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Session 03: Bootstrap Branding with Phil Pallen & Kyle Wilkinson

Expert Guests: Phil Pallen (PhilPallen.com) & Kyle Wilkinson (KyleWilkinson.co.uk)

KLP: In this session, you will learn how to create a brand that talks directly to your ideal customer and why this is so important.

Free Resource: Brand Briefing Template

When it comes to branding, there are a couple of common misconceptions that are important to dispel. Firstly, branding is so much more than just your logo and letterhead. Branding goes far beyond the visual assets of your business and goes deeper into who you are as an entrepreneur. Another big misapprehension is that branding needs to hugely costly.

Two people who know all about the importance of effective branding, as well as how to get started in the early days, are Kyle Wilkinson and Phil Pallen.

What is a brand then? A brand is not just a logo and the visual assets used by a business. These are just the visual extension of the brand. The brand is the core principles, values and outlook of the business. Think of some of your favourite brands and what comes to mind when you think of them. Most likely, more will come to mind than just the logo. This is because the idea of brand goes deeper and tells you something of the company’s values and principles.

This connection between the customer and the core principles of the brand is really important and it is often achieved through storytelling. We like to learn how businesses were created, who founded them and the journey that led to their formation. Through these stories we learn the values that are associated with the brand and whether or not that resonates with us as customers. People buy from people and this human element allows us to connect more deeply with a brand whose story we know. It’s vital, therefore, when thinking of your own business, to build your story into the brand.

When launching a business, it is important to get the branding right as making the correct first impression is crucial. Amateurish branding can cost the trust of potential clients so it is important to treat your branding just how big companies treat theirs. This may sound expensive but there are steps you can take to get the ball rolling on your branding without spending a huge amount.


Kyle & Phil’s Top Branding Tips

Start a Pinterest board. Start curating content that speaks to you. Photographs, advertising, various colours – these can all be helpful in letting you know which visuals best represent your values. Add to it every day and you will soon see patterns and trends that can be used to create your own brand.

Take photographs. Take snaps of things that inspire you, things that create an emotive response and things that demand you know more about them. Ask yourself how these things capture your attention and your imagination. The answers to these questions can help you create the same feelings with your brand.

Build up a colour palette. Use your Pinterest board and your photographs to hone in on some colours that speak to you or represent your idea of your brand. Use Adobe Color to check out some interesting colour combinations.

Don’t rush the process. Don’t limit yourself to one day or one week. Rushing will only limit your thinking and minimize possibilities. Take your time and you will be able to understand yourself and your brand better. If you rush in, you could regret some decisions that might be costly to fix later on.

Find the right designer. Your brand is important to your business so you should make sure that if you work with a designer, it’s a good fit for both of you. Take your time to find someone with whom you feel you have a connection and who you feel has understood your core values and principles.

Be open minded. When you reach the stage that you may want to work with a designer, keep an open mind. You may have done lots of preparatory work, but it's the designer’s job to create new possibilities. It’s important not to restrict them by being too inflexible.

Use the resources. The Brand Briefing resource will help you deconstruct your own values and get down on paper what matters to you. This will be so valuable when you come to work with a designer and it will help you make the most of your investment.

Phil's Links:

Kyle's Links:


  • “There’s inherent value in a brand that is perceived in a positive way. You can double or triple your prices that way.”
  • “Branding is the strategic effort to communicate, it’s the control you have over your first impression.”
  • “A t-shirt is just a t-shirt, it’s made of cotton. It’s the branding that makes it ten dollars or one hundred dollars.”
  • “Don’t just brand to who you are now, brand to where you are going”

Don't forget, the more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel!


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About the author, Mark

Mark Asquith is a serial entrepreneur who has built globally successful design, marketing, software and digital businesses since he quit his real job in 2005.

A passionate podcaster, global keynote speaker and helpful bloke, Mark is the co-founder of Podcast Websites and the creator of Excellence Expected. He has a terribly embarrassing beard.

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