We often discover that the branding process is very easily misunderstood. Most outsiders to the creative industries are surprised at how much work can go into creating a brand and that we don’t always start by putting pen to paper. Here is an insight on how we approach a branding project and the different stages involved.
What makes a meaningful brand?
Before knowing what route to take, we really need to know where we’re going. Here is what we would consider being key components of an effective brand:
- Clearly display the company name
- Demonstrate what product or service the company offers
- Shows the personality and values of a company
- Most importantly (arguably) communicates what differentiates the company from any competitors
Great! Now how do we achieve that?
At Moirae, we follow a clear process which has proven to be effective. This can change depending on each project’s requirements, but here is an outline of how would approach creating a meaningful brand identity:
- Discovery – This initial stage is all about getting to know your business in as much detail as possible. Mainly, this means asking a lot of questions to identify your key differentiators and values, as well as any core goals you might have. This might involve surveying stakeholders such as employees and customer bases, as well as an audit of any existing identities and a competitor analysis. At the end of this stage, we should have a strong enough understanding of your company to begin considering what the framework should be for its’ brand.
- Strategy & Planning – Once we have enough information about your company we can then begin to clarify what direction the branding needs to take. We evaluate the results of our research and decide which values are most important, what the most relevant key selling points are and what the core personality of the company is. This stage generally involves activities such as word association, mood-boarding, brainstorming and theming amongst our team to generate potential routes before we agree what approach is best for the company in question. Having done this, we can now ensure that the brand we create will be meaningful to the business it belongs to and is geared toward achieving specific goals.
- Ideation – Now, we are finally ready to begin the stage most heavily associated with being a designer – generating ideas! As long as they are derived from those prior research and strategies, the key here really is that the more ideas and variations, the better. Considering as many options as possible can make it much easier to analyse how good your ideas are before you create a shortlist to present to the client. Sometimes you need to try something to know it doesn’t work, but that something else does. Lindon Leader – designer of the FedEx logo – has revealed that he generated over 200 ideas before presenting 10.
Development & Testing – This stage is about both reviewing your strongest ideas and iterating further on them. The most important thing here is that you identify the limitations of your potential brands and whether or not these can be resolved easily. This is also where our clients become more involved in the process and we may also take advantage of internal/external focus groups to maximise the amount of feedback generated. Hopefully, once the development process has concluded, we can have much more confidence that our refined brand is the right way to go.
- Brand creation – Once we have signed off on a final idea, we can then go ahead and begin creating thorough brand guidelines and required brand assets. We set clear parameters to ensure our concept gets executed accurately and consistently across every brand application, as well as making sure all core stationery is already available to the client.
This process can take a number of weeks to complete depending on the project, but we know that if we follow it, the result is a truly meaningful brand which will achieve your company’s goals and stand the test of time.