Whether the business is a new restaurant with a unique menu and atmosphere, a new tech product ready to launch, or a pet grooming business with a goal to provide the best service to all pups of Seattle, one step that cannot be skipped when building an organization is the development of a strong brand identity.
It all starts with a vision. Effective brand strategy and development is imperative to ensure the priority audience understands the vision and values of the brand. In fact, a recent study notes that shared values account for 64 percent of successful brand relationships.
Developing a strong brand is unique to each product or organization and means a lot more than just choosing a name and a logo.
Below are our 4 keys to turning a vision into a brand:
Don’t underestimate the discovery phase
When working with a new client to develop a brand, the first step is doing everything possible to understand the vision in the same way they do. An initial discovery phase should include in-depth interviews with organizational pioneers, founders, or anyone involved in developing the brand’s vision. The discovery phase can also include crucial branding exercises to understand tone, voice, and possible sources of inspiration when it comes time to ideate.
These questions help understand the “why” of a brand, which divulge crucial insights so your creatives can translate this information into viable ideas and directions.
- How did this big idea come about?
- What or who inspired it?
- How should people feel when interacting with your brand?
Ideate as much as possible
After the discovery phase is complete, what next? Ideate. Ideate. Ideate. Think Tina Fey’s classic “Yes, and…” improv exercise. Remember, no idea is a bad idea.
Fostering an open dialogue and brainstorm with the creative team will make all the difference between sparking up a great idea or an average one. The ideation phase should include lots of out-of-the box ideas, sticky notes and, very likely — an abundance of coffee. When you’ve got a few viable ideas, it’s time to put pen to paper.
Present several different directions
Depending on the scope of a brand identity project, initial design directions could include a name, color palette, logo, or a full suite of creative materials. The key at this stage is intentionality and thoughtfulness.
Was the color blue selected for the brand identity because it signifies trust or because it paired well with the design treatment? Every creative decision should reflect or tie back to the original vision.
Execute for all possible applications
Finally, the vision is brought to life in the form of a name, logo, brand guidelines, and maybe even a messaging framework. Hurray!
Now it’s time to ensure that the client has everything they need for all possible applications of the brand.
- A full color palette? Check.
- All possible sizes and color types for a logo? Check.
- A comfortable understanding of how to talk about their brand pillars? Double check.
A brand identity should shine through absolutely everything an organization does, meaning you should always go the extra mile in developing an in-depth, final brand package.
Interested in learning more about developing your brand? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.