[MUSIC PLAYING] You need to think about your brand from day one. In this lesson, I'm going to teach you how I started my brand and what I would have done differently when I first started. Let me start with a quick story of the early days of branding my business. When I was first starting, I was trying to figure out the most cost-effective way to get a logo. I went to a friend for help. A friend of mine was much better at putting things together. So they created some basic designs around barbecue and grilling that could work for a logo.
I knew that I wanted to use the name Mike D's BBQ, not because it had to have my name in it, but I liked the ring to it when I said it out loud. I knew the company name had to sound good out loud to work. Once I had the name, I knew I needed a slogan or a tagline that would help people remember the company. I knew that people liked to talk about throwing sauce or rub on their meats before grilling. And so I wanted to play on that what was the name of the company.
So that's how "Throw Some D's On It" became my slogan. It has some similarities to a hip hop song from the past. And that helps make it memorable because people often see the slogan and start to sing the song. So I had the brand, the name I wanted, I had a slogan I wanted, but didn't know how to put it all together. This is where a friend came in to help. Today, it's easier than ever to do it yourself, even if you're not a professional.
One quick tip is to use the Shopify logo maker to make your design. It's free, and you can get started right away. I'll add a link below to help you get started. Although I may not have had the perfect branding when I first started, it was good enough to start selling. You just have to get it out there because you don't know what's going to work until you have the product out. So when I started, my brand consisted of a logo, slogan, and a name.
And that was good enough to start. Now let's discuss five things I would have done differently when I first started out. One of the most important aspects of branding is coming up with your brand's vision or mission. Why do you exist in the world? For example, the mission at Mike D's BBQ is make people happy by bringing them together around good food, good fellowship, and great times. The way I came up with that is reflecting on why I love the barbecue world so much.
It is a key to world peace in my mind. There is something about meat or vegetables cooked over the open flame that just allows people to let their guards down, set aside their differences, and just be happy. Looking at why you want to start your own business can be very helpful in getting your emissions figured out. I'd also highly recommend you come up with brand values. Your brand values help you stay true to who you are through the good times and challenging ones.
Some examples of brand values include inclusive, fun, excellence, learning, friendship, et cetera. The brand values that have stuck with Mike D's BBQ over time include inclusive, equality, high-quality, hard work, and having fun. The way I come up with these are, again, about looking at why I love barbecue and what I want to accomplish with Mike D's BBQ.
Each of those values are important to me as a person and what I want my company to reflect. One other thing I would have done definitely is to hire a lawyer to help me get my trademark instead of using the online services. Turns out, it would've been cheaper and more effective if I found a local lawyer instead of trying to figure this out on my own. It's important to protect your intellectual property of your brand from day one. The final action I would've taken to help me brand myself better would be to use Shopify from day one.
When I first started, I used a different website, and let's just say, it wasn't pretty. When I discovered Shopify from fellow entrepreneurs, I learned I could use the themes to help my online presence have the look and feel I wanted. It was worth the time to learn how to create my own store. And luckily, Shopify makes it easy to create your own store, even if you don't know how to code. So to recap, when you're first starting out, and if you just want to get moving, Take the DIY approach and use the Shopify logo maker or a service like Canva to help you create your brand assets.
Or perhaps, ask a friend, which is what I did. Now join me in the next lesson where I'll teach you how to evolve your branding to become a national brand.