The Creative Stages of Branding

When it comes to a brand or branding, you could ask 100 experts for the meaning and receive 100 different answers. That doesn’t mean any of them are necessarily wrong, quite the opposite.

They will all just have their unique way of explaining what it means to them.

That’s because when you consider a brand or branding, it is so much more than simply a logo, or a service or even a product. It’s the personality and values that define a business and is the emotional connection with its customers and followers. It is how your customers think of and talk about your business!

So, what are the stages of creating a brand?

Again, you could ask a range of experts and they would each have their own process. Processes evolve and change too; some can be more complex than others and some can be relatively simple.

A good rule of thumb is to keep it relatively simple but always creative…

Here is a good, reliable and simple process that breaks down some of the common stages of brand creation:

  1. Brand Insight
  2. Brand Strategy
  3. Brand Design
  4. Brand Building
  5. Brand Management
The Creative Stages of Branding

Brand Insight and Strategy

When an individual with an idea or an already established company come to a branding expert for branding, they may require a completely new brand, literally starting from scratch. They might also be looking for a redesign or refresh of an already established and known brand.

Why would they want to change an established brand? There could be any number of reasons, but the majority would be along the lines of the evolution of the business and an updated representation of who they are, what they do and why people would work with them today, rather than the details of the past.

Every branding project will start with a discovery session to establish exactly what is needed and why. This could be on the phone, on a video call or in person.

The session will uncover key questions such as the company’s mission statement, what their values are, who their audience and ideal customer is.

This will give the branding agency a good feel and understanding of the businesses objectives and ultimately what they are aiming to achieve with their new brand.

No branding project will justify itself without thorough research, it’s just crucial.

The research can start with analysing the competitors, looking at the type of imagery, colours, font type etc that they use. What style they portray, who they appeal to and the kind of message they are aiming to get across.

Then you need a thorough understanding of the audience that the new branding needs to appeal to and who the ideal customer is. It’s no good appealing to the wrong group…

With this collated information it is then possible to start building up a mood board of images, visuals, colours and ideas.

This collection of thoughts then allows you to move on to the next phase packed with ideas for getting creative!

Brand Design

Whether you’re designing freehand with pencils or using a software package this is the stage where you can let your creative side flow and start brainstorming and sketching ideas.

At this stage, you’re not looking to create the finished article, but simply get some creative concepts from your head and into a visual representation to work from.

Once you have them down on paper or screen then you can literally play around with them and prepare to go to the next phase in the branding process.

Brand Building

Once you’ve narrowed down the list of potential concepts you start to get specific with the ideas that have been shortlisted. You may have shortlisted just one, or several ideas. It doesn’t really matter how many, the key thing being that you have something that can work.

Usually, at this stage, you’d present the ideas to the client for their views and feedback and then develop them further based on the response.

The concepts can then develop in terms of colour, layout and minor or major tweaks.

During the branding concept development phase, the font choices can be tested and challenged too. It’s not a case of choosing a font and deciding on the first option, there is always time to review plenty of options.

It is always good at this stage to get a thorough understanding from the client as to their likes and dislikes of the concepts. That way the next round of revisions will be based on their thoughts too.

Brand Management

When it gets to this stage of the branding process it needs to become more of a collaboration between the designer and the client.

At the end of the project, the client must be very proud of the branding and it be worthy of being displayed in the marketplace.

There will usually be a series of discussions and revisions to get the branding just right in the eyes of the client.

Once the client is happy then the branding can be set in various styles and formats so the client can use in a variety of circumstances and requirements.

Through a relatively simple five-step process it is therefore possible to take an idea from a brief to a business-ready completion.

If you have a requirement for branding, then we’d love to have an informal chat about it and better understand your requirements. From that discussion, you’d be able to asses if we are the right fit for your project. Contact our friendly team today to discuss…