Brand design and development is difficult for most small-to-medium-sized businesses to leap into.
After all, branding jargon is confusing, brand design agencies can be pushy and at times snooty. Afterall, they understand the psychology behind colors. Lol! What do you do, are you suppose to redesign your website?
If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of working with a branding agency, or if you simply want to make sure you’re prepared for partnering with a brand consultant, this is the guide for you.
However, before you read this basic guide you might want to read through a few foundational topics.
- Building a marketing plan
- Creating a marketing budget
- Customer segmentation to create buyer personas
- Creating sales funnels that increase revenue
- Understand WHY digital marketing campaigns fail
What Should You Know Before Building a Brand?
First off, if you want to hit your branding target, you need to know what you’re shooting for.
What is a Brand?
Fundamentally, your brand is what comes to mind when your customers think of your business.
What you want them to think of changes depending on the kind of business you run.
For example, a hiking equipment store will want its customers to associate them with the great outdoors, adventure, quality hiking gear, and possibly the colors green and brown. A pet salon, on the other hand, may want its customers to think of happy puppies buried under a mountain of warm soap suds.
Good branding is when your customers consistently associate you with the emotions, images, and sensations that you direct them to think of when your company comes to mind.
As Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, put it, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
What is Brand Design and Development?
Brand design and development is a multi-step process with the end goal of creating a cohesive and intuitive brand for your company.
This process takes all aspects of your brand into consideration — for example, brand elements, like logo and color scheme, and more abstract areas, like defining your core values and company culture.
The key to quality brand design and development is working with an expert who knows how to structure your branding journey. This could be someone already on your team (ask around your marketing department and see if someone has experience with brand development), but if you lack internal branding talent, then you may need to hire a brand design or development agency.
What Does a Branding Agency Do?
A branding agency helps you identify what makes your company unique. As the old saying goes, “the ruler cannot measure itself.”
Most businesses struggle to identify what separates them from the competition because they don’t have time to sit back and ponder what their company’s identity is.
This causes problems when it comes time to choosing a company logo, color scheme, and marketing slogans. After all, how can you be expected to make the correct branding choices when you haven’t taken the time to think about your company’s uniquenesses?
A branding agency will identify your unique position in the marketplace and will help you communicate your position, identity, and company values to the world. This could look like simply crafting you a new slogan or logo, or doing a complete overhaul of your brand, starting from the bottom up.
Building a Brand vs. Redoing a Website: What’s the Difference?
A common misconception is that building a brand is the same thing as revamping a company’s website. While website redesign is definitely part of branding, it’s only one point on a list of branding-related changes you will have to make.
If you start with the website and then match your other marketing applications to that, then you are likely to miss important steps in the branding process.
For example, this doesn’t give you time to define your company’s vision or core values. What about your color scheme or font choices? Have you considered whether the font you use on the website will also look good on printed brochures?
Building your brand from your website up leads to inconsistent marketing messages, conflicting brand designs, and other marketing headaches.
It’s important to partner with a branding agency that walks you through brand development steps in the correct order. If an agency or consultant wants to start off with redoing your website, then recognize this as a big red flag and take your business elsewhere.
The Branding Process
Here at Fannit, our dedicated branding consultants approach brand design with a process that follows natural form and function. Each step in our process has been fine-tuned over a decade of branding experience and has a purpose that feeds the next step.
To give you an idea of what the branding journey may look like for your company, here is a brief explanation of our branding process:
- Discovery – Understanding You, Your Business, and Your Culture
We’ll interview you and your team to help us get a clear understanding of the direction to take. We want to learn what makes your business unique (e.g. core values, role in the community, vision) and how you want to be perceived in your industry. We’ll also discuss design cues, other branding you like and dislike, and visual terminology.
- Research – We’ll do deep research on your existing users, ideal buyers, competitors, and industry. The goal here is to learn how we need to come across to the target audiences, what it’s going to take to connect with them on a phycological level, and how we can do better than your competitor’s branding.
- Inspiration Board – We’ll compile an inspiration board that is influenced from our discussions with you and our research.
- Define Core Identifying Themes – At this point in the process, we’ll all meet together again to review findings and the inspiration board in order to gain your feedback.
- Initial Design Concepts – Your feedback and our research and expertise come together to produce a handful of initial design concepts. These are quick, unrefined renditions of potential shapes and colors that could help communicate the core identifying themes defined above.
- Designing – This has two stages: Stage #1 includes a review of rough drafts of 1-3 logos and suggested color palettes. Stage #2 includes a review of the final design of every piece of the brand package.
- Delivery – We provide a final deliverable of logo originals and lock-ups as well as documentation produced to support the new branding.
- Roll-out – Now that the brand elements are finalized, we provide guidance for your team to get it in from of your audience. This includes, a discussion of areas for implementation, a review of the delivered files and how to use them, and getting everyone on the team on board.
Key Elements to Help Define Your Brand
With the information we gather in the first 4 steps (above) of our process, we can help your company identify the following:
- Core Values
- Core Sales Messages
- Brand Pillars
Even companies with established slogans and marketing messages have benefited from going through this process with our team. In this way, our branding process can work as a brand audit to ensure that your branding is landing the way you want it to. Fannit will get to know your company to make ensure your companies identity is true to you.
What Is Typically Provided in a Branding Package?
Branding packages are usually tailored to meet the unique needs of your business. Even so, there are some elements that are almost always included. These include:
- Inspirational Mood Board (color concepts)
- Website (custom pages)
- Symbols (icons)
- Email templates
- Social Media Visuals
- Sales Presentation (slide deck)
- eBook Cover/Pages
- Call-to-Action Images
- Print Design
- Traditional media design
There may be other elements included like product design mockups or store layout concepts depending on the type of business you have.
Establish Your Brand
Are you ready to develop a fresh face for your business — one that sticks in the mind of your prospects and keeps them coming back to your company? Contact my team of branding consultants today and we’ll answer any of the branding questions you may have.
We have been creating effective branding for over a decade and would love to put our results-driven branding process to work for your business.