I run a brand identity design company and sometimes I find that a start-up will get hypnotised with the idea of branding, putting all the focus on how catchy the name should be and how cool the logo should look. The idea of a brand is aesthetically approached rather then authentically. No thought is given to the brand story or brand tone of voice.
Visuals and good design are of course highly important keys for a startup brand but the creation of successful brand design really starts from the base of the business.
If you want to create a great brand with great brand imagery then heres 6 questions you need to ask yourself before you begin creating your brand identity.
Step 1 – What is your brand?
- What do you provide & why?
- What makes you different?
- Why do you do it differently?
Everything about your business should contribute to your idea of your brand. You need to catorgorise yourself and then un-catorgorise yourself showing your worth in the marketplace but also your distinction. Check out your competitors to see what they are doing, (not to copy them) but how you differ (are you actually any different).
This plays a huge part in the brand creation. It’s what defines and separates you as a brand.
Step 2 – Your Great Brand Story
Your past, present and future show great insight into a business, not just who you are but how you became what you are and where you’re going next. It’s a sign of strength, longevity and future contribution to your industry.
Example: The Three mobile phone network.
Past: They were a HIGHTECH revolutionary mobile phone company specialising in VIDEO calling and hoping to capitalise on BUSINESS users for conference calls.
Present: An ever growing mobile phone company that changed the way tarriffs were created and won young consumers with CHEAP bulk voice minutes and HIGHER END phones for the PUBLIC.
Future: They’ll hold onto that younger audience and continue to stablisie their place in the market.
Step 3. Your target audience.
Define who you are selling to and reflect your brand identity design towards them. You must appeal to them with your own niche defined in step 1.
Make them apart of your brand.
Step 4. – Brand Voice
People relate to people, its human nature and how we judge each other, in fact that’s how we judge everything, by personification. Personify your brand with character by determining what characteristics your business has?
It maybe one, two or none from the list but personifying your business shows character and builds a brand voice.
Step 5. – Bar of excellence
An important part of defining a brand is to stick to it by consistently showing who you are. With steps 1-4 you should have a basis to your business brand values, a guide to who you are and what you will achieve so use this as a benchmark for all business activities and hopefully build a reputation to become a successful brand.
Step 6 – Good design
Thats right! Its not all about good design and catchy names but it does certainly help. It’s important that the catchy name and great logo stand for something more than a gimmick; it must have depth in some way or form.
Use good graphic design to be the face of your branding and use graphic design to promote and showcase your brand. It is afterall graphic communication and without it your branding will fall into an abyss.
Step 7 – Repeat all the above
Doing the above at least once a year will demonstrate how your own business has changed over the years and how it should change for the year to come.
The basis of the above 6 Steps is to give your business and brand more depth because creating a logo and a catchy name alone is is just not stable enough for a great business brand. Its gimmicky and will show through as one once your design project is completed.