THE BRANDING PROCESS – HOW TO REBRAND YOUR COMPANY IN 5 STAGES.
So you have been thinking about rebranding your company? Great. We have already discussed ‘The value of rebranding’ in a previous post. Now we have decided to post ‘The Branding Process’ to give you a clearer picture of the stages involved.
STAGE 1: YOUR CORE IDEA
CLARIFY YOUR VISION, STRATEGY, GOALS & VALUES
We aim to get to know the principle values of your company, and how these can be presented to the key demographics. This is an understanding which is fundamental as a basis to the branding process, and these ideas must run throughout the project to ensure that the desired result is achieved. One way in which this stage is undertaken is through a collaborative workshop in which we determine with your business the visual territory to be explored during the next phase. Using existing imagery and type enables us to work with you to choose the general look and feel, which we want to develop.
We need to look at is what’s going on in your sector. We need to see who you’re up against in terms of market competition, where you are placed and where you want to be. Looking at your competitors and seeing what’s working for them is one example of the market research we carry out to help us get you one step ahead of the crowd.
- Research customers needs and perceptions
- Conduct marketing research
- Competition analysis to foresee gaps in marketplace
- Interview key management
- Evaluate existing brands and brand architecture
STAGE 2: STRATEGY
BRAND AND POSITIONING
Once we have looked at competitors and analysed what is working for them, we move to looking at the your new brand strategy. This is a valuable stage that allows us to see what messages your new brand will be delivering.
- Synthesise learnings and clarify your brand strategy
- Develop a positioning platform
- Write a brand brief
- Create a naming strategy if required
- Write a creative brief
STAGE 3: CONCEPT Stage
VISUALISE THE FUTURE
A fundamental stage of the branding process is the design of the logo, and identification of the fonts and styles which work best for a market and product, bearing in mind where it’s going and who it is meant to appeal to.
A font has its own character and stands for a distinct declaration; it makes the brand stand out and reflects the rest of your business as it appears across all marketing materials and touch points.
We test a brand name in a huge range of fonts before narrowing it down to a selection which we think are working. A common misconception is that a logo is a symbol to represent a business. However, the logo can just be the brand name words – the whole thing works as the logo. The font choices, layout and lock-up are what come together to create the identity.
Time is spent on positioning as the font is crafted, tweaked and fettled to perfection.
- Visualise the future of your brand
- Brainstorm the big idea
- Design brand identity and explore expectations
- Finalise brand architecture and present visual strategy
- Achieve agreement for visual identity
STAGE 4: APPLICATION
APPLY BRAND TO PRINTED OR ONLINE MATERIALS
Many companies become recognisable by their brand colour. Think Cadbury purple, McDonald’s golden arches, Clear blue. However, these brands would all have been designed and refined to work amazingly in greyscale before any colour would have been added. Colour helps the consumer make their first judgment of your business, which will inform whether or not they choose to purchase from or work with you. Colour, font and how these work together account for the success of a corporate identity.
- Finalise your brand identity
- Develop the look and feel of your marketing materials
- Initiate trademark protection if required
- Prioritise and design other media applications
- Apply brand architecture to stationery and/or literature
STAGE 5: LAUNCH
BUILD SYNERGY AROUND YOUR NEW BRAND
1. Internal launch. Before you can take your brand to the outside world, you need to introduce your new brand to your entire staff and get them excited about its potential. The brand rollout plan will spell out the activities and materials required to achieve critical internal buy in.
2. Education. A brand is as much about what your people do and say as about you new logo, tagline and website. That’s why it’s important to take your staff through a training program that gives even non-sales staff the understanding and talking points they need to embrace and articulate the new brand. When your staff and brand values are aligned, your message is more likely to resonate with clients and prospects. That means more leads, more referrals and more business.
3. Public launch. Your brand launch is a rare opportunity to command attention in the marketplace and make a bold statement. You’ll want to make the most of it. The brand rollout plan will provide specific tactics and a detailed timeline to announce your new brand — targeted, as appropriate, to clients, partners, referrals sources, the media and prospects.
BUILD SYNERGY AROUND YOUR NEW BRAND
- Build synergy around your new brand
- Develop your launch strategy and plan for growth
- Launch internally first, then externally
- Develop standards and brand guidelines
- Nurture brand champions and strategic partners