Starting a business is a lot of work. There are mountains of paperwork to fill out, forms to sign, and you’re pretty sure that one of these days they’re going to require that you hand over your firstborn. Once you make it past the legwork of actually opening your company, it’s time for you to focus on creating a brand! Your brand is the visual representation of your company. Your business name, logo, signs and marketing materials all stem from the brand that you’re creating.

If you’re not a visual person or graphically inclined, finding a graphic designer or branding company will help you take the vision of your company and design a brand that speaks to your consumers, while reflecting exactly who you are. As you begin to think about what your brand should be, here are 4 tips to making sure the brand you create will be one that your consumers will love:

Make it Visual

Like we said, a brand is a visual representation of your company. You can’t give your customers a peek inside your heart or brain to show them everything you want your company to be. However, you can use visual clues like your logo, the colors you choose, the symbols you use, and the ways you display them to represent what you’re company is all about.

Make it Stand Out

Sure, you can jump on a stock photo site, grab a $10.00 clip art graphic, slap your business name underneath it and call it a day, but how much impact do you think that’s going to have on your prospects and customers? Using stock imagery as your company brand is one guaranteed way to NOT stand out – which is the exact opposite of what you want. While you don’t necessarily want to punch people in the face with your brand, you want it to stand out and to catch their attention.

Make it Mean Something

The world’s most successful brands (think Apple, and Android) all have one thing in common: their brand stands for something. If you’re a huge fan of Apple, chances are it’s not because of the huge screen offered by the iPhone. Instead, you understand that Apple stands for innovation. Those who love the Android brand like the freedom to change and create their personal devices. Both of these companies do the exact same thing – create and sell phones and electronics – but what draws a person to each particular one is what they stand for.

Make it Something They Want to Share

When you make your brand significant, your consumers will identify with that and if they agree with what your company stands for, it now becomes a reflection of who they are. If you give a real meaning behind why your brand exists, like-minded consumers will be automatically drawn to you. Not only will they come to you, but they will share you because your message is now their message.