A branding process is an important series of steps that a brand takes to discover who they are and what they need to do to communicate this to the outside world. Why is this important? It matters because of how great of an increase there has been in the competitive market today. For a brand to be truly successful, it must have a reason to exist beyond the products it sells or the services it offers; it must reach a human level of connection with consumers. The only way to do this is to truly understand and express (in verbal, visual and emotive touch-points) a cohesive and insightful brand identity. The most iconic and lasting brand identities have gone through this process, and typically return to this process after a period of time or when there have been major changes in their company. Ultimately, a branding process plays a vital role in the creation, maintenance and future evolution of a brand.
Venturing into a new start-up or re-aligning an existing brand to better fit its target market, requires careful research of the industry, the target market, the risks and opportunities of a brand’s offering in order to find the best brand positioning strategy.
Building a successful brand involves deeply understanding how that brand wishes to operate, what its core values are and the inherent message it wants to convey. This persona defines the look, the feel and the voice of the brand.
Before beginning any design work, a brand may need to take its persona and further build its look and feel through visuals, such as emotional imagery, shapes, textures, colour palette and mood.
The synthesis of all relevant information (industry reserach, persona, mood exploration, audience) is part of a new logo development process. A logo’s maturation takes more subtle strides to refresh or align a historic logo with a more current brand identity visual appeal.
Once the visual core elements of a brand is established, the critical piece which collects all of the standards of a brand’s identity, is a Standards Guide. This document sets out the use of logos, colours, fonts, graphics, and imagery with guided examples, visuals and mock ups.
Branding must also take into account its digital platform (social profiles, banner graphics, promotional videos and animated logos). Developping dynamic media content and marketing through the use of strategic channels is key to maintaining a competitive edge.
Developing the formal voice, tone and appraoch of a large brand requires the use of consistent visuals and key documents (business cards, letterheads, Presentations) which become the cornerstone of internal and external brand communication.