• Kimberly Sullivan

How to Create a Mood Board for Your Brand

Coming up with your business idea and most importantly, choosing to pursue it, is the easy part! After you've decided what you're going to offer (whether it's physical products, digital products, services, classes, etc.), you've got to figure out how you're going to brand your business. A fun and easy way to get started branding your business is by creating a mood board!

'Branding' and 'Brand,' are terms that get tossed around quite a lot, and I'll admit that I like to toss them around a lot too. 'Branding' is just of those things that's never really fully "defined" either, which I think is probably because branding encompasses a lot of things! But essentially, a brand is a business identity, aka how your business is portrayed and perceived.

When you think of branding, you might immediately jump to the colors, fonts, and every other possible kind of design element you'll choose for your business. And yes, those things are extremely important, but more important is why you choose those specific design elements to represent your business. See, your brand needs to do more than just look pretty! It needs to make sense. It needs to give off the right impression to customers.

So how do you go about beginning to brand your business? It's an important task, but not a difficult one, and it can actually be super fun! This guide will guide show you how to craft a mood board to kickstart the rest of your business branding!

1. Define your audience

Before we get into the actual mood board though, it's important to establish a few basics first. Starting with your audience! I can't stress enough how incredibly important this first step is. Your audience is the number one most important thing to consider when beginning to brand your business. Understanding in intimate detail exactly who you're catering your products or services to will help you design a brand that appeals directly to them!

Start with demographics

Start with the basic demographics of your audience.

  • What age is your audience?

  • Are they college-educated?

  • What's their income?

  • Where do they live?

It might sound a little silly, but these things really matter. But don't pick demographics just to pick them, though. For example, sometimes the income level of an audience is an essential consideration for a business, while other times it doesn't really matter. In other words, don't include or exclude demographics because you think you have to; just understand who your business is catering to and own it.

Get into their feelings

After you've got the basics down, it's time to dive into your audience's emotions. Now I know that probably sounds a little crazy and maybe even excessive. But trust me on this. You want to really know your customer and this is the way to do that. Consider these specific emotions:

  • What emotions are your audience feeling before interacting with your brand?

  • What emotions are your audience feeling after interacting with your brand?

  • What are your audience's greatest fears?

  • What are your audience's greatest desires?

Create an avatar

After really defining the demographics of your audience and getting an in-depth understanding of their emotions, create an avatar to represent them. An avatar is just a written representation of a person; this is just a way of packaging the information you defined above into a person!

2. Identify your brand personality traits

Now that you know who you're selling your products or services to, you can come up with personality traits for your brand that are designed to attract your ideal audience! Think about who your audience is, what they resonate with, and how your brand can represent that for them. How can your brand position itself to be the absolute perfect option for your audience? Identify a few personality traits or adjectives to represent your business based on how you want your business to appear to your audience!

3. Create a mood (Pinterest) board

Okay, here's where the fun part begins! Using the brand personality traits you identified in the second step, you'll create a mood board of photographs that reflect those personality traits. Here's the important thing though (and this is what makes it fun too): you aren't necessarily looking for pictures that depict your products or services. You're looking for pictures of anything that make you feel the way you want your audience to feel when they interact with your business.

Remember the keyword in mood board: mood! The photos you add to your mood board should all fit a specific "mood" or vibe. When you look at the board as a whole, it should look and feel cohesive while also matching the brand personality traits you identified!

One of my favorite ways to create a mood board quickly and easily is to make a Pinterest board! You can scour Pinterest (we all know how easy it is to get lost in there!) and pin images that spark brand inspiration to a specific board so you can keep track of them. As you're creating your mood board, feel free to delete and add photos as necessary or even start over from scratch! This step should be fun, and as tempting as it might be to breeze through it, don't rush it! It doesn't need to take forever, but when you look at your mood board you should think, "Yes, this is my brand." And don't settle for anything less!