Lost in Brandslation #2. How to create a brand
Creativity is and always has been a passion of mine. The idea of, creating something out of nothing, is fascinating to me. That’s why I enjoy brand creation. But for many, I know, the idea of developing a brand can be a bit scary and intimidating. There can be a vast divide between an idea and a business or product launch. That’s why I thought I would break it into simple, easy to digest pieces that you can see the process and have a path to follow.
Branding is an art. It can and should be an enjoyable and creative pursuit. It’s a combination of art, insight and science. There’s strategy, there’s creativity and there’s a whole lot of intuition. And there’s a clear and easy process you can follow to build one. If you choose to take the quick-fix, half-baked option, you can go to 99 designs and buy a logo off the shelf and pretend you have a well-designed brand and learn as you go… but if you’ve already tried a few times at developing a brand that didn’t quite hit the mark, or you’re the type of person who wants to do it right first time, follow this simple four step process and don’t cut corners, you’ll have a long-term sustainable and successful brand.
To create a sustainable and successful brand, you need to consider firstly your *Brand Strategy and then your *Brand Creative. Or as I would say,
‘GET CLEAR BEFORE YOU GET CREATIVE’
Here’s my 4 step process to creating a sustainable, successful and heart centred brand:
- *Brand Clarity. This is the phase that is most often overlooked, because people just want to get on with designing a logo and a web site. Before you start designing you need to get clear on many of the aspects of your business that will define your brand. Your vision, your mission, your values, your offering, your audience, your position in the marketplace. I’ve seen people (and yes, I’ve been one of them) build whole brands, spend thousands on creating amazing looking web sites and still not be able to answer simple, basic questions around their business and their brand. Don’t skip this step, you won’t be able to get to the heart of what you do well or what your customers really want from you.
- *Brand Essence. This is what sets you apart from the multitude of other people who offer, well, pretty much the same thing you do. On the surface, it’s a few words that sum up the essence and heart of your brand. But these few words, if created well, will drive every part of your business and give you a deeper meaning and drive behind your business, one that you can deliver with excitement and price and that others will connect and engage with. Often crafted into a tagline, although sometimes it’s just an underlying theme that is filtered through your business through multiple sources, it reflects what you stand for, what you do that’s different. It’s the reason why your customers will choose you, over them. The reason they will keep coming back and the reason why your brand will stand out. It’s also, if developed correctly, the reason why you will love your brand and connect with others that will love it too because it will built around what you do best, so it will be easy to deliver each and every time.
(There’s a unique and specific way to identify your brand essence; and create a brand strategy, I’ll show you how in the ‘Create A Brand You Love’ program)
- *Brand Creative. This is mostly the visual bit – what you’re going to look like. It will reflect your values, your offerings, and of course, be designed to attract your audience. The logo, colours, typeface, images should be carefully designed to come together and paint a picture that depicts you and your offering in a unique and relevant manner. It’s also where you create your tone of voice. How you speak, your language you use, how you connect with your audience. Then it’s creating a system to deliver a consistent set of visual cues that begin to become known as ‘your *brand or visual identity’.
- *Brand Plan. This is where you ‘get it out there’. The best way to deliver your messages, connect with your audience; create a simple plan will help keep you on track and eliminate indecision and overwhelm.
If you take this path, I guarantee you’ll leave with an amazing feeling of clarity with the confidence that you’re on the right track, calmly moving ahead with developing your brand step by step.
Below is your handy brandslation guide to refer to, I’ll develop this list for you as we continue on our ‘Lost in Brandslation’ series over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, take the time to think about where you are at in your branding journey. Are you in stage 1, 2, 3 or 4. Or have you completely skipped a section!
*Brand Strategy – Having a plan for your brand to take it where you want to go, based on clear goals and a solid knowledge on what your customer actually wants and needs.
*Brand Clarity – Having the ability to clearly introduce who you are, what you do, who for and why you’re different on a post-it note.
*Brand Essence – The heart and soul of your brand, the bit that makes you different from the rest.
*Brand Creative – The process of designing the elements that become your brand identity.
*Brand or Visual Identity – The unique combination of your graphic elements; colours, fonts, images, brought together as a complete and guided set of assets, delivered in a consistent way that will be instantly recognisable as ‘you’.
*Logo – The ‘mark’ that represents and introduces you and your business. Can be an individual symbol, a logotype, or a brand mark.