We all want that 'million-dollar idea.' Something that just clicks with customers and generates a ton of buzz, not to mention web traffic.
But before you get to that spot, you need to put the work in to develop your brand. And, unfortunately for us dreamers, it takes quite a bit of work. But you didn't start a brand thinking things would be easy, did you?
Let's delve deep into the branding design process to help you craft your brand, your custom website and deliver products and services to your target audience.
The Discovery Session
During the first stages of the branding design process, you go through the discovery session. Digital marketers and design professionals are a huge help here.
This is where you lay the groundwork for your brand, mission statement, and perhaps the most critical aspect of your brand: the audience’s personas. Get ready to research!
Personas of the target audience
The persona of someone in your target audience represents who will serve as your main clientele. These are, of course, fictional constructs.
When determining the audience persona, there are a few key aspects to consider.
- Basic info. Things like age, location, and gender can help you better determine your buyer personas.
- Traits of your customers. What qualities does your audience exhibit? Are they analytical? Carefree? Experiment with this concept until it fits.
- Industry. What industry does your fictional person work in? Furthermore, what about their industry would compel them to use your services.
- Pain Points. Leapfrogging off pertinent industry information, what pain points do these people have that your brand can address?
Brand USP and Mission
What sets your business apart from others? In other words, why would a customer choose you over other brands? Creating your USP is one thing; marketing it properly is another.
The Unique Selling Point
Finding your USP has a lot of the same brainstorming and creative practices as crafting your target audience personas. To compose an impressive USP, you need to have your buyer persona firmly in your mind.
That being said, capitalize on your differences from the rest of the pack. Double down on how your business can not only deliver the best results to clients but provide them with genuinely unique alternatives. This means you need to do your due diligence regarding researching your competitors.
After creating and establishing your USP, it's time to work on your brand's mission. This is the primary goal of your brand. What are your products and services trying to accomplish? Are you trying to build a better community in your location? Inspire young customers to create works of art?
The goal of the project
What are your brand's goals? To hit a sales record in Q1? Goals for various projects depend on you and your brand vision.
How to measure the success of the project
Success doesn't necessarily mean good sales. That could undoubtedly serve as an ambitious goal early on, but you can set multiple goals. For example, maybe you want to increase web traffic month over month. Or perhaps you're engaged in a comprehensive SEO strategy and want to get a certain number of backlinks and make an appearance on the SERPs.
Either way, there is no shortage of potential goals for your brand, and they're entirely up to you.
The creative exercises didn't stop with crafting buyer personas. Now it's time to create your unique brand personality. Namely, your brand voice and tone.
Brand voice is how your brand communicates with the outside world. And, more importantly, how others will perceive your brand.
Your brand tone is how you use that voice to address customers in a particular situation.
If your company is a casual, fun-loving brand of outdoor equipment, you will use that brand voice to address different aspects of your business model. Perhaps your brand would be more serious when describing safety precautions with certain pieces of equipment.
When crafting a cohesive brand voice and tone, it takes a lot of planning and creative brainstorming. And always do your research!
The Design Stage
So how does all of the brand information come together? During the ever-important design stage of the branding design process.
We all want that beautiful website. And now's the time to put it into practice. Don't just roll out any old design for a logo or homepage. Again, do your research into what consumers are attracted to in your field.
A good logo and a nice font are things that people respond to. And it'll likely be the first thing a prospective customer will see. You need a designer to help you craft a logo that not only represents your brand but for your brand's USP.
When everyone sees the Mackintosh Apple logo for Apple, we instantly recognize what Apple's USP represents: ease of use, artistic freedom, stylishness, etc.
You need that for your brand, and a good designer will be able to use the research you've compiled, mixed with some crucial psychological data, to help build a logo that pairs well with your brand identity.
In Forbes contributor Kate Harrison's piece on logo design, she goes into minute detail on how everything from shape to color conveys many ideas.
"Color contributes the strongest emotional trigger in most logo designs.
Colors are strongly linked to emotions in the human psyche. Whether our interpretation of colors is hardwired into our brains or is due to cultural influence – or a combination of both – there is a generally accepted language of color within a cultural context. (For example, in English, black is a synonym for death, while in Japanese, white is the color of death)." (Source: Forbes)
And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Everything from man-made shapes to more natural forms conveys thousands of different meanings.
Brand touchpoints are any aspect in which the customer interacts with the brand. For example, a notable brand touchpoint is advertising and marketing.
A particularly useful touchpoint for brands these days is social media. Maybe you could even set a goal of having a particular amount of social media engagement per month.
Feedback & Revision
No brand is perfect. There have been thousands of revisions and feedback that could fill volumes. Such is the branding design process. You want to nail all of these aspects, but sometimes we come up short. That's why revisions and feedback are necessary to craft the best brand possible.
Approval & Delivery
After feedback and revisions come the final approval and delivery of work. Once everything is complete, it's time to launch the brand and its touchpoints and start measuring success.
Final Thoughts on the Branding Design Process
Although we want our exciting brand decisions to happen overnight, the branding design process can take time. But be patient: if you put in the research, brainstorming, creative efforts, and marketing campaign strategies, you'll be closer to launching a memorable brand.