More Than Design

How to build (or rebuild) a brand in 4 steps

Huzzah! Huzzah! It’s the time of year when Red Dotters have glimmers in their eyes, peps in their steps and conspicuous youthful zests that can only be described as  … jazzy. That’s right — it’s Branduary, you guys!

What’s Branduary, you ask? It’s another made-up month created for content-planning purposes. But despite its questionable origin, we’ll still aim to provide you with some helpful ideas on how to approach building a brand that people love. Here’s our approach in four steps:

#1 Research + Discovery

What it is

This is the collection phase. We’re looking for information that will be crucial to defining and building your brand, including input from every stakeholder who interacts with your business, as well as an evaluation of your industry and competitive landscape. For a startup, not all these to-dos apply. If you’re rebuilding an established brand, most of these likely do.

How we do it

This will depend on the complexity and size of your company and existing brand(s), if applicable. We can scale the process to meet your needs (and budget), but our approach may include:

  • Brand architecture audit to document your current brand hierarchy and elements.
  • Audience analysis including interviews with stakeholders such as employees, customers and distributors.
  • Competitive audit to evaluate competitive messaging and determine points of differentiation. 
  • Industry analysis to understand trends that may impact the way your audiences choose to work with you.
  • Brandmining workshop: This is the fun part. We conduct a series of highly engaging (but secret and proprietary) exercises with your team to draw out who your brand really wants to be.

#2 Brand Platform

What it is

This is the stage when we turn the insights from the research and discovery phase into a well-defined brand. These documents will serve as our collective guiding light for anything that’s created — both written and visual — in the future.

What we deliver

This will again depend on the complexity of your company, but our deliverables may include:

  • Brand positioning to show you where you fit and how you differentiate yourself within the competitive landscape.
  • Brand essence to succinctly describe what your brand stands for. This may be accompanied by a corporate mantra (AKA a brand manifesto).
  • Audience personas to define the unique needs and pain points of various audience stakeholders.
  • Brand voice and tone to define your brand’s personality and the way in which you speak to your audiences in different channels.
  • Messaging hierarchies to include value propositions, elevator speeches, messaging pillars and key messages that address the various needs and pain points of your audiences.

#3 Brand Concept

What it is

This is the stage in which your brand comes to life — both visually and through copy.

What we deliver

We will deliver your visual style guide, which may include:

  • Logo(s) and guidance on use.
  • Iconography and guidance on use.
  • Color palette and guidance on use.
  • Typography and guidance on use.
  • Photography / illustration mood board and guidance on use.
  • Headlines and copy examples to guide all your future efforts.

#4 Brand Execution

What it is

This is exactly what it sounds like. We take the approved brand platform and brand concept, and we begin creating.  

What we deliver

This will depend on your specific needs, but it generally begins with a corporate identity package that includes business cards, letterhead, envelopes, email signatures, Powerpoint templates and more.

Beyond that, we’d be ready to help you execute whatever is at the top of your priority list — from social media and advertising, to environmental design and trade show graphics, to video production, website design, and more. 

Curious to see how this all comes together?

Check out some of our branding work.

JR's Southpork Ranch
Click image to read the JR's Southpork Ranch Case Study

Prairie Ridge branding
Click image to read the Prairie Ridge Case Study

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