Branding is a mix of archeology & alchemy. The first step, archeology, discovers what already exists, and pieces together a brand story. Elements are then combined and forged into gold.
BRAND DISCOVERY PROCESS
What are the steps?
The archeology phase of my brand discovery process involves uncovering what already exists. The process starts out with a basic understanding of the company and what they do. Next, I look at the competitive environment and target audience - what does the customer care about and who are we competing against to win their business? Finally, by understanding the relationship the customer has with a brand, we can infuse personality into communications to ensure they feel appropriate and authentic.
In the alchemy phase I identify themes, look for uniques, and consider how elements can be combined to create the gold that makes up the core of a brand. The brand strategy is then defined in one of several forms: a brand brief, a brand strategy guide, a brand story book, target audience profiles, etc. These provide a foundational brand strategy that informs marketing, communications, sales, and can be used to quickly onboard new team members.
See Brand Strategy In Action
the best brands tell a story
"Early branding of a small or emerging company is key to business success. It is the quickest way for your commpany to express what it is and what it can offer."
- The New York Times, The Importance of Branding Your New Business
Why Brand Strategy is Important
Brand identity is an expression of who your company is. People want to buy products from companies that they believe in – ones that offer high quality, sound production processes, a great employee culture, are environmentally sensitive, and were started by people who are good guys. If you’re a non-profit, that goes double for you.
Who are you exactly? What do you stand for? Why should people care? If they tell a friend about you, what do they say? What is your story? What are you saying to the world? A brand strategy defines the essence of your company or organization and your brand identity communicates it.