Branding is a process. It’s not simply creating a new logo and color palette. Your brand goes beyond the visual element. Your visual brand should be a beautiful, consistent reflection of your actual brand. Your actual brand is the promise and experience you deliver to the world. It’s the way you answer the phone, what you wear, who you work with, your unique differentiator. It’s your promise to your customers, the public and to yourself.
There are 4 steps to the branding process…
Here’s a quick overview of those steps:
BRAND EXPLORATION – During this initial step we explore your current brand situation and ask the questions: “What is your current brand promise? How are you communicating that? What should your adjusted brand promise be?” This involves questionnaires, interviews and other means of exploring. A more involved Brand Exploration may require a Comprehensive On-site Brand Analysis…
COMPREHENSIVE ON-SITE BRAND ANALYSIS – With the full, onsite Brand Analysis, I spend a day at your business, conduct interviews, investigate your current brand situation, and create a written brand Brand Situation Analysis from my findings. This analysis will inform the creation of your brand.
COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS – It’s good to know what’s out there. Knowing who you are has as much to do with knowing who you are in the marketplace. A good understanding of the market will help us adjust our message. It helps you discover what you are and what you are not and may reveal opportunities for growth/changes.
BRAND SUGGESTIONS/PRESENTATION – The next step is to take what we discover in the first steps and make written suggested outlining your brand. This includes many descriptive words about your deliverables to your customers and audience.
BRAND IMAGE REVEAL – All of the above steps inform the design process. The logo, colors and other graphic elements should be merely visual expressions of your actual brand — they are not the brand themselves. At this stage it’s “Christmas’. We get to see what your new brand will look like. It’s exciting.
IMPLEMENTATION – Now that you have your new brand in place, it’s time to share it with the world (and internally). You can feel confident knowing that you are on a strong footing with your new brand and are guided by the rules we’ve set in place…
BRAND STANDARDS MANUAL – Once the Brand Message and Brand Image have been approved, we finalize everything and create a Brand Manual to assist you and your company with usage guidelines for your new brand. When it comes to your brand, consistency is king. See an example of a small version Brand Manual here.