A simple guide to the branding process.
A brand is far more than just a logo, it’s all the reasons someone chooses to buy your product or service.
Branding encompasses almost every aspect of a product or service including price point, promotions, communication (internal and external), advertising, company culture and tone of voice, which all manifest into how a brand attracts, engages and builds brand advocates. So, it’s no wonder creating a brand may seem an overwhelming task for any marketing professional.
So where do you start?
Here’s a brief overview of how to approach the branding process.
1. Brand audit
Where does the brand currently sit within the market space alongside competitors? How do you think your clients/customers would describe your brand? What’s the employee brand perception?
Where do you want to be in future? How do you want to be perceived? How do you want to engage with current and future clients/customers? Why do people buy from you? What makes you different from other companies? Delving deep into the DNA of a brand extracts fundamental brand elements which help define, craft and articulate brand messages in a succinct, consistent and engaging way.
This brand extraction process can take the guise of different approaches the most popular amongst successful brands being: a value proposition; the brand ideal; why.
Once you’ve clarity on the current and future positioning you’re ready for a designer to start the creative, this would include, graphics, copywriting for core messages and strapline, photography approach, typographic style, colour palettes, and of course consideration of how the brand will be executed into the different marcomms channels.
This stage involves an array of communication tools, from business cards to websites, brochures to digital interactive PDFs, presentation templates to promotional items. The list will be endless and is very much dependant on business needs, but it’s vitally important for a designer to be aware of the necessary implementation needs before commencing the identity stage.
Now for the boring but essential part, you’ve spent time and money creating your brand or rebranding but you need to ensure you maintain brand standards. Many organisations both large and small operate with brand guidelines they can be as simple or complex as you wish but you will most definitely need some control.
A successful brand doesn’t happen by accident, it’s been well considered with a clear message and vision. Don’t fall into the trap of jumping straight into the creative design, it’s worth taking some time to evaluate your brand.