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Let's Talk About the Branding Process


Let’s Talk About… is a series of short publications where complex topics are discussed in an accessible and light-hearted format. Let’s Talk About… is presented as a case study of the ins and outs of the world of design for seasoned experts and newcomers alike, including those who may be undergoing the research process before engaging with an agency for future projects. With this in mind, we hope you enjoy this series of publications as much as we’ve enjoyed producing it.

Read more about this series on:


Let’s talk about the branding process. The process of making a brand involves several moving parts. It can be daunting, but with this article you can start the journey and make your brand stand out.

 

To make this process simpler, we will focus on a new brand. For brands old and new, the process starts the same. First, a deep understanding of the brand is needed. You can gain this understanding by researching the brand and its history, the competition, positioning goals, strengths and weaknesses. In short, conducting a brand audit.


Here's a graph that illustrates the process:

branding process flowchart, how to make a brand, brand identity, dieresis

 

Phase One

Step one in phase one of the process involves defining the fundamentals of the brand, which include:

 

  • Brand Vision: What the brand aspires to be and the impact it wishes to have

  • Brand Mission: Articulates the purpose and reasons for the brand’s existence

  • Brand Proposition: Also known as value proposition, it is what the brand can offer that others can’t

 

Once we know exactly what these three elements are, we can move to the second step. Understanding the brand promise and the brand values. Both of these aim to express the moral and ethical standing of the brand. Values are the internal set of morals that guide the brand’s actions while the promise is an external and ethical commitment to the consumers, clients, and communities affiliated with your brand.

 

With step two, phase one is almost complete. With all of these clearly defined, the brand essence can be refined or created. The brand essence is a short and to-the-point phrase that clearly explains why the brand exists, why the brand matters, and what the brand stands for. Think of, for example, the brand essence for BMW:  Driving Pleasure. This short two-word phrase conveys a lot of information. The product is more than a practical tool to get from point A to point B, it is an experience of pleasure, comfort, and luxury.

 

The brand essence is the result of phase one, and it is the key element that will guide decision making for phase two. It is also worth noting that the brand essence is not a tagline. While it is short and simple, like a tagline, it is usually reserved for internal use. The brand essence is rarely used on external documents like marketing materials or websites.

 

Phase Two

Using the brand essence as a guide, the first step of phase two includes four elements that are related to one another and each is very difficult to isolate from the other three. These elements are brand name, brand personality, logo, and style.


Let’s look deeper at some of these. The brand personality is the human representation of your brand. Think of your brand as a person and identify how they would talk, what they would wear. Are they serious or playful? Do they speak with authority or excitement? These are just two of the dozens of questions you should ask about your brand and the answer to these will help you define your brand’s personality. The name and logo should also be consistent with the brand’s personality, as it should reflect the personality. Lastly, style is the visual component of the brand’s identity.

 

The brand style is a series of visual components that together help identify your brand visually. These components are colors, elements (textures, patterns, shapes, design trends), imagery (Icons, illustration style, photography style), and typography. These add depth to the visual identity of the brand.

 

Branding efforts are all about consistency. If you build a brand playbook using this article and stick to your guns, your brand will be consistent, this will in turn help build brand equity, reinforcing the brand’s position and aiding with brand salience. 

Note: Brand salience is the KPI that measures how much consumers think about your brand at the point of purchase. Brand equity is the value of a brand based on consumer’s recognition.

Now that you’ve finished stage two, your brand is ready to set sail. Keep it consistent, keep iterating and that’s half the battle won.

 

Need help in this process? Visit: Branding.

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