id8 is pioneering a high-performing branding agency with a unique “Customer Experience” approach. When people interact with your brand, we leverage this opportunity to create memories and build true brand engagement.
We create transformative brand experiences and connect your story to your audience to foster brand loyalty.
Understanding user behavior and brand strategy, combined with an expertise in marketing, provides us with a unique ability to deliver branding strategies that will ensure company success for years to come.
id8 has established a proprietary process for branding, and rebranding, high-end corporate companies.
Our branding process consists of three phases:
Phase 1 – Discovery – The Branding Process
Step one of the branding process is the brand discovery phase. This is a 6-step proprietary branding process that we use id8 for our corporate branding clients. This systematized process ensures that we understand every part of your business as well as your ideal client. Building a powerful and long-term brand encompasses not only your ideal clients but also your employees and your business as a whole.
If you receive business recommendations from a branding company that has never observed your business, do they really know what you do?
This is so important to your future success. Your brand is not just a logo and a tagline. Your brand represents you, your employees, your values, and the culture of your company.
We make it a point to observe your business in action. I will watch carefully and take notes as we observe every facet of your business. From production to customer service and all the way up to the board rooms, we will observe interactions, workflow and communications.
The snippets of life in your business help to paint a picture for the story of your business.
The Comprehensive Brand Audit
What is a Brand Audit?
The process of building a detailed assessment of your brand’s position in the marketplace and its strengths and weaknesses. The brand audit will also provide insights and recommendations and how to strengthen your brand.
Depending on the size of your business, you can expect the brand audit report to be anywhere from 30 – 300 pages.
This is one of the most important steps of the branding process. This step should not be rushed.
We get asked… How long will it take to complete a brand audit? The average time to complete a brand audit is based on
Business Size – Number Of Employees
Structure – Number Of Office Locations
Complexity – The Number Of Different Aspects Of The Business
Reach – The Number Of Countries Where Your Marketing Materials Are Used
Why you need a brand audit?
In an abstract sense, a brand is a promise to your customers. Your brand represents that promise. A brand audit will uncover if your customers think you are delivering on your promise.
If your business does not do a brand audit you can bet that your competitors will gain market share in your industry.
What is included in a brand audit?
The brand audit step of the branding process covers a lot of different parts of the business. To make the brand audit easy to understand, from an overview perspective, it can be broken down into 3 categories.
3 categories of a brand audit:
Internal Branding – What Does Your Brand Mean To The People Who Work There
• Company Culture
• Brand Values
• Company Culture
• Brand Story
External Branding – What Does Your Brand Mean To The Public
• Print And Online Advertising
• Marketing Materials
• Public Relations
• Social Media Presence
• Email Marketing
• Content Marketing
Customer Experience – What Does Your Brand Mean To Customers
• Sales Process
• Customer Support
• Customer Service Policies
There is also an additional option to discover if your business would benefit from going through the full branding process. This is called a Brand Equity Analysis.
A brand equity analysis is similar to a brand audit. The equity analysis will help a business determine if their branding is in need of a change. The full explanation is not necessary here. Suffice to say, if you want to know if your company needs to go through a full branding process, you need to look into a brand equity analysis.
Competitor Research And Analysis
At id8, we often have discussions about what is the most important step of the branding process. Yes, I know, every step is important. But the competitor research and analysis step is at the top of the list (Maybe even number 1).
Why is the competitor analysis so Important?
The importance of competitor analysis lies within the data. If you do an analysis of your business competitors and find an area of the business where they are all failing, you just found your business’ number one priority.
There is no easier way to gain market share for your company than to do something better than all of your competitors.
The full competitor analysis step in our branding process is a closely guarded secret here at id8, but if your company needs an audit look over this case study and give us a call!
Company Culture – Employee Interviews
Empower your employees and let them help with the branding process. Employees are the oxygen that allows your company to breathe and grow. The side of your business that deals directly with your customers will know a lot about how your company is performing.
This is one of the more time-consuming steps in the branding process but it is crucial that you do not rush through this. These in-person interviews will provide valuable insights into the inner workings of your business. It is important to note, the data gathered from these interviews is anonymous.
Employee Interviews In The Branding Process?
It is important to have employees involved in the branding process for two reasons. First, you can learn a lot about the inner working of companies from the employees. Second, you want the employees to buy into the new brand, so make them a part of the benign process.
There are four key pieces of information you get from employee interviews.
1. What the company is doing well from an internal perspective
2. Should the business do something different
3. What does the company do for employee engagement
4. What does the company do to retain employees
All of the information gathered during the interviews will help guide the direction of both, the internal branding process and the customer branding process.
Target Audience Research
Who is your target audience? What do they want from your business? How do they prefer to communicate? What form of media do they prefer?
All of these questions and more are determined during target audience research. This is the last step of the discovery phase.
This step of the process is what will help you build a rock-solid buyer persona. Your business will be able to reach different target audiences more effectively while spending less money.
How Does Target Audience Research Save Money?
Target Audience Research delivers data that is mapped to buyer personas. These buyer personas will tell your business everything you want to know about how to best reach this potential customer. You will see a data set containing a full workup of their sociographic and psychographic profiles.
This is the roadmap for how you can reach that customer and what to say when you get your message in front of them.
Your target audience is not limited to just one buyer persona. A target audience is anyone who needs or wants your product; so, Businesses can have multiple buyer personas.
The buyer personas are one of the best tools in a brands’ arsenal and a must-have for any business undergoing a branding process.
That is a brief overview of the discovery phase. At the conclusion of this phase, the results provide a clear window of opportunity for your corporation that guides phase 2.
The Brand Creative Phase
Cement your brand in the mind of your audience and separate your company from the competition.
After the data has been collected from the discovery phase id8’s team of experienced branding and strategy professionals will analyze the data and build a full branding strategy. This phase will produce the core brand messaging that will ensure an emotional impact and engagement with your audience.
Phase 2 – Creative – Branding Process
Cement your brand in the mind of your audience and separate your company from the competition.
After the data has been collected from the discovery phase, id8’s team of experienced branding and strategy professionals will analyze the data and build a full branding strategy. This phase will produce the core brand messaging that will ensure an emotional impact and engagement with your audience.
Step 1 – Produce A Comprehensive Brand Strategy
Developing a brand strategy will require a concentrated effort from multiple departments. Having open lines of communication is a necessary requirement for this step.
What Is A Comprehensive Brand Strategy
A brand strategy is a plan that identifies specific goals that will be achieved in the long-term. It will outline specific rules and guidelines for your brand message. These rules and guidelines will cover the Who, What, When, Where, and How your brand message is communicated.
This roadmap will ensure long-term consistency in your brand message and as a result of that consistency, increase your brand equity.
Why You Need A Comprehensive Brand Strategy
The Brand Strategy step of the branding process is essential for long-term success. This is how you future proof your brand. Additionally, your business will receive a step by step strategy guide that identifies certain internal and external triggers. These triggers indicate that a new part of the strategy should be used.
What Is Included In A Comprehensive Brand Strategy
A comprehensive brand strategy is an 8 part document. This document will be a reference for all future business development, marketing, and employee relations endeavors.
Define your Why!
This is your mission statement. The mission statement will guide all future efforts. Your business will refer back to this whenever there is a new offering or a new marketing campaign. When you refer back to the mission statement you can be sure that everything your business is doing matches your mission statement.
It is important to note… Your mission statement does not change to match what you are doing, but what you are doing changes to match your mission statement.
What do you want your customers to feel?
To be specific, what do you want your customers to experience to be when they interact with your brand through
• The Company Website
• Customer Service Department
• Marketing Materials
• Any process they have to complete
The brand personality combines multiple human traits into one cohesive guide. Your Personality will consist of:
This is creating by combining what you have learned about your customers along with your brand values. This will ensure a consistent experience for all customers regardless of how they come to learn about your business.
The brand consistency ensures all materials produced match brand identity. Customers prefer your brand because of the identity built around your brand. If your business produces something that is not congruent with this identity, your brand will be harmed.
To have brand consistency Is to have familiarity and loyalty with your customers.
The most successful brands in the world leverage emotions. Everyone loves to feel good and by associating your brand with good feelings you will see your customer base grow.
The best example of this is Coca-Cola. Watch any Coke commercial you will see how they are connecting their brand with emotions.
Brand loyalty is so important. Your most loyal customers and clients help sell your product or service and you don’t have to do anything.
Because your most loyal clients are selling for you, it is important that you recognize their contributions and reward them. This is why so many businesses have rewards programs. look at some of the major credit card companies and what they offer as rewards. Most recently this can be seen from affiliates of a brand.
Your brand values are at the core of every part of your business. These values will help guide your business decisions in the future.
You can refer to this to help build the company culture that you want or On a larger scale, you can use this as a guide for taking a stance openly and publicly about current issues.
Brand Employee Embodiment
The image you portray to the public is the same image you want your employees to embody. This will ensure that your customers we’ll have a cohesive brand experience regardless of who or how they interact with your brand.
Step 2 The Brainstorm Sessions
Brainstorming sessions are an internal practice we leverage to create ideas for all of the brand assets. This is one of the most exciting parts of The Branding process.
Considering everything we have learned about a brand we will rapid-fire ideas. we will then look at those ideas and determine if there is anything worthwhile. If one of the ideas is good we will move forward with refining the concept. If there are no good ideas from that rapid-fire practice we will take a more strategic approach to the brainstorming session.
This is one of the fastest steps in The Branding process. All we are trying to accomplish with this step is to generate a master list of ideas that we can refine.
Step 3 – Develop A Brand Identity
Brand Identity encompasses all of the visual aspects of a brand. These aspects include color, design, typography, and logo. These are the parts of your brand that customers or prospective customers can visually identify.
Up to this point, the branding process has mostly been researching and information gathering. But now is when the brand starts to take shape.
A full breakdown of everything that will be created in this step listed below.
• Logo And/Or Wordmark
• Logo Variants
• Brand Colors
• Color Palette
• Images And Content Styles
• Graphical Elements
• Style Guide
• Social Media Identity
This may seem like a lot of work but compared to previous steps and phases this step only requires production. Previous steps required information and data gathering which usually takes longer than producing assets.
Once all of these assets have been produced in-house they will be compiled into a full report and review with the client and other necessary stakeholders.
Step 4 – Building A Brand Story
From the previous steps and phases of the branding process, we already have all the information needed to build a brand story. Your brand story should paint you as the hero that everyone roots for.
This is your origin story. It should be relatable and truthful. you want to cover how you started and why and you also want to include all of the trials that you have had to overcome. A great story allows the reader to see themselves in that role or relate to that role from their struggles.
A good brand story establishes your authenticity. This authenticity will resonate with your target audience resulting in a Greater brand affinity, brand loyalty, and sales growth.
Phase 3 – Brand Building – Branding Process
The building phase of The Branding process is all about the deliverables. This is the part of the process where you deliver all of the assets and reports that have been created.
This is a highly collaborative phase between the branding agency and the company undergoing the branding process. Branding agencies will not simply hand over the reports to the clients for them to go through on their own.
The best branding agencies use this as an opportunity to build upon their relationship with the client. This is accomplished through in-person meetings and presentations with all levels of a business to explain the new direction of the brand as well as answer any and all questions.
What Is The Brand Building Phase
The brand building phase it’s the culmination of all of the work from the previous steps. This is where everything is assembled into an easily referenceable guide for all employees to use.
There are 2 important deliverables of the brand building phase.
Delivery of The Brand Style Guide
A brand style guide is a very specific set of guidelines for how a brand should be presented. These guidelines specifically cover logo usage, typography, colors, and imagery, to name a few. These are usually the Staples that are included in most brand style guides but they can also include such things as letterheads PowerPoint presentations.
This document is indexed and made to be easily referenced to ensure consistency and all future applications of your brand for years to come.
A brand style guide is usually delivered through an in-person presentation with these stakeholders and high-level company Representatives. While this is a presentation, it is also an open forum to address questions and concerns from anyone in attendance.
Keep in mind this is an opportunity to strengthen an existing relationship so in-person interactions are essential for deepening those relationships.
Staff Training And Brand Presentation
After the brand style guide has been delivered and all issues and concerns have been quelled you will then begin to train the existing employees on the new brand.
This is meant to be an exciting and fun phase. The importance of employee buying for a new branding cannot be overstated. This experience needs to be fun, Interactive, and inclusive.
Phase 4 – The Brand Launch – Branding Process
The fourth phase of the branding process is the brand launch. The brand launch consists of two parts: the internal brand launch and the external brand launch.
We talked about this in Phase 3 and we even held a presentation for employees during phase 3. The difference here is this is actually training for the employees.
What is an internal brand launch?
The internal brand launch consists of multiple, small to medium-sized training classes. These classes are meant to educate employees on the new brand. Some branding agencies may overlook this part of the branding process, but the employees are interacting with your clients on a daily basis. Because of this, it is important that your employees know the new branding, maybe even better than you.
What is an external brand launch?
You have reached the end of the branding process!
Now you can finally reveal your new brand to the world. You should already have all of the assets in place for updating all of your company branding across all channels.
Does your company need a brand review? Let’s Talk.