How we create brands is not all that mysterious. Here’s a look at the route we take to get to our destination.
Following our roadmap is critical for getting it “right.” Of course, in the world of art and design — as everywhere else in the big universe — there’s no such thing as one right answer. We put the research, thought, and creativity into solving problems for our clients, taking all the relevant information into consideration to come up with a solid solution. Another agency might use the same process and come up with a completely different but just as solid solution. The point is that the solution is solid — meaning relevant, compelling, and that it achieves the goals we’ve set at the beginning of the process.
Now, you may be entering in at one or other point on this map. In that case, we may back track a little to ensure that any exits you may have missed are explored, leaving no detail behind. Or perhaps you don’t need certain stops (like a new name), so we skip that one. We customize each project to the specific needs of the client.
In order to define the brand, we first take a few steps back to deconstruct the organization — understand its mission and vision, goals, audiences and stakeholders, and programs as well as have a clear vision of the benefits and value that make it compelling to its strategic targets. This may include:
- Stakeholder Interviews
- Collateral/Web Audit
- Competitive Analysis
- Brand R&D Survey
The Brand Workshop is a guided meeting with up to 5 of your key stakeholders with the goal of drawing out inputs on the “gems” of your brand — what sets it apart from other organization and defines it as a unique brand.
The Brand Frame is the key structure of your brand. It concisely defines your brand and sets the foundation for the visual identity and messaging.
Whether it’s a product, service, or company, the name should grow out of the brand. We begin by exploring a wide array of options, then narrow it down to top 3 over the course of 4 to 5 reviews.
Finally the rubber hits the road as we delve into the creative development of the new brand. At this stop, we initially present 3 to 5 design approaches for the logo and brand concept, and iterate until we get it exactly right, usually 2 to 3 more rounds of design.
The Messaging Brief provides language assets to anyone who is working to write communications materials for an external audience on behalf of the organization, so that all communications from the organization are consistent, targeted, and effective.
Proof of Concept
For the last bit of creative development, we choose one application for the final design (ie., web home page or a brochure) to road test the creative. This way we can work out any kinks before launching the new brand.
The Brand Guide is a comprehensive internal document that incorporates the Brand Frame, identity design and style guide, and key messages. This document is used to keep brand consistency across staff, vendors, and media.
Once we have the brand completed, we create a timeline to flip any existing collateral — or develop new collateral — including the website, brochures, trade show booths, etc. Then we are off to tell the world about this awesome new brand.