tips: If your photo can reflect/complement your brand colors, it a plus! 

  • Language/word choice:

    It is the way to speak to your audience in person or videos or even when you write a caption of the social media post. Apply the tone of voice. From the sentence structure to the word choices (nouns, adjective or verb), make sure that the language has the right tone. Ask yourself, what do you want your audiences to feel while/after listen or read it?  ( It can be competence, fun, excited, sad, hopeful, energetic or calm and relax, etc.) 

Tip: Keep your sentence short and simple!
Tool: Use

4. Make people remember you.

Be consistent with your brand and its tone of voice when communicating. Add your logo on the images that you are posting on your social media. It plays an important role in increasing engagement with your customer and awareness of your branding among your targeted audience. In marketing, it is said that the audience has to see an ad seven times to remember it. Marketers like to talk about “ The Rule of Seven ”: the idea that people need to see your marketing message seven times before they take action.

So if your targeted customers see your logo or recognise you by the brand you build for 7 times, they’re more likely eager to check out your business page and remember who you are. That’s why branding is important.

Tools: you can use Canva or Watermark to add watermark/logo on the image


  • You can play around with your design. Don’t be afraid to go against the norm of the design if it can be better.
  • Trick: Create a template for your design for future use. It saves you time.
  • When you communicate your brand, don’t just focus on selling your product. It is best to help reinforce the opportunity and quality of life of your audience as well. Create content that people want to keep and read again, the content that they can apply to make their life better. 

Written by: Vandara Sin
Editor: Kosoma Kim & Melanie Mossard