Branding. Branding. Branding. We all know it's important but a lot of people don't understand the steps needed to create kick ass branding for your biz.
Because of this, I wrote a blog walking you through my process of branding. I think it's important for clients to understand the process I use to help turn their business into a brand. In this blog post I'll outline my 7 step branding process, detailing why I take these steps and how its beneficial to you.
If you're interested in working with a branding specialist to help your business blossom this might clear up any uncertainties you may have.
1. Branding Questionnaire
First things first; when I get a new client one of the first things I always do is send a questionnaire (always always always). I use to skip this step entirely but I quickly learned why other designers use them.
Questionnaires save so much time. I usually send my questionnaires at least 2 weeks before starting a project (if not a month in advance) this ensures my clients have more than enough time to start their homework, a name i sometimes gives this project (brings me back to my college days).
This questionnaire answers all the basic questions every designer should be asking. I.e. What does your target audience look like? What’s your business mission statement? What makes your business unique? And so on. There's about 35 questions in mine, but I’ve seen others with more or less.
2. Mood Board + Color Palette
The second step in my branding process is curating a moodboard that aligns with your business’s aesthetic, vision, and mission. I spend time on pinterest finding items that align with the answers you gave during your branding questionnaire. I usually create one mood board that goes perfectly with your business, but sometimes I make 2 unique boards to give you different options. The one you like the most is what I’ll use going forward.
After I create the mood board, I create a color palette to match. Usually I have an idea on which route I want to go in based on the branding questionnaire (see how important that thing is??)
3. Logo Design + Sub Marks
I always sketch my ideas out first. I do this for two reasons: One, it's much easier to make mistakes and flush out ideas when sketching. And two, getting sketches down on paper is a really helpful reference down the line. I usually sketch around 50 to 100 initial thoughts. Sometimes more, sometimes less. This helps me work out all of the kinks, finalize some things, and work on some different variations.
After getting all of the sketches out, I pick my favorite 3 and work on creating them in illustrator. I design in black and white first, to see how the logo looks on its own then add color later. When I present my logo I usually send them in mock ups. This is how clients see what their logo would look like on their building, marketing pieces, or merchandise.
4. Branding Guidelines
Branding guidelines are important to help ensure your brand stays consistent when my work is done. When I turn over deliverables I will give you a file that outlines everything you need including font pairings, color palette codes, your mood board, and best practices on how to use it all.
5. Marketing Collateral
One of the last steps in my branding process is creating marketing material that clients can use to promote their business both online and off. Sounds Important right? I think it’s the extra added goodness that takes your brand to the next level.
Collateral can be anything from business cards, merchandise and social media posts but the list of what we can create together is really never ending. If you're stuck on what you need, don't worry, we can brainstorm ideas based on where you get the majority of your leads and where you see the most growth.
This is when I hand off all of the shiny new files to my clients to use and share.
7. Case Study
Something new that I’ve wanted to add into my process is a case study. This is where I outline my clients problems, why they came to me for help, and what solutions I offered them. These would be outlined like a blog post, with tons of photos to keep things visually appealing. Regular old case studies are boring and I want to stay away from that.
My branding process is short, simple and takes around 4-5 weeks to complete. The best way to create branding that tells a compelling story is to do in depth research in the beginning to build a foundation that can't be broken.
Looking to start your own branding process? Get in touch so we can start developing your brand story.