Branding involves more than a logo or an advertisement. Successful branding communicates brand values across every consumer touchpoint. This includes observations of culture, in-depth interviews, research, logo, sales materials, website, advertising, signage, on-site experience, and more. It is a detailed process and hard to get perspective from an inside vantage point. For a strong brand with longevity, collaborate with a specialized branding agency that can offer an outside perspective.
Where should the branding process begin?
Audit the brand for consistency
A thorough review of the brand in all channels helps to see the brand holistically. We literally look at everything from employee manuals, to business cards, to social and websites. We review the brand for messaging, tone, visual and culture. And deliver a findings documents showing strengths and weaknesses along with recommendations to improve the brand. Once the brand has been defined, make sure that style guidelines are created and put into place to ensure that in the future every mention of the company name, every logo placement, and every communication delivers the same promise.
Define and understand the target audience
The success of business relies on customers. Successful branding must start with a complete understanding of the target audience. This should include demographic, psychographic, and behavioral information, as well as consumer perceptions about your product and those of competitors. Usually three to five audience segments are defined to better understand each of their perspectives and to enable marketing to reach each audience individually.
Pinpoint the vision statement
Develop a vision statement that includes core beliefs, vision and mission. This is not your catchy slogan or tagline. A mission statement clearly defines the company passion and purpose. It will guide the company’s policies, actions, and goals. More important to your future employees and your customers are the values that the company holds. Every digital ad, social post, website page or sales presentation should clearly align with the vision statement.
Evaluate the name and messaging
The brand name and messaging should work cohesively with what the target audience wants and needs. These should also reflect the company identity, values, and mission. What makes your product or service unique? How does your brand stand apart from competitors? Will your target audience feel a connection to your brand name and message? Ensure that the name and messaging reflect the true culture and character of the brand. When that aligns, that’s when organizations can really thrive.
Develop the brand look and feel
Each step in the branding process builds upon the others. Every element works together. Design elements are no exception. Brand look and feel begins with the logo. Creating a logo that embodies your company’s identity. Then, the look and feel of all materials – including website, brochures, business cards, letterhead, advertisements, social, and more – should have the same voice and appearance. Color selection is just one example. Color has emotion, so we ensure that the brand colors connect with the audience to make an emotional connection? And is color used in the consistent way every single time?
Whether you are working to rebrand a major organization or launch your startup business, begin with the “who” and the “what.” Who are you? What is the promise? The branding process is complex and requires collaborative discussions with leadership. Then, make decisions that enable branding consistency across every piece and touchpoint. Engage a professional to assist with the process to get it right the first time.
id8 is a full-service branding agency in Marietta, Northwest of Atlanta, Georgia. We would love to discuss your branding needs, so give us a call or stop in and say hello.