The Ultimate Brand Launch Checklist …

Hey y’all! This week we’re going to dive right on in to some very important checklist (branding and websites). Today is all about branding! You’ve heard me talk about this many times before on my blog … branding 101, how to strengthen your brand and even with a fun brand personality quiz but today we’re going to go a bit deeper into the topic because it’s just that important!

As human beings, we are naturally built for connection. We tend to personify things, including brands. So, leveraging your brand’s personality is the best way to create a connection that speaks strongly to your target audience. You want to build your brand up in an effective way by not letting your personality sway to the wayside. So, no matter what type of entrepreneur you are – every single interaction with your audience says something about your brand. From the tone of your voice, to the words you use, to the way things look. And with a little brainstorming, some hard work along with a handful of thought-provoking questions, you can create a brand that tells your audience exactly what you want them to know. And it all starts by laying down the foundation …

First and foremost, it’s all about storytelling. Because it’s only your story to tell, right?!

You don’t have to be a professional writer in order to tell a great story. But you do have to write your brand’s story in such a way that it’s coherent and grabs the attention of the reader. Like I always say … it should pack a punch!

Your brand story should include:

  1. How you solve problems for your clients/customers. But no about how great you are for doing it.
  2. How you and your business are different from everyone else around the globe.
  3. What your inspiration is for even being in business in the first place. Everyone wants to know the “why”.

And to go along with that story should be a great name. While you’re in this phase you will want to pay close attention to the emotional responses that your new business name may provoke. A name you truly connect with might be a compatible choice but what are your customers/clients going to feel about it?

It should have meaning behind it.

Your business name should:

  • Be unique and unforgettable (time to pack punch);
  • Be simple and easy to pronounce (avoid unusual spellings);
  • Provide a clue of information to what your business is about; and
  • Not keep you boxed in by a geographical location (or your given name).

If for some reason you feel stuck on coming up with some truly great keywords try searching for acronyms, mash-ups, inspiration from literature or movies, or even foreign words. Try looking at your product/service from another angle. Multiple angles. Does it remind you of something else? (Because it shouldn’t) 

But low and behold … it must TELL YOUR STORY.

And from here on out it’s all about visuals and wording! From moodboards to fonts, colours and logos, and your brand’s voice. All of equal importance. And all once again, help your brand tell its story.


Let’s start with some of my personal favourites … fonts and colours!

Here are my personal “down n’ dirty” rules about choosing the right font for your brand:

  • Steer clear of clichés (those ease of access preinstalled computer fonts).
    • If you’re unable to find a font that meets your document’s personality, just install a new font. It’s super easy and can make all the difference to your users.

  • Use a font that has some personality – just like your story.
    • Know your target audience, your document’s purpose and find a good font choice that matches these expectations.

  • Use more than one font. This rule applies to all documents, from resumes to business cards, logos, proposal and even blogs.
    • But keep in mind that few looks good together if you use three or more. And don’t go crazy bending the rules or your viewers will get distracted or even lost. Keep it simple and make good font choices. A good example would be to mix a serif (header) with a sans serif (body). Try not to use a serif font with something cursive. It’s hard on the eyes and is honestly a terrible match.

  • Yes, size does matter – make necessary items stand out but not overpower.
    • A 10-12-point font is pretty much default for everything. An exception to this rule is business cards (7-points and no smaller).

  • Using caps is like yelling – try to avoid this as much as humanly possible.
    • The shapes of each letter tend to turn the words turn into giant rectangles. The human brain reads words in shapes which is how we’re able to read so fast. You’re able to scan the page and read fast because you’re brain automatically recognizes the form in which each letter represents. When using all caps, it slows down reading and makes the person reading feel like you’re yelling at them. And we for sure don’t want our audience to feel this way!

  • Reverse type can make or break you – try to use other ways to get your point across. So, what breaks this rule? Using narrow fonts with fancy or cursive features, yellow on orange or blue on red.
    • Try to use think, simple fonts with a good contrast between colours.

  • Never leave the orphans behind. This may sound strange to you, so for those of you who haven’t brushed up on your typography terms, an “orphan” is a single word left by itself on a line at the end of a paragraph.
    • It is even worse to leave a little word (e.g. “it”, “as”, “is”, etc.) all by itself. If you need to, reword your sentence to get everything to fit and flow nicely for your viewers.

  • Be punctual with your punctuation because it can have a powerful visual impact.
    • Make sure to use apostrophes correctly and know where to place quotation marks. Use a hyphen for compound adjectives and make sure you know the difference between a colon and a semi-colon. Use commas to indicate nonessential information and if ever in doubt, rewrite or use a dictionary.

As you can tell this last list doesn’t only pertain to your brand’s logo but also your voice. It’s all about learning how to make smart font choices to apply to all your documents and designs.

I bet the next burning question in your mind is colour.

We can all use and truly enjoy a wide spectrum of colour in our lives, no matter what our gender, race, income level or profession. We experience great joy in choosing colour themes for our home, office, wardrobe and vehicles. Most people are unaware of the science behind colour, which starts with the twelve-segment colour wheel as sort of a road map to eye-pleasing, effective combinations. Colours also have psychological effects on our minds and bodies. For example, reds can make people jumpy, feel excitement, danger or passion, or even feel empowered. Yellow is associated with joy, warmth and stimulates clear thinking (my office wall is actually called “Bunch O’ Bananas” as I feel it brightens even the toughest work days). Shades of green or pink can calm us down and make us feel relaxed.

So, believe it or not, wearing certain colour can help you get a raise, win an argument, have the best job interview of your life and even encourage your friends to spill the latest and greatest gossip. Colours in your home/office can have the ability to relax you, encourage or discourage a conversation or perhaps even give you insomnia. Colours on packaging send you subliminal messages that enclose the product as either expensive, cheap, healthy or even dangerous. Why? Because the eye’s perception of each colour triggers instantaneous reactions on your brain and nervous system.

During my many years as a professional designer (and artist/crafter on the sidelines) I have collected over 400 amazing colour combinations on Pinterest (to keep things organized and easy to find). What can I say? I’m a colour addict! Help yourself and even follow my board if you want some inspiration in your business world and exceptional colour combinations in your life!

If those don’t tickle your fancy, here’s a special post of mine on colour palettes you can steal that might help get those creative juices flowing.

Brand is the promise, the big ideas, the expectations that reside in each customer’s mind about a product, service or company. Branding is about making an emotional connection. ~ Alina Wheeler, Brand Identity Author

Now that we have the main hub out in the open of some very important things you needed to know, it’s logo time!

Creating a logo for your business is a big deal! It’s not just about the shapes, colours and fonts … this is the face of everything to come. This is the very first thing people see and will remember you by for (hopefully) years to come. It might not seem substantial when you’re thinking about the bigger picture. But trust me … you don’t want to let any unwise decisions slip through the cracks.

When you think of the importance of a logo, it is narrowed down to 3 basic functions:

  1. Building a corporate identity;
  2. Enhancing your brand; and
  3. Making marketing/advertising easier.

A logo is not forever, it too must evolve with time. But they are the very first thing you customer will see. It should be way more than just some coloured graphics filling up space on your business card or Facebook profile. It is a visual representation of your company and its values. It represents everything you stand for as an entrepreneur.

To sum things up with a quick visual, here are the 10 commandments of logo design …

Lastly, let’s talk about your brand’s voice.

You may be asking yourself why a brand voice matters …! But, it’s all about being consistent with the voice you are creating – positioning yourself as an easily identifiable source for your area of expertise. Having consistency with your brand voice (and vocabulary) is essential to implementing your content strategies effectively.


Take a few moments to think about the following questions:

  • What is the tone of your brand?
  • How do you want your brand to make people feel?
  • What do you want them to take away?
  • How do you want people to remember you?

Now, consider your brands “feel good” words then narrow those words down to 2, or maybe 3 at most, to keep things clear. Then define each word even further (e.g. how do they come across in the type of content you are creating or planning to create?).

The objective of here is to create a formation of a uniformed personality to go along with all your great imagery. It is essential to set up and communicate branding strategies in a consistent way to obtain such results. You want your brand and its voice to be present at every single customer touch point. This includes your website, social media profiles (and groups), email campaigns, packaging (if you have any), advertisements, collaterals and so on.

So, once you feel you got your brand voice down, keep it consistent. You want people who follow you on YouTube, join your Facebook groups, visit your website (numerous times) and interact with you all the while having the same memorable experience every single time.

Now it’s time to create a plan to implement it across your platforms. And then? It’s time to start talking.

Focusing on the core of your brand – and staying committed to that focus – is the key to building a strong brand.
~Denis Lee Yohn, Keynote Business Speaker

If your business has a strong, consistent brand it will help with growth by:

  • Helping you attract your ideal clients/customers;
  • Helping you build client/customer loyalty;
  • Helping you establish business/brand credibility;
  • Helping you stand out in the crowd (re: your competitors); and
  • Helping you truly live your brand’s message (re: mission/values).

“Your brand is the face, body, heart and soul of your business. It should be a reflection of who you are and how you want people to perceive your business. When you establish your brand identity and apply an effective brand strategy, you will start attracting the people you want and begin building trust in an authentic way.” ~ CEO of Branded by Britt


Developing a new brand, or even refreshing your current one, can be exciting, but it is also a lot of work – if you want to do it the right way. This list is by no means an exhaustive list of everything you need to get started and build up your brand, but it will hopefully provide you with a starting point of “must do” tasks to ensure that you are ready for your launch. Just remember, your brand is so much more than just your logo and each of these core elements are equally as important as the next. They pull one another together to create a passionate, recognizable and memorable experience for your audience.

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Picture of Crystal Kordalchuk

Crystal Kordalchuk

Crystal is an artist, a writer, an organizer, a dreamer, a doer, and down-right proud of it NERD!.

Struck with a love for #AllThings creative at a very young age, Crystal dreamed of a life fueled by her passion for creating and bringing the stories and images in her mind into reality.

As she worked toward her dreams, she earned a diploma as a Computer Applications Specialist then another in Graphic Design and from there began to develop her extensive background in multimedia and the arts. She began her worked in the magazine industry as a layout designer and had a succession of design jobs thereafter. It was her role as a graphic/web designer that gave her the first real glimpse of her future. Soon she began a side job as a freelance designer while keeping one foot in the corporate world. A spark was lit! She turned her freelance gig into a full-time business combining design work with her other passion: creating organization from virtual chaos.

Crystal is one of the most organized individuals on the planet. She is by all means a Zen master of her crafts. She excels at helping others become “untangled” and provides her clients with tools to run their businesses smoothly while she takes care of the details behind the scenes. Thus Virtually Untangled was born. A successful business where her work as a top notch creative in graphic and web — with a twist of virtual assistant — married into one amazing place where clients can come with their virtual messes and become magically untangled. Crystal can always make sense of even the most unorganized chaos and offers a virtual detox of order and peace, so her clients can get busy doing the work that they love the most.

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