How to best develop your brand.

All brands are not born equal. Some have been allowed to evolve without direction, whilst those that lead their markets are very much a result of clear brand strategy.

Successful brand development.

There are a number of critical components to developing your brand effectively. These include: understanding your audience and your competitive market; setting the right brand strategy and defining the necessary layers to direct your brand identity and business; designing a brand identity that delivers on the layers of brand strategy to connect with your audience and differentiate your brand in the marketplace.

How does brand development work?

Is there a right way and a wrong way to develop your brand?

The short answer is yes!

Without fully understanding the brand development process, many businesses think it starts and ends with a logo or brand identity. However, without investing in a fully considered, brand development process those businesses fail to get any of the true business benefits of professional brand development.

What's does a professional process look like?

Every specialist brand development agency will have a comprehensive methodology based on a similar process.

That process should always start with Insights. Research to understand your audience, what motivates and defines them relative to your category, and research to understand your competitive environment, who your competitors are, how they are positioned, their brand value propositions, and what they look like.

The Insights phase leads into the brand strategy process where we establish the most effective positioning and differentiated value proposition for your brand. We then need to develop the layers of brand definition required for an organisation to truly understand how they must behave to deliver on their brand promise, but also how they must look.

The strategy directs the design process, setting the framework for creativity. The role of the brand identity and visual language is to engage with the target audience and subtly communicate the brand proposition, brand story, and brand personality through the power of visual language. Creating a palette of visual assets to be leveraged across all brand touch-points.

This leads to the final phase of the process; implementation of your new brand identity.

Click here to view a more detailed breakdown of our branding approach.

Should you include a client or customer perspective?

As obvious as this may sound, most branding processes fail to involve the perspective of those people most important to your business success; your clients and customers. Our agile branding process has been designed to provide for inputs from your audience as part of the creative development process. We can provide specialised audience research (qualitative and/or quantitative) that targeted to your needs and designed to address any insight gaps. For some clients this involves integrating their most client-centric staff into the feedback loop, for others it is about adding customer/client feedback on design directions into the creative process.

Click here to read a case study on when ING Direct in the US failed to get their brand strategy aligned with their audience.

How do you select the right agency?

Sometimes it seems like every marketing agency is pitching themselves as a branding expert. However the process of separating the specialists from the generalists is relatively simple: Advertising agencies are best at advertising, Marketing agencies best at marketing, Graphic designers best at design, Web agencies best at building web sites… you get the picture. The first and most obvious proof point is answering the simple question; ‘Does the agency have an experienced and dedicated, brand strategy professional?’

Click here to view a detailed approach to selecting the right branding agency for you.

What time frame should you allow?

The critical first factor in successful brand development is ‘consideration’. Driven by that mindset, there are no real shortcuts for a branding process to be executed effectively.

Every project and client is different, with some projects taking as little as two months and others lasting for a year or more. However, the average timeframe from kick-off to delivery is around four to six months. If there is research or more comprehensive stakeholder engagement, the timeline will likely be longer.

If you have a pressing deadline we suggest you get on the phone asap and let us see if we can develop a brand development plan to meet your requirements.

What are the biggest mistakes business make with their brand development?

Whilst choosing an agency without a specialist competency in brand development is clearly the largest mistake you can make, there are other pitfalls to ensure you avoid. These pitfalls include: Making sure you have the Board and Management Team onboard before embarking on brand development; Wanting to implement a new strategy before the business is ready; Not securing the required budget for implementation; and wanting to take slices of different creative ideas and mesh them together.

Click here to read our detailed list of 10 of the biggest brand development mistakes businesses make.

Give us a call today

For every business or organisation the right approach for your brand development is unique based on your specific needs, goals and market paradigm. Give us a call or make a time to meet us for a coffee and chat to leverage our 30 years of branding experience in order to chart the best approach for you.

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