Authors (3)

Topics (9)

Branding

5 minute read

Building a brand

At some point in their lives, every creative person is going to work with an executive who just doesn’t get it. They don’t want a brand identity, they just want a fresh logo… Oh, and try to make it pop a little more! For many creatives, this can be a tough person to work with, but I’ve found that they’re usually very receptive once you start speaking their language, and that language is usually revenue.

See, what you need to make abundantly clear is this - Building a brand isn’t about pretty colors or cool logos, it’s about building an identity that resonates with your customers and, ultimately, makes them want to do more business with you. As the great philosopher, Joe Dirt, once said


So how can you apply this principle with your brand? It’s simple. By following these three steps, you should be building a brand that resonates with your consumers, makes you more money, and makes that pesky executive happy in no time!

Step 1: Discovery

This is the single most important aspect of any branding effort, but it’s also the single most overlooked. Many in-house marketers make the mistake of thinking that they know their company’s brand simply because they’ve worked with it for years. What they’re forgetting is that they have a very skewed perception of their brand. They may over-value their product, under-value their competition, or misunderstand why people are actually buying their products. This type of blindness could be devastating towards your branding efforts. To avoid this, follow this formula during the discovery process:

Once you’ve done all the above, it’s time to sit down with your (countless) pages of notes and get to work.

Step 2: Defining an “Ownable” Voice

Always start with your perspective. What perspective in the marketplace can you really own? What’s something that’s unique to your brand? Start overlaying all of the feedback you received in step one and figure out where you’re uniquely positioned. This process can take a lot of thought, but it’s paramount to building an effective brand. For a helpful resource on stage 2, check out Blue Ocean Strategy, the best-selling book on brand positioning.

Once you have your unique perspective, flesh it out into a fully-fledged voice. You’ll want to document the following components of your brand voice before moving on to step 3:

Once you’ve documented these answers, it’s time for step 3.

What is it that makes you unique? Why should people do business with you?

Step 3. Building a Brand Identity System Around That Voice

Finally, it’s time to do the work that designers love… building a brand identity system. The key here is to build a visual identity that complements the positioning that we did in the first two steps. By doing this effectively, you can not only build a brand that gets results, but be able to express clearly to your executive team why your brand is important to protect. As you build out your brand identity guidelines, make sure to make them easy to understand and easy to defend when people try to break them!

If you can implement these three steps effectively, I’m fully confident that you’ll be able to build a brand that will work for you, your customers, and your executive team alike. For more information on creating on awesome brand, make sure to download a free chapter from Bold Brand, by Josh Miles!

That’s it. Simply follow the steps above and you’ll be well on your way to crafting a brand identity that will resonate with your employees, your customers, and future prospects. The best way to start this process, however, is with a solid brand audit. For help auditing your brand, click the button below to download our FREE Brand Audit!

More from Branding

Avoiding Bad Design Projects - Red Flags From Matt Stevens

Author: Tim Hickle