Tips For Planning Your Branding Project
Branding has been described as many different things by many different people. One of my descriptions I’ve heard is “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” (Sadly can’t remember who said this. Oops.) Regardless of the variations, one thing is constant. A brand is a concept. It’s not a logo or pretty packaging. It’s the personality and impact your business has on it’s customers, audience and even competitors.
Branding is hands down one of the most exciting thing I get to do in my job. Getting to work with people who have a contagious passion for what they are doing or for pursuing their dream are exactly what got me started in my field of work. Helping the creators, innovators and makers just like you is what fuels me. When I begin working on any design related project with a client, the client either has no idea where to start or they have an exact idea in their mind of what they want. No matter which end of the spectrum you find yourself on, there are many things you can do to make sure that you’re as prepared as possible to get started on branding your business or idea.
Have your objective in mind.
What are you hoping to achieve through branding your business or idea? If you don’t yet have a business plan or if your business is still in the very early idea stages, it might be difficult to develop a solid brand because you still cannot be sure of what your goals or objectives might be. For new businesses, your goal will simply be to earn/achieve ______. For a REBRAND, it’s a matter of determining what you need to be doing differently and dissecting and building upon your old brand.
Know your business.
In the beginning stages of working together, I’ll ask you various questions to help me determine the direction to go with your project. This includes topics such as your demographic, the values as a company, your competitors and design related questions. Some designers refer to this as “client homework”. It’s helpful to have a general idea of all of the things before entering into any design or marketing process.
Have a marketing strategy.
What will your future marketing strategy entail? This can help determine the various “deliverables” that your brand will be implemented through. Each business is different and the designs involved in their marketing will vary. If you are a clothing boutique, your deliverables will most likely include clothing tags, business cards and promotional social media graphics. A restaurant would no doubt include food and drink menus. Your designer will make suggestions for what to include in your branding package, but its helpful to give it some thought beforehand.
Be open minded.
It’s important to remember that as a designer, their (my) job is to design for your customers. There’s a misconception in the design world that our job is to make our client happy. However, sometimes what makes the client happy isn’t what is best for their brand. It’s important to take a step back and remember what your goals in branding (or rebranding) yourself are and not to let trends or personal preference dominate the designs.
Be prepared to do some business “soul searching”.
Ultimately, it’s the designer’s job to create the tangible and artistic aspects of your brand. I, and no other designer should expect you to know everything there is to know about designing, SEO, design lingo, and the technical side of creating a brand. That’s why you hire us. However, creating a brand is a collaborative effort and it’s crucial to the process that you are able to establish the project and provide productive feedback. Some clients prefer to be actively involved in each step of the process which can be good and bad sometimes. Some clients choose to hand over the reins completely to the designer or to not provide feedback at all and end up with concepts they are unhappy with because of a lack of effective communication. Communication is always key for a both the designer and the client to be satisfied in the end.
I hope this has helped you get your wheels turning and you feel better prepared to work with a designer on your branding project. It can be a daunting task to reach out to a designer and take that first step, but I promise we are all just here to help.
If you are interested in getting started on your branding project, let’s talk today!