As well as website design, design for print and illustration, the main thing that I do is branding. I have a five step process for this and thought you might find it useful to find out more about each stage.
Branding isn’t just about creating a pretty logo. That’s just one part of the whole process. Branding is about managing expectations, curating perceptions, attracting buyers and communicating effectively. It’s about looking at all the different ways that you communicate with people in your business and ensuring that your brand is gluing all of those moments together so that there’s no mixed messages.
It’s all about consistency.
My process for branding has five parts.
Today, I’m going to talk you through the stage 1.
This part of the process is actually the most important piece because it prepares the groundwork for everything that’s to come. You can download my Free Design Success Toolkit here to get a document that you can fill in for yourself to create your brief.
Going through all of these questions and answering them as best you can will lay a solid foundation for your brand. It’s about gaining focus and clarity about what you do, who you are and what you stand for so that you can then communicate this message in the best possible way, at the best possible time, to your audience.
So after you’ve filled in the easy part (name, address, phone number…) there’s a section on you and your business. If you’ve been in business a while then this is a great opportunity to re-evaluate. If you’re a start-up then this is a great starting point! I’m not going to go through every single question in the Design Success Toolkit brief, that would be dull and you can read, but I’m going to cover a couple of them in more detail.
When you’re thinking about your business and focussing in on things like why you started your business, what you actually do and who your customers are, it really helps you to reconnect with your business and get excited about it!
The thing that people struggle most with are values and personality.
A value that comes up again and again is quality – which isn’t a wrong answer, but it is something that nearly everyone says! Example values could be:
These are values that you already have. Not how you want to appear, but what you ARE NOW. Things that you believe are important. Over time, your values might change. That’s nothing to worry about, your business isn’t going to be the same forever!
Your brand personality is your behaviour and attitude and grows from your values. Examples of brand personality are:
It might take you a while to decide what these are. You should have between three and five of each.
Likes and dislikes
Because part of the branding process is about your visual image, it’s always a good idea to make sure that you know – or your designer knows – what you like and don’t like. There cannot be too much information in here, so really don’t worry about including as many examples as you can! There are different ways to do this, you can make a list, you can do a diagram, you can use two Pinterest boards and keep adding to them, you can grab a load of magazines, tear them up and stick them down with annotations – it really doesn’t matter, whatever works for you that will help to convey what you like and what you dislike. Anything relevant to your brand values and personality – say if you find a photograph that encompasses your values – should be included. This isn’t just about logos, it’s about websites, brochures, fonts, colours, images, how things are laid out, how things make you feel, getting emotions across, wording on a postcard, a great way to communicate, how smiley the people in this photo are and how scary the ones in that photo look! This process is really useful for giving you ideas and/ or helping your designer to “get you”.
Once you’ve explored the brief in detail, it’s time to plan a schedule for the project. What is going to be done, when does it need to be done by and who’s going to do it? At this point you should feel really pleased with yourself. You’ve got a brief, you’ve answered some questions that – depending on who you are – you might have struggled with some of them. It’s helped you to define what your business is all about and now that you know that as well as what you want there’s no reason why you can’t have fantastic branding that will deliver on your objectives.
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